Trends from 2007, Projections for 2008... and Beyond.
"Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future." - Niels Bohr
Well, the Consumer Electronics Show has come and gone for another year, Apple has displayed new wares at Macworld, and the flow of technology predictions for 2008 has slowed to a trickle. We begin this year's WWWTools for Education with a collection of resources which should provide some sort of orientation for the coming year: a brief glance back to predictions for 2007 and subsequent emerging trends, a collection of authoritative pieces identifying directions for ICTs in 2008, and a topical breakdown with special reference to educational resources and practices.
On the Reliability of Predictions.
All predictions need to be taken with a grain of salt: Don't Bet on Gates' Keynote Predictions
(Sydney Morning Herald: January 05, 2008 - examines previous Gates speeches at CES and Comdex.
Top 10 Worst Tech Predictions of All Time (Alex Serpo / ZDNet Australia: January 02, 2008) - however, those Millennium Bug candles still come in handy whenever there's a blackout. The 10kg bag of rice was more of a challenge.
Reviewing Predictions for 2007.
You may care to compare some of the predictions we mentioned in Trends from 2006, Projections for 2007... and Beyond (WWWTools for Education: January 22, 2007) with your own recollection of what actually happened on the ground.
Stan Schroeder has essayed this exercise in Mashable’s 2007 Predictions: How Well Did We Do?
(Mashable Social Network News: December 27, 2007 Stan Schroeder)
... and another from Victoria Ho: Predictions That Went Right and Wrong (ZDNet Asia: January 18, 2008)
Trends in 2007.
Statistical lists of Internet searches and favourite sites provide broad indications of global trends and interests:
The Google Year End Zeitgeist (Marziah Karch / Marziah's Google Blog) lists these Fastest Rising (global) search terms:
8. second life
10. club penguin
- you may need to Google some of these to appreciate their significance. Most relate to social interactions.
Wendy Boswell at About lists Top Web Searches of 2007 (Your Guide to Web Search), categorised by search tool: Google, Ask, AOL, MSN, Lycos, and Yahoo. The differences are substantial.
Wendy also lists The Top Ten Best Sites of 2007 - her choice of quality sites that enhance our lives. The Internet Archive is finally getting mainstream attention.
If you'd rather just listen, Dan Farber and Larry Dignan's Podcast: A Look Back at 2007 (Between the Lines: December 20, 2007) considers the impact of the iPhone, Web-based applications, social networking, software-as-a-service, green IT, industry consolidation and Web 2.0.
Paula J. Hane's Review of the Year 2007 and Trends Watch (Information Today: January 17, 2008) provides a particularly comprehensive coverage - librarians know about these things.
In Trend-spotting for 2008 (IHT: January 06, 2008) Eric Pfanner suggests that eco-fatigue will transform environmental sensitivities from green to blue, and that consumer data-awareness will dictate a more stringent approach to privacy.
Predictions for 2008.
Pundits at ReadWriteWeb offer broadranging 2008 Web Predictions (December 23, 2007), focusing on 'Web OS', online storage, open standards, online video, privacy concerns, social networks, mobile web usage.
A Survey of Predictions for 2008 (Marshall Sponder / Web Metrics Guru: December 25, 2007) - B.L. Ochman and Paul Krugman on social networks, role of the Internet in elections, mobile Internet access.
Innovation Predictions 2008 (Bruce Nussbaum / BusinessWeek: December 14, 2007) - business schools may introduce an Innovation Management unit into "exec ed" courses; social networks become private gated communities.
Crystal ball 2.0 (Conrad Walters / The Sydney Morning Herald: January 14, 2008) - the greening of gadgets, online TV, the ascendancy of Blu-ray over HD DVD and LCD over plasma, online gaming on mobile phones, bandwidth demands, filtering social media in the workplace, online applications and storage, GPS advances.
CNET Top 5: Tech Predictions for 2008 - Tom Merritt's entertaining video. Perhaps a useful icebreaker.
The Hardware Trade Shows.
Both the International Consumer Electronics Show and the Macworld Conference & Expo were preceded by high expectations, and not a little hype. Between them they have clarified much of what we may realistically expect from technological innovation in 2008, and this will be reflected in choices made in educational environments around the world.
