The report highlights 6 trends, 6 challenges and 6 emerging technologies that are predicted to have short-term, mid-term and long-term impact on higher education. In this post, I’ll highlight the trends identified in the report and add a little commentary of my own.
If you are an edtech practitioner, I suggest that you download this free report.
Ubiquitous Social Media
This short term trend is predicted to impact higher ed in the short term, 1-2 year window.
Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, and Reddit are tremendously popular destinations on the web. The report indicates that 40% of the world’s population regularly use social media to share and catalogue media, ideas, reflections and news.
Of significant interest to educators is the utility of these tools to enable less than formal two-way communication outside (or inside, for the brave) of the classroom. This interaction helps to build relationships ad communities of learning that include and also extend beyond the classroom or LMS.
All is not rosy, however. There have been several high-profile examples of cyber-bullying leading to tragic ends, incidents which should not be ignored as they likely represent the tip of a large iceberg.
Further issues arise when student privacy and data security are considered, especially for institutions not located in the US who wish to use social media tools hosted on servers that are located in the US and are therefore subject to scrutiny under the Patriot Act.
For good or evil, social media is a powerful force in modern universities. Higher ed administrators, faculty and marketing staff would be well-served by developing intentional presences in social media.
2014 Horizon Report by Colin Madland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.