Before today, I had never heard of either the New Media Consortium or its Horizon Report series, but as a lover of technology, I am now very interested in the publications that this organization offers. Overall, I found the NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition useful, but I did not agree with all its assessments on the so-called educational tools of the future. For example, I do not see a place for game-based learning in higher educational settings in the near future. The kinds of games that students want to play are not those that would likely be manufactured by educational gaming companies. Games have remained in the consumer-driven sphere for this reason, and for games to become both exciting and educational would require amounts of effort, time, and money that most companies are not willing to expend. I do, however, agree that mobile apps are certainly on the near-term horizon. I have already used my smartphone in several of my classes. In EDIT 2000, I used the SCVNGR app to participate in a scavenger hunt in Aderhold. Also, in one of my English classes, I used the TurningPoint app in place of a physical clicker device.

The third significant challenge in the Horizon Report–that institutions undervalue digital media literacy–resonates with me. Last semester, I took a class in the English Department called Writing for the Web that also could have been called “Writing and Digital Media.” We discussed this issue several times, and I suggested that one day, all K-12 school systems will need to begin teaching digital media skills consistently from any early age. I think the wide implementation of such courses is inevitable, but the sooner that school systems realize this need, the better for educators and, as consequently, students living in a digital age. Also, I think the members of the Horizon Report advisory board were wise in ranking economic issues as the number one barrier to technology adoption. Even when scholars and educators have great ideas about using technology in the classroom, a lack of money often curtails the reality of imagination. I hope that in the future, more funding will become available for educational technology projects, as the successes of these can greatly influence the success of students.

Advertisements