2010 ANZ Short List

2010 ANZ Horizon Report Short List pdf

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

Key Trends

Critical Challenges


Key Trends


As digital learning resources are increasingly accepted by students, institutions are considering replacing print resources with more cost-effective options. The ready availability of a variety of electronic readers and a wider acceptance of digital study materials may open the door to solutions that replace print materials with digital ones. Traditional distance education providers in particular may find value in reducing printing and shipping costs. In the context of the current financial crisis, this response may provide additional stimulus for tipping the paradigm from print-heavy formats to digital versions.

As the availability and use of electronic books continue to grow, the traditional publishing (and textbook) market is undergoing a profound and lasting change. Just as the music industry has already discovered, consumers appreciate the ability to purchase raw content formatted for devices of their choice. The content of books is becoming a commodity separate from the form of those books and from the device used to access them. This shift is a dramatic one for an industry long accustomed to attaching value to the container and defining ownership in terms of possession of an object; electronic books are about the content, not about the hardware. Consumers expect to see digital book content divorced from hardware and offered cheaply, conveniently, and in flexible and sharable formats.

The availability of educational content for mobile devices is increasing as more providers develop for these platforms. As e-books and e-readers move into the mainstream, it is natural that educational content providers will be offering more and more content aimed at these devices. These "texts" can easily contain a wealth of dynamic multimedia, and students can buy or rent entire textbooks or just chapters and selections as needed. Annotation features, now emerging on a wider range of platforms, will allow easy recording and sharing of notes and commentary. As the rate of change and growth of information accelerate, keeping paper-based resources up to date can become an ever more daunting task. Easily-updateable electronic content ameliorates this issue as well as provides a means to deliver richer, nonlinear materials to support study.

Devices like Apple's iPad are filling a niche that is neither "big smart phone" nor "small laptop." As people use devices like the iPad, discover new applications for them, and talk about what they are doing, it is becoming clear that these are neither oversized phones nor small-scale laptops. Instead, they represent a new class of devices that perhaps were not even missed until they became available. Day by day they gain a footing in education, the health industry, and other sectors as useful tools for learning and serious work. More than that, they are redefining what a portable device is, at a fundamental level. The opportunities for teaching have not yet been fully explored, but the capabilities of these devices -- the apps they can run, the media they can display, the creative acts they support, and their easy portability -- point to a host of potential uses in the classroom.

More and more, teachers are adopting social media as a classroom resource. Students already inhabit social spaces, and many teachers are involved in professional or interest-based social communities. Social media are being hailed as essential to a 21st-century education, used as a source for research and other scholarly work, providing a way for students to connect and communicate as part of their lessons, and even being employed in the service of classroom instruction by many professors. Four-fifths of professors use social media in their personal or professional lives, and an increasing number are seeing the value of social media as a tool for teaching and learning.

Social and open forms of peer review and scholarship are gradually gaining acceptance. As younger professors enter the ranks of academia and as new forms of online publishing gradually gain traction, long-established traditions such as peer review may come under closer examination. New technologies and approaches are emerging that may challenge certain elements of scholarship. Though not a new trend, this tendency may accelerate under the impetus of younger faculty and ready availability of alternatives to traditional scholarly processes.

There is an increasing emphasis on student retention, attribution and completion rates. As this pressure increases, institutions may seek technological solutions to identify at-risk students, provide appropriate early interventions, and screen students who are not likely to succeed. Systems that draw on data warehouses to consolidate and present information on student progress are emerging that may assist with these determinations.

The way we think about learning environments is changing. Because technology is so pervasive in our lives, the learning environment is no longer limited to a physical space. Today, the notion of a “classroom” includes experiences, experts, collaborators, peers, and resources located all over the globe and available twenty-four hours a day. To take advantage of this trend, institutions must reflect and support the transformation of the learning environment by embracing the means that make it possible: social networking tools, semantic applications, mobile devices, virtual worlds, and other emerging technologies that facilitate collaboration, communication, and learning.