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Cover of the 2010 Horizon ReportReleased mid-January, the seventh annual Horizon Report continues the work of the New Media Consortium’s (NMC) Horizon Project. The Horizon Project was established in 2002 to identify and describe emerging technologies potentially influential to higher education. The series of reports are a collaborative effort between NMC and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI).

The research in the 2010 Horizon Report is a valuable resource to the California Community Colleges system, which often serves as a statewide and national leader in the implementation of new educational practices and technology trends. The report looks at three trend “horizons” at different stages in a five year span, allowing educators and administrators to plan for the future needs of their students, faculty and institutions.

The 2010 Horizon Report was created to make certain the information on emerging technology trends is current and relevant.

The report is available, free of charge, through a Creative Commons license. To download a copy of the report, visit

NMC is an international not-for-profit consortium of learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies. The consortium's Horizon Reports are regarded worldwide as the most timely and authoritative sources of information on new and emerging technologies available to education anywhere.

ELI, is a community of institutions, organizations and corporations committed to advancing learning through IT innovation. ELI achieves this mission through a strategic focus on learners, learning principles and practices, and learning technologies. <>

Highlights from the 2010 Horizon Report:

Key Trends

  • The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators in sense-making, coaching and credentialing.
  • People expect to be able to work, learn and study whenever and wherever they want to.
  • The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized.
  • The work of students is increasingly seen as collaborative by nature, and there is more cross campus collaboration between departments.

Critical Challenges

  • The role of the academy -- and the way we prepare students for their future lives -- is changing.
  • New scholarly forms of authoring, publishing and researching continue to emerge but appropriate metrics for evaluating them increasingly and far too often lag behind.
  • Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession.
  • Institutions increasingly focus more narrowly on key goals, as a result of shrinking budgets in the present economic climate.

Technologies to Watch

  • On the near-term horizon (next 12 months): Mobile Computing, Open Content
  • On the second adoption horizon (next two to three years): Electronic Books, Simple Augmented Reality
  • On the far-term horizon (next four to five years): Gesture-based Computing, Visual Data Analysis

More information about EDUCAUSE is available from

Jen Gednalske is a CCC Technology Center and California Virtual Campus Project Manager
and a TechEDge Editor.