The 2007 Horizon Report has just been published, detailing the latest trends in educational technology, and how far they are to mainstream adoption. This year, technologies have been classified under the following headings:
- User-created content
- Social Networking
- Mobile Phones
- Virtual Worlds
- The News Scholarship and Emerging Forms of Publication
- Massively Multiplayer Educational Gaming
The first three items (closest on the horizon, according to the report, with a “horizon” of three years or less) have strong links into mobile learning:
- Mobile devices are often used to create content. Cellphones, PDAs, and audio recorders are convenient, portable, and often quality devices for capturing photographs, video, or audio recordings, which can be used for learning and assessment. Content can be stored and edited on mobile devices, or, increasingly uploaded to the web – to (mo)blogs, image-sharing services like Flickr, email accounts or discussion boards.
- Mobile devices are also becoming increasingly social, with considerable integration with “web 2.0” tools such as blogs or image-sharing sites, and the ability to read RSS feeds, instant-message peers, and interact with maps.
- Mobile phones provide a personal device on which educational resources including video, podcasts, lecture recordings, and photographs can be both created and stored for later review. The Horizon report provides a number of examples of the use of mobile phones in educational contexts.
All of this points to the increasing relevance of mobile learning, as mobile devices become increasingly integrated into the very fabric of our everyday educational technologies.