Research Question 2: What key technologies are missing from our list?

Instructions: Please use these prompts to help you consider what might need to be added to the current list of Horizon Topics. Add your thoughts as bullet points below, using a new bullet point for each new technology or topic. Please add your comments to previous entries if you agree or disagree.
a. What would you list among the established technologies that some educational institutions are using today that arguably ALL institutions should using broadly to support or enhance teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?
b. What technologies that have a solid user base in consumer, entertainment, or other industries should educational institutions be actively looking for ways to apply?
c. What are the key emerging technologies you see developing to the point that learning-focused institutions should begin to take notice during the next 4 to 5 years?

Each new topic entry must include a title, a description similar to the ones that are written now, and, if needed, a rationale as to why it is different from any of the existing topics. The Horizon Project research team will investigate each nomination entered here to see if it meets the criteria set for new topics (eg., that the topic represents a "real" technology, as opposed to a concept, a new idea, or a proposal; that it is sufficiently developed that research, projects, and information about it exists; and that it has a demonstrable link, or strong potential link, to education).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking them with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples.

Moved into RQ1 for voting
  • Bibliometrics/Altmetrics. Impact factors have a decisive role to evaluate and validate a researcher's work. But how do we determine the impact factor? There are alternative ways and methods to determine the impact factor of a researcher, like altmetrics. - rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Nov 28, 2012
  • Big Data mentioned in learning analytics. According to IBM we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every dat, 90% of the data in the workd today was created in the last 2 years.- DaveP DaveP Dec 2, 2012- Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Dec 2, 2012 Agree - inexpensive or free Big Data tools are coming into primetime use. - rubenrp rubenrp Dec 3, 2012
  • Content Curation: as defined by the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative: "An emerging class of online tools, including Pinterest,, EduClipper, and others, allows users to quickly and easily gather, organize, and share collections of online resources, particularly visual content.These applications make it easy to collect and post disparate bits of content, providing visual groupings at a glance that can reveal important patterns. In academic settings, they can facilitate more visual thinking and discussion among students while providing a means to share collections of online content." - jochen.robes jochen.robes Nov 30, 2012 This makes me think of personal learning environments with the students own curated content - Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Dec 2, 2012Evernote is a great tool that can integrate web content as well as personal notes, scanned images, pictures etc.- lisa.koster lisa.koster Dec 2, 2012 agreed. - lauren.pressley lauren.pressley Dec 2, 2012 Indeed. - Melissa.Langdon Melissa.Langdon Dec 2, 2012
  • Flexible Displays. The rollout of Samsung's OLED flexible screen technology heralds a new era for computing device manufacturers ( This technology further promises to be "lightweight, rugged and unbreakable" ( Although Apple hasn't released flexible screen devices, it appears that there are plans for them to do so ( Moreover, prototypes for "epaper" flexible screen technologies are now available ( ( and hold the potential to help not only ebook manufacturers reinvent and rethink the construction of readers--but also tablet manufacturers as well. The notion of the tablet and ebook are already converging, and flexible screens may further move that convergence along. In addition to the portability aspect, the implications for flexible screens for classroom applications are profound. Interactive surfaces needn't be limited to large, specially made table-top computing devices. Flexible screens could be integrated into furniture designs in ways that are "smart" and in ways that can be made to accept wireless display signals, such as from a teacher's station.- jasonr jasonr Nov 28, 2012 - rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Nov 28, 2012 Very interesting - lisa.koster lisa.koster Nov 28, 2012 - damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Nov 29, 2012 - helga helga Nov 30, 2012 1354473400Agreed ( - Dougdar Dougdar Dec 3, 2012 Very Interesting and agreed - paul.hollins paul.hollins Dec 3, 2012I agree that new display technologies will have a major impact in classroom design with next 3-5 years. Possibly furniture too.- paul.turner paul.turner Dec 3, 2012
  • Li-Fi - High speed optical wireless communication damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Nov 29, 2012 OMG wow! That was really incredible--transmitting the video stream as light data was impressive. The applications for this, especially in closed environments (re: classrooms) is pretty spectacular. Since data only goes where light goes in this case, we're not talking a replacement for WiMax, but it could allow for classrooms to share a massively high speed internal network, without the need to traverse campus wifi. And, it could be the mechanism by which smart objects are able to stay "smart" without needing wifi or 3G access- jasonr jasonr Nov 29, 2012This is really impressive...WOW.- lisa.koster lisa.koster Dec 2, 2012
