Revisiting the Horizon


Report that is!  It has been a few years since we reviewed the Horizon Report and I thought it would be a good time to double back take a look at the predictions from 2010 and continue forward to the Horizon Report 2012.

Just as a recap, The Horizon Report is published each year as a joint publication  of the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI). This report seeks to identify the six technologies that have the greatest potential to impact education over the next five years.  The report is broken down into three technology horizons: Near-term (within the next year), Middle (within 2-3 years), and Far-term (within 4-5 years).  Two technologies that have the potential to change the way we are currently teaching, learning and researching are identified for each of these horizons.

Revisiting the 2010 Horizon

Within the next year: The Near-Term (The Past ~2011)

Mobile Computing and Open Content

Within the next 2-3 years: What’s just around the corner? (The present ~2012-2013)

Electronic Books and Simple Augmented Reality

I wanted to start here with those things that according to the 2010 Horizon Report should be here.  I think we can say with confidence that all four of these technologies have come quite a ways in the education sector.  Mobile computing has taken off with the widespread adoption of smart-phones and tablets, books are now often offered in both bound and electronic format, and electronic content is being shared at an unprecedented rate over the Internet.  Out of these four technologies I think we have yet to see the full power of simple augmented reality in the field of education.  In the simple form, Augmented Reality has been adopted much more readily into the museum culture than the university culture.  However, I would not count Augmented Reality out yet.  As mobile computing grows and tablets become more powerful this field is likely to continue growing.

Within the next 4-5 years: The Far-Term (Still the Future ~2014-2015)

Gesture Based Computing and Visual Data Analysis 

 Now to things that in 2010 the Horizon Report predicted to be in the far term.  It is interesting to note that gesture based computing shows up again in the far term on this year’s Horizon report, indicating that the field appears to be growing slower than originally projected. Visual data analysis however does not re-appear.  This does not mean that visual data analysis is off the horizon it just didn’t make this year’s predictions.

Whats on the Horizon for 2012? Check back in in a few weeks to find out!


2010 Horizon Report Johnson, Laurence F., Levine, Alan, Smith, Rachel S. and Stone, Sonja. 2010 Horizon Report. Austin, TX: The New Media Consortium, 2010.

2012 Horizon Report Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012). The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium, 2012.

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