Monday, January 28, 2008

Horizon report

The latest Horizon report is out, sponsored by the New Media Consortium and Educause. This report annually identifies technology-led trends and challenges. One of the key challenges identified is as follows:
"The academy is faced with a need to provide formal instruction in information, visual, and technological literacy as well as in how to create meaningful content with today’s tools. Webbased tools are rapidly becoming the standard, both in education and in the workplace. Technologically mediated communication is the norm. Fluency in information, visual, and technological literacy is of vital importance, yet these literacies are not formally taught to most students. We need new and expanded definitions of these literacies that are based on mastering underlying concepts rather than on specialized skill sets, and we need to develop and establish methods for teaching and evaluating these critical literacies at all levels of education. The challenge is to develop curricula and assessment rubrics that address not only traditional capabilities like developing an argument over the course of a long paper, but also how to apply those competencies to other forms of communication such as short digital videos, blogs, or photo essays."

In fact there are already definitions of information literacy that encompass this broader perspective, the CILIP definition as well as the one by me and Bill Johnston, but I suppose, particularly in the USA, it's the ACRL standards - which are very focused on special skill sets - that dominate. However, still good to see information literacy plainly. (Actually I also still think arguments over the course of a long paper are the bigger challenge than writing blog posts!)

The report identifies 6 technologies that "will significantly impact the choices of learning-focused organizations within the next five years, namely: Grassroots Video; Collaboration Webs. (e.g. edit group documents, hold online meetings, swap information and data); Mobile Broadband; Data Mashups; Collective Intelligence. "In the coming years, we will see educational applications for both explicit collective intelligence ... and implicit collective intelligence, or data gathered from the repeated activities of numbers of people.; Social Operating Systems. "The essential ingredient of next generation social networking, social operating systems, is that they will base the organization of the network around people, rather than around content." They give descriptions and examples of each.
New Media Consortium and Educause Learning Initiative. (2008) The Horizon report: 2008 edition. NMC.

Photo by Sheila Webber: My shop (selling photos) in Second Life. Well, it's sort of Web 2.0. The New Media Consortium also has a very strong presence in SL.

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