  • Low-cost EEG devicesThe Emotiv headset and other low cost EEG systems are showing increasing application to education - j.zagami j.zagami Nov 30, 2012, and detail the application, while gives specific example to game based education, and the Emotiv website lists some research studies
  • Machine Generated Content - A good teacher can take almost any topic and turn it into a lesson. The problem is, it's a slow process and it cannot be easily customized for personalized learning. Therefore it is likely that as computers begin to understand more about the content on the Internet, they will be able to create lessons based on that content. This will allow for true personalized learning and most likely will open up the floodgates to open source lessons because then the cost to create a lesson will drop to almost zero.See this story about machine written sport stories. Are Sportswriters Really Necessary?- andrew.barras andrew.barras Dec 2, 2012
  • Smart Classrooms: Was actually sorry to see that the Smart Classroomstopic didn't carry over from the 2011 wiki discussions since it's a fascinating model that is in action in some of the more creative workplace learning and performance efforts I've seen in the corporate training world and seems as if it could expand the reach of academic learning in ways that connect learning to the tools our students are currently using. Hope this stays on the long-term horizon so we don't miss any opportunities we have to incorporate this into our continuing efforts to best serve those relying on us for learning that connects us to learners where they are, when they are available.- paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Dec 2, 2012 I am not sure if we are talking about the same thing but active learning classrooms are going to be huge in the short to medium term. - glenda.morgan glenda.morgan Dec 2, 2012 Agree with Glenda .. I wonder if 'smart classrooms' come in later on with these e.g. projection on glass walls, screens, devices of live/real-time learning analytics data for classes/groups and individuals (see A Day of Glass 2 Explained) - Nick Nick Dec 2, 2012
  • Social Learning Centers/The New Fourth Place: This one is extremely personal since a few colleagues and I came up with this twist on Ray Oldenburg's Third Place (from The Great Good Place) during an open online discussion, in August 2010, about what attracts learners to libraries--and continues to evolve to include a wide variety of options and locations. (No reason to think this couldn't be a component of formal academic learning in which faculty and teaching assistants could facilitate interactions in the social learning centers while also encouraging learners to play leadership roles in those centers.) The idea of a new Fourth Place is rooted in the idea that we need to provide onsite and online spaces that are flexible, available at the learner's moment of need, and have a social component that builds upon current ideas and practices about social learning. Our most recent experiment with the concept had us forming a temporary blended (onsite-online) social learning space as part of our presentations for directors of libraries in Virginia; we were onsite with the directors, connected them with offsite participants via a Twitter feed, and further connected everyone within the room through the use of their own mobile devices to demonstrate how easily learning opportunities and interactions could seamlessly move back and forth between onsite and offsite participants. One immediate payoff is that a participant captured the entire Twitter feed via Storifyso that the transcript became a learner-created learning object accessible to anyone who wanted to return to what was accomplished. (An aside: New Media Consortium Director of Communications Samantha Adams Becker and I have also successfully played with this model in the context of two learning sessions with members of American Society for Training & Development--ASTD--Chapters by using Google+ Hangouts to connect Sam from her home in New Orleans to the learners in meeting rooms in the San Francisco Bay Area. Both sessions were extremely well-received by the learners and are helping to plant ideas among these workplace learning and performance--staff training--professionals as to how they can engage and support their own learners to produce positive, sustainable results.)- paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Dec 2, 2012 Technology ? - paul.hollins paul.hollins Dec 3, 2012
  • Users as App Developers- We seem to be moving into an era where end-users may increasingly be app developers. There seems to be a lot of activity, especially in the mobile sphere. This is a long-term technology development (3-5 years) but it's already happening. Not sure this is covered under "Mobile Apps" or not. - tom.haymes tom.haymes Dec 2, 2012 ... Also there are now several sites for DIY app creation without need to code, e.g. . - richard.holeton richard.holeton Dec 2, 2012 We might even think that in the next few years users will be developers of mashups as easily building a blog, feeding both apps and social web. - Dec 3, 2012Agreed that this is an important trend that I think is accelerating. Faculty and students are starting to view themselves as content/app developers not just content consumers.- paul.turner paul.turner Dec 3, 2012 ELI wrote a 7 Things brief on this topic - drvdiaz drvdiaz Dec 3, 2012 Also, some tools like Apple's iBooks Author - - coupled to HTML5 visual authoring tools are erasing the boundaries between the digital book and the mobile app, with users as creators. - rubenrp rubenrp Dec 3, 2012

