CoSN’s crystal ball: Get ready for mobile learning, cloud computing

Many of CoSN’s 2011 sessions focused on mobile learning and cloud computing.

In one of the highest attended sessions of the Consortium for School Networking’s annual conference in New Orleans, the New Media Consortium (NMC), in collaboration with CoSN, on March 16 previewed their 2011 Horizon report for K-12 education, which predicts six technologies that will become prevalent in five years or less.

Chief technology officers, superintendents, and other education stakeholders, though struggling with the session’s early starting time, managed to rally for an early glimpse of this year’s Horizon report. Many were pleased, and not that surprised, to see that mobile learning and cloud computing have a “time-to-adoption horizon” of one year or less.

“Mobile learning is fast becoming a reality, and has really skyrocketed from last year’s report,” said Laurence Johnson, CEO of the NMC, “in large part because of how useful mobile tech is in emergency preparedness on campuses.”

Other technologies covered in the report include game-based learning, open content, and personalized learning environments.

The Horizon report, sponsored via a grant from Hewlett-Packard, is produced each fall using a process that is informed by both primary and secondary research. Nearly 100 technologies, as well as dozens of trends and challenges, are examined for possible inclusion in the report each year; an internationally renowned Advisory Board examines each topic in more detail, reducing the set until the final listing of technologies, trends, and challenges is selected.

The entire process takes place online and is fully documented at

The condensed preview of the 2011 report was produced specifically for CoSN’s conference. The full report, as well as CoSN’s accompanying toolkit, will be available May 17.

What to expect

With many of CoSN’s sessions focusing on mobile learning and cloud computing, it was no surprise for many attendees that cloud computing and mobile learning have a “time-to-adoption horizon” of one year or less.

Meris Stansbury

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