Horizon Report 2008 the emergence of mobile broadband and social operating systems

Once again the New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative consider key emerging technologies in their annual Horizon Report.

Predictions include the increasing use of mobile broadband. The report estimates that over the next two to three years :

“Mobile broadband, fully-featured internet, touch screen interfaces, remotely upgradable software, and high-quality displays will become as common as cameras are today”.

Also highlighted is the emergence of innovative data mash-ups which

“Help us reach new conclusions or discern new relationships by uniting large amounts of data in a manageable way”

On the further horizon (four to five years) are developments in collective intellenge and social operating systems which will further harness the power of the crowd:

“The first social
operating system tools, only just emerging now, understand who we know, how we know them, and how deep
our relationships actually are.”

This report also contains a look back at the last 5 years and reflects on how accurate their predictions have been. Seven metatrends are identified:

“These seven metatrends include the evolving
approaches to communication between humans
and machines; the collective sharing and generation
of knowledge; computing in three dimensions;
connecting people via the network; games as
pedagogical platforms; the shifting of content
production to users; and the evolution of a ubiquitous
platform.”

My Space – study group glue?

In the latest issue of the ALT newsletter Mike Thelwall looks at students’ use of social networking sites and considers how students are using these sites. He observes that while students may not be using My Space to hold academic discussions, many are using social networking for “organising their offline meetings and group work”.

Mike discusses ways in which tutors could encourage students to use social networking sites to create online study groups for their courses.