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Scanning the Horizon – follow-up July 11, 2010

Posted by IaninSheffield in research, Web 2.0.
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I’m delighted that the kind folks at NMC responded positively to my request and were supportive of my modest attempts to summarise the data from the Horizon reports since 2004 in a different way using Timeglider:

Horizon Reports

Horizon Reports in Time Glider

Exploring the emerging technologies highlighted in successive Reports since 2004, we begin to see two distinct aspects emerging:

  1. The technologies and infrastructure upon and with which we can support learning and
  2. The applications and techniques enabled through that infrastructure

Whilst many of these technologies have become mainstream and our students are increasingly using them in their lives beyond the school gates, it is probably fair to say that their penetration into classrooms lags some way behind.  But that’s a generalisation so I attempted here to assess (subjectively!) to what extent those technologies (most appropriate for K12) in the reports have penetrated across our school:

Penetration of technologies into school

Penetration of technologies into school

I suspect the majority of schools would provide a similar return – how about yours?

This picture would doubtless change however,  if we focused on the classrooms and lessons of ‘early adopters’ – those teachers who are not only aware of the above, but have begun the process of exploring how and in what ways we can exploit these tools . . . or indeed if we should.

But we know that many students carry and use Internet-connected, application-rich mobile phones, yet these powerful devices must remain hidden in class.  Wireless networks, at least in secondary schools have become more robust, yet it’s rare to find a school which allows its students to use their own laptops, netbooks and iPod Touches on them.  Most students, even as young as five and six (through sites like Club Penguin), use social networking tools to play and communicate with one another, yet these sites are often filtered by schools and/or local authorities.

Why is that?  Can school and formal learning really be so disconnected from our everyday experience?

I think that’s probably a topic worthy of its own post.

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