2010 Horizon Report Preview

Having recently read the 2010 Horizon Report Preview we decided to publish our response to some of the points it made.

This report preview is divided into five sections, the first three of which cover a range of different time-to-adoption horizons.

Within the One Year or Less section there are two areas which generate strongly different repsonses from us.

Tools for study, productivity, task management, and more have become integrated into a single device that we grab along with car keys and wallet … It is easier than ever before to remain connected anytime and anywhere.

As far as Mobile Computing is concerned, we very much agree with the report. We do not, however, share the same optimism for the adoption-time of Open Content.

Open content is a growing movement that focuses on sharing and reusability and thrives on the ready availability of a wide range of educational content.

There are currently so few institutions actively engaging with the production and use of open content that we do not feel the necessary amount of education content will be available within such a short time frame as One Year or Less to make Open Content mainstream.

As a result, the role of the teacher is undergoing a slow but definite change, from the guardian and dispenser of knowledge to the guide and coach for learners faced with an overabundance of resources.

Whilst we agree that the role of teachers will have to change, transitioning from ‘guardian[s] and dispenser[s] of knowledge’ to ‘guide[s] and coach[es] for learners’, we are not confident of this happening quickly.

The nature of education is such that academics are already starting to move from guardians of knowledge to guides and coaches for learners but without further development of this culture the adoption of open content will be seriously impacted.

the open content movement depends on a community of contributors and users who are willing to create and release high-quality educational content in a variety of media at little to no cost

One question worth considering is that once our teachers become guides and coaches rather than fountains of knowledge, who will be the authors of new educational open content? Will there be a wider academic divide between those that teach and those that research? Where is the incentive for research academics to publish open content in a format that is suitable for new undergraduate learners?

On the flipside can universities afford not to publish their resources as open content? Will HE recognition rely on the resources produced as much as the quality of teaching and research and peer reviewed publishing?

Open Content is a threat to the traditional journal publishing model, so how will journals react? With the upcoming REF to be partially based on citation metrics, is this a good time for Universities to be challenging the publishing establishment?

We seem to have more questions than answers, so we leave it to you the reader to answer for us. Comment below!