Added to existing topics
  • Accreditation: new ways of issuing credentials which include experience and life long learning: Only Open Badges is mentioned but it's a more encompassing subject - there are other initiatives like OERU, degreed (mentioned it under Trends) - bdieu bdieu Dec 1, 2012 yeah I agree, I tied to add that to the open badges discussion - glenda.morgan glenda.morgan Dec 2, 2012 especially in light of MOOCs - lauren.pressley lauren.pressley Dec 2, 2012 Ed: Added to Open Badges.
  • Teaching approaches and models that support multiple realities: physical space and virtual space is converging where the boundaries do not have to be so defined. While courses have combined for some time video conferencing rooms with a physical classroom and the faculty. We now have the capability of connecting desktop cameras, mobile devices, virtual worlds and physical spaces into one course. How does one build the interactions into meaningful immersion into a cohesive learning environment? Building teams and creative assignments will be an interesting but important step into the future of anywhere on any device education.- paulette.robinson paulette.robinson Dec 2, 2012 Is this augmented reality? - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Dec 2, 2012 I once spoke to a teacher who's class was "in class" as well as live streamed. Students had one of 3 choices; come to class, watch live over the Internet or watch the recorded lecture. The attendance was approx 1/3 - 1/3 - 1/3. It worked well and was successful. However, the one thing to note - it wasn't a first year class (3rd year).- lisa.koster lisa.koster Dec 2, 2012 Ed: Added to Flipped Classroom.

Moved to other Research Questions
  • Convergence of technologies: I am struck with the convergence of several of the technologies on the list forming increasing capabilities for the future. It would be interesting to have a list that everyone adds to where these technologies have converged. For example. personal learning networks, internet of things and learner analytics. OR virtual worlds, games, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and information visualization. paulette.robinsonToday 2:09 pm This is very interesting. I found many of the technologies discussed were not independent of each other as perhaps listed. Many of them overlap. lisa.koster Today 7:28 pm -- this point arises fairly consistently in our work as people assume that our topic lists are independent. They are not independent, and that is a strength as we see it. We constantly see things merge and converge in the Horizon Project, and topics shift from research cycle to research cycle to reflect that. Many topics do indeed overlap, but we see value in maintain language to talk about them separately. Mobile overlaps with games, for example, but both have features the other does not that uniquely allow us to talk about separately, and also about how they overlap. - Larry Larry Dec 2, 2012 Agreed. - Melissa.Langdon Melissa.Langdon Dec 2, 2012 Ed: Moving this the RQ4- Challenges.
  • Google Glass. [[#|Glasses]] serving as a display for information and augmented reality will come to market in 2013 and they will have a strong impact on teaching - and especially examinations... Head-worn displays for augmented reality are not a new idea, but they got strong support by the Google project. - rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Nov 28, 2012 [Editor's note: Important idea! This fits with augmented reality and wearable computing, so I am moving your insights over to both those topics in RQ 1]- Sam Sam Nov 30, 2012Absolutely agree that this should be one we're exploring.- paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Dec 2, 2012 Very important! - Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Dec 2, 2012- lisa.koster lisa.koster Dec 2, 2012 Don't forget that augmented reality is not just about the user getting extra data about the world, it's also about the computer driving it being able to understand and contextualize what the user is seeing. This leads to the Internet of Things and other innovations. - andrew.barras andrew.barras Dec 2, 2012
  • Wireless/mobile teaching: Apple's introduction of airplay and the proliferation of wireless devices has led to the possibility of radically rethinking the role of technology in the traditional classroom. For almost 30 years we have thought of technology classrooms in the context of big, inflexible computer labs. Now we can liberate teaching from wires and go back to an environment where furniture can be moved and the teacher and students are free to move about the learning space. This is a throwback to more traditional teaching spaces - even going back to campfire - and will dramatically reshape what we can do. Instead of technology being the centerpiece of a learning space it is supplanted by the human teaching element and merely serves to augment our capabilities in the classroom (now if we can just get the publishers to stop using Flash...). - tom.haymes tom.haymes Nov 29, 2012 [Editor's Note: Great insights! This reads more like a trend, so we are moving it to RQ 3.] - Sam Sam Nov 30, 2012When other devices can start using Airplay or similar technology, students can begin to share content without having to move from their seat - lisa.koster lisa.koster Dec 2, 2012

Dropped for Editorial Reasons
  • Carbon Transistors - Power efficient tiny RAM built from Carbon 60,16320.html - damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Nov 29, 2012 [Ed: Relevance for education is not evident.]
  • On-Demand (self-paced learning):This online learning option allows students to work independently at their own pace. There may be an instructor to help facilitate, but for the most part the course is completed independently by the student. is self-paced and interactive. Participants of on-demand courses may receive credits toward boosting GPA or meet requirements for a degree program. Additionally, there are more opportunities throughout the year to take this type of course.- melissa.burgess melissa.burgess Dec 1, 2012 -- Is this idea really new? many would say this model has been around for decades. - Larry Larry Dec 2, 2012 [Ed: This is not really a technology nor a technologically based approach.]