What’s On The Horizon?

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Solitude

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Solitude

The Horizon Report 2009 K-12 edition was released earlier this month, and I’ve been doing my best to wade through the wealth of information provided. This particular report highlights six emerging technologies that will significantly impact education over the next five years. The report identifies and discusses what should be implemented over the next year, two to three years, and over four to five years from now. This is certainly not an attempt to review the entire Horizon report, but I did feel quite positive regarding where we are in our district on this continuum. For this particular post, I only wanted to focus on what is most immediately in front of us and that is what should be implemented in the next year or less.

According to the report, that should be collaborative environments and online communication tools. Overall, I would say teachers in my district have definitely lead the way for our students to be involved in some form of collaborative environment. We currently have our own district Google domain which allows all high school and middle school teachers/students to use Google Docs and Google Calendars. In addition to our Google domain, we also have a Moodle server. Many teachers have taken advantage of these opportunities both for their own professional use and with students. Our high school teachers and students will also soon have the use of school email via Gaggle accounts. These have been fantastic additions for our teachers and students! Our elementary teachers also do a fabulous job of using collaborative environments such as VoiceThread, iChat, and Skype. Students have been involved in both nation-wide and collaborative projects using these tools. Another amazing chance for our students!

When I look at the Horizon report’s projection of schools providing collaborative environments and online collaboration tools, I am tremendously pleased to know that we are already there. So what’s on the horizon? It’s a good thing we are a bit ahead of the curve because we’re going to need it for the next emerging technology trend to be understood, accepted, and put into practice…mobile devices and cloud computing. Of course, the way technology moves today anything is possible in the next two to three years! Onto the next…

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