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Technologies To Watch

NEAR-TERM HORIZON (WITHIN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS)

Cloud computing: More schools are employing cloud computing solutions all the time. What still remains to be developed is the capacity for the cloud to help students engage in real research and participate in global learning communities.

Collaborative environments: Whatever tools are chosen, collaborative environments give students tremendous opportunities to interact with peers and mentors, experience other worldviews, and model the kinds of work patterns that take place in an increasing number of professions.

SECOND ADOPTION HORIZON (2–3 YEARS OUT)

Game-based learning: Interest in game-based learning has grown in recent years as research continues to demonstrate its effectiveness for learning. Games for education span the range from single-player or small-group card and board games all the way to massively multiplayer online games and alternate-reality games. For a variety of reasons, the realization of this potential is still two to three years away.

Mobility: The story of mobiles is no longer about the devices themselves but about the blurring of the boundary between the cellular networks and the Internet. Mobiles represent an untapped resource for reaching students and for bridging the gap between the learning that happens in school and out in the world.

FAR-TERM HORIZON (4–5 YEARS AWAY)

Augmented reality: Augmented reality (AR) has become something anyone can use, thanks to the convergence of three technologies — GPS, video, and pattern recognition — and the applications seem endless. Combined with mobile technology, AR becomes a portable tool for discoverybased learning.

Flexible displays: Flexible displays are seen as an important enabling technology in development. Touchbased interfaces and flexible displays are converging in interesting ways; though applications for schools are still several years away, we can expect to see integrated interactive displays becoming part of many common objects in the not-so-distant future.

SOURCE: COSN’S HORIZON REPORT, PART 2. FOR A FULL REPORT, VISIT WWW.COSN.ORG/HORIZON/

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