Friday, February 3, 2012

Where technology is going - and what skills we need to get there

I always look forward to the Horizon Report about emerging technologies in education, and this year there's an early communiqué to mark the 10th year of the project.  As libraries are reinventing themselves, labs are disappearing, BYOD is becoming the way of the future and everything is going mobile, the question that is being asked is this:  What will be the role of technology in the next decade, and what should schools be doing now to prepare for this?  The Horizon Report aims to identify the trends that are about to impact education in ALL countries.  Here are a few of them:

  • Work is becoming global and collaborative - work teams span continents and time zones and are culturally diverse.
  • People own more than one device so expect to be able to work, learn and socialize seamlessly across all devices.
  • The internet is becoming a global mobile network - 85% of new devices can access the mobile web.
  • Technologies are cloud-based with almost infinite capacity and are often free of cost.
  • Openness is valued - but at the same time we need to find ways of validating information and media.
  • With our information and digital content in the cloud, the concept of ownership is becoming blurry - legal notions of privacy lag behind common practice.
I'm interested to see what the Horizon Report, when it comes out, identifies as the way these trends will impact on education.  Today I was also reading about the tech skills that all students should have, for now and for the future.  These include being able to use advanced search for information, a knowledge of how to create documents and presentations, knowing how to search for help, typing skills, knowing how to use social media, netiquette, knowing how to stay safe and secure, basic troubleshooting, knowing how to back up your data and knowing how to find and evaluate apps and software.

Photo Credit:  Globe by Judy van der Velden AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works

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