The New Media Consortium (NMC) is an international 501(c)3 not-for-profit consortium of nearly 200 leading colleges, universities, museums, corporations, and other learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies.
The consortium serves as a catalyst for the development of new applications of technology to support learning and creative expression, and sponsors programs and activities designed to stimulate innovation, encourage collaboration, and recognize excellence among its member institutions.
The NMC’s Emerging Technologies Initiative focuses on expanding the boundaries of teaching, learning and creative expression by creatively applying new tools in new contexts. The Horizon Project, the centerpiece of this initiative, charts the landscape of emerging technologies and produces the NMC’s annual Horizon Report. Reports have been produced for each year since 2004, and are availale at the Horizon Project Wiki.
The 2007 Horizon Report is now available. The 2007 edition is a collaboration between The New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE program. While the report focusses on the tertiary sector, the information is highly relevant to schools.
In the body of the report, each featured technology includes specific examples, but as the horizon moves farther out in time these tend to be more isolated. Their research indicates that each of these six areas will have significant impact on college and university campuses within the next five years.
- User-Created Content. It’s all about the audience, and the “audience” is no longer merely listening. User-created content is all around us, from blogs and photostreams to wikibooks and machinima clips.
- Social Networking. Social networking may represent a key way to increase student access to and participation in course activities. It is more than just a friends list; truly engaging social networking offers an opportunity to contribute, share, communicate, and collaborate.
- Mobile Phones. Mobile phones are fast becoming the gateway to our digital lives.
- Virtual Worlds. Customized settings that mirror the real world—or diverge wildly from it—present the chance to collaborate, explore, role-play, and experience other situations in a safe but compelling way. These spaces offer opportunities for education that are almost limitless, bound only by our ability to imagine and create them.
- The New Scholarship and Emerging Forms of Publication. The nature and practice of scholarship is changing. New tools and new ways to create, critique, and publish are influencing new and old scholars alike.
- Massively Multiplayer Educational Gaming. In the coming years, open-source gaming engines will lower the barrier to entry for developers, and we are likely to see educational titles along with commercial ones.
The report is worth a read!
To create the 2007 Horizon Report, the 27 members of this year’s Advisory Board engaged in a comprehensive review and analysis of research, articles, papers, and interviews; discussed existing applications, and brainstormed new ones; and
ultimately ranked the items on the list of candidate technologies for their potential relevance to teaching, learning, and creative expression. Most of this work
took place online in 2006, using a variety of tools, including a special wiki site and a set of del.icio.us links dedicated to the project. The del.icio.us tags are listed under the “Further Reading” section of each of the six topic areas, and readers are invited to view not only the resources that were listed in the report, but many others that were used in our research as well.
Readers are further encouraged to add their own examples and readings to these dynamic lists by tagging them for inclusion in each category.