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Tech Trends on the Horizon

After three full days of sessions, workshops, discussion, speakers, and meetings, this year's ISTE conference is now coming to a close. But before we all head to the airport to be shuttled back to our respective cities, there are still quite a few interesting sessions and keynote speakers to check out.

This morning, I attended a jam-packed session about the release of the K-12 edition of the 2012 Horizon Report, released by the New Media Consortium, as well as the corresponding toolkit, created and distributed by the Consortium for School Networking.

Although the report was released to media over a month ago, many folks are checking it out for the first time here. This is the fourth annual K-12 edition of the Horizon Report, which aims to provide a timeline for new and emerging technologies in the education space. This year's report, for example, predicts that mobiles and apps, as well as tablet computing, will be in place in most schools in one year or less. On the two to three year horizon are game-based learning and personalized learning environments. And in four to five years, we can expect an emphasis on augmented reality and natural user interfaces, the report says.

To find out more details about all of those trends, educators are encouraged to check out the brand-new toolkit, which provides video overviews of all of the emerging trends designed to help educate school board members, administrators, and other educators about how those technologies can be used in the classroom. In addition, the toolkit provides a variety of activities to help educators better understand and reflect on emerging technologies.

The Horizon Report has been a valuable resource for us here at Education Week, and I strongly encourage those interested in ed-tech to check it out. In addition to laying out the landscape around each of the emerging trends, the report provides specific examples of the technologies in practice and resources to find out more about them. The folks at the New Media Consortium have also put together an app for the iPad and iPhone that provides even more resources regarding the report, as well as a database of projects in each of the trend categories.

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