The Horizon Report: 2009 K-12 Edition

Educause and the New Media Consortium have just released the K – 12 Edition of The Horizon Report. Horizon Reports always make for interesting reading, as they predict the time to adoption of many of the emerging technologies finding their way into the fabric of our teaching. Horizon reports usually have as their focus higher education institutions. This report has K – 12 education as its focus so their evaluation of likely adoption in Primary and Secondary education is especially interesting.

One of the very interesting observations they make in the findings is that assesment and filtering impact on the degree to which some technologies can be adopted in school settings. It’s the old story of assessment driving curriculum and affecting adoption of new ways of doing things. There is no doubt it is difficult assessing someone’s efforts commenting on blog posts or their participation in ning networks. And yet these are valid pursuits that can lead to real engagement in learning. Filtering is another issue; the unfortunate fact is that impressive tools like Voicethread and Ning are often classified as ‘social networks’ or ‘chatrooms’ and filtering software prevents them loading in some schools. I’ve had to go to my network administrators to have blocks removed and I’ve heard the same story from many other educators.  

So, what are the findings, what are the trends to watch?

Time to adoption – One year or less

  • Collaborative Environments
  • Online Communication Tools

Time to Adoption – Two to three years

Time to Adoption – Four to five years

I don’t know if I totally agree with their findings. I’d find it surprising to see Nings become mainstream in the next year within school settings, given that most of the educators I know stare at you blankly when you mention the word. Unless we some some major investment from Government to support  Professional Development for teachers in the field of new technologies, I just can’t see mainstream adoption in such a short time frame.

Take a read for yourself. It’s well worth downloading and showing to your school administration. Congratulations go to Judy O’Connell who served on the advisory board of the project.  

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8 Replies to “The Horizon Report: 2009 K-12 Edition”

  1. I get those same stares from staff when I mention the word Ning here in Montana. I even started a Ning for math teachers in our school to share with each other and it has been very slow to develop. Time constraints seem to be the primary obstacle that most teachers report when they don’t investigate new tech tools. (This seems odd to me, especially considering that it takes only a few minutes to create a ning, once you have the process down.) So, I agree…there is no way that Nings will be mainstream within a year…not in Montana anyway…and by the way, I still love reading your blog…

    1. Hey Jeff,
      Great to have you leave a comment. Really appreciate the kind words. Seems like we are of the same opinion from different corners of the world. Gotta love making connections – just wish those we teach with could see the benefits we do.

  2. Is the Horizon Report’s point about assessment that because it’s difficult to assess someone’s involvement in the technology (eg with Nings or blogs or whatever), then it’s an argument against introducing the technology or having it as a central part of our curriculum?
    If so, I’m wondering if this is to misunderstand the point of using these technologies. We don’t use them so that students can learn how to use them. We use them because they help our students learn whatever it is that are the central subjects and questions at the heart of our curriculum.
    So we don’t have to assess their use of the technologies. We just have to help them to use the technologies so that they learn the other stuff more deeply, more thoroughly, just like you are obviously doing with your ning and all the other wonderful stuff you do with your students.
    It’s their learning of the core stuff that we assess, not their computer use or competency.
    Jenny, I haven’t looked at the report so I may be completely missing the point here.

  3. I agree with you Jenny. Sometimes I feel that I speak another language and then I come across someone who will listen and I wonder if I wear them down with my conversation! I also become frustrated when web 2.0 tools are blocked within the system. My question is, ‘who are we protecting?’ or more to the point ‘who are we excluding?’ Thanks for the post. Great timing for my school.

    1. Toni, I hope that other educators like you find this report and share it with their school administrators and teaching staff. It will be eye opening for many I would think.

  4. I agree with you Jenny, I also found some of their findings interesting to say the least. In particular,
    after reading the K12 Horizon report I believe that the New Media Consortium is very optimistic in its time-to-adoption for mobile devices. Mobiles are indeed ubiquitous in students lives, but web browsing and the ability to access the internet on these devices is still ridiculously expensive in Australia, and outside the financial reach of most K12 students. Coming from a region of moderate to low socio-economic status, it also assumes that students will have the latest multi-touch, GPS capable iPhone-like device. 2 to 3 years? Perhaps internationally or in more wealthy families but not for those coming from less economically privileged backgrounds IMO….

    1. Thanks for sharing your opinion here Adrian. I’m very interested in learning more about mobile technologies. I’m figuring I need to get me an iphone so that I can get myself up to speed. Perhaps school should fund that for me! Considering that I was talking to an educator today who was telling me that in the Northern Territory they are looking at blanket bans on mobile technologies in schools because of cyberbullying issues, it could indeed be optimistic.

  5. @steve The report is not suggesting that the technologies shouldn’t be adopted, far from it. It is suggesting their adoption is difficult in some school settings because of the constraints of assessment and filtering policies. Take a read -you’ll derive much from it.

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