The International Consumer Electronics Show, January 07 - 10, Las Vegas
With Electronics Show Set to Open, Gates Heralds New Digital Decade (The Sydney Morning Herald: January 07, 2008) - Bill Gates introduces a new digital decade which will be increasingly user-centric and environmentally sustainable. The CES Award Winners most clearly reflecting these values are the Philips' Eco TV (power-saving features) and Motorola's Moto Rokr E8 user-friendly cell phone.
Other awardees bound to find a place in educational environments include:
Judy Brown covered CES 2008 for Learning TRENDS. Listen to a podcast interview with Elliott Masie, and view video coverage via links at The MASIE Center . In particular, the Day Two video covers learning-related products.
Some constructive comment from various sources:
Macworld Conference & Expo , January 14 - 18, San Francisco
Predictions appeared well ahead of the event - see for example Handicapping Macworld Expo San Francisco ‘08 (Jason D. O'Grady / The Apple Core: November 27, 2007). As the event loomed closer, expectations were refined to a closer fit with reality:
All Eyes on Apple's New Offerings (The Sydney Morning Herald: January 11, 2008) was close to describing MacBook Air.
In Hours to Go: Macworld Prediction Roundup AAPL (Silicon Alley Insider: January 14, 2008), Dan Frommer's analysts had most of the detail nailed down.
One of the better concise-but-comprehensive coverages of the event and its offerings was Apple Shows Off Thinnest Laptop (International Herald Tribune: January 15, 2008). Most outstanding items on show:
- MacBook Air - a very thin laptop with minimised features but extreme portability and environmental appeal.
- Time Capsule - a high-capacity external storage device for wirelessly backing-up content.
- iPhone improvements, including mapping upgrades.
- iPod Touch upgrades - email capability, new mapping functions.
- iTunes Movie Rental - a free software update enabling inexpensive online movie downloads.
- Apple TV - new software allowing users to order movies through the device and play them directly on TV sets
Other accounts, various focus:
The MacBook Air Tops the Apple Show (David Pogue / IHT: January 17, 2008)
Jobs's Newest Toy: Super-Slim Laptop (Carolyn Y. Johnson / Boston Globe: January 16, 2008) - more on Skyhook Wireless location positioning technology for iPhone and iPod touch.
Nothing New for Ed Tech at Macworld? (Christopher Dawson / Education IT: January 15, 2008) - items that might make their way into educational environments: the Time Capsule, Macbook Air
Time Capsule reviews:
Time Capsule Works with PCs Too (Ed Burnett / Dev Connection: January 16, 2008)
Apple Time Capsule (Rich Brown / CNET Reviews: January 15, 2008)
Apple Time Capsule Allows Wireless Backups (Jeremy Roche / CNET Networks: January 16, 2008)
MacBook Air reviews:
Apple MacBook Air (1.8GHz) (Dan Ackerman and Michelle Thatcher / CNET Reviews: January 16, 2008)
Apple Unveils Macbook Air: "World's Thinnest Notebook" (Jeremy Roche / CNET Networks: January 16, 2008)
MacBook Air - Second thoughts (Adrian Kingsley-Hughes / Hardware 2.0: January 16, 2008)
Interesting as the goods and services at these trade shows may be, they are by and large enhancements of existing tools, and do not of themselves indicate new directions for the use of ICTs in education. Trends in practice are likely to be seen in extensions and innovations based on existing tools and strategies. For an authoritative overview of likely trends see Imagining Tomorrow’s Future Today (EDUCAUSE Evolving Technologies Committee / EDUCAUSE Review: Volume 42, Number 6, November/December 2007) - covers: application programming interfaces (APIs) and mashups; online conferencing; mlearning; 3D printing; virtualisation; information lifecycle management and data storage
Readings: Trends in Data Processing and Delivery.
Considering the impressive capacities of mobile phones, may we foresee The End of the Desktop Era (David Chisnall / informIT: January 11, 2008) ?
Among Ten Things That Will Change Your Future (brisbanetimes: December 31, 2007), Nick Galvin identifies the One Laptop per Child program as a crucial link in bridging the Digital Divide.
At the other end of the scale, we see the U.K.'s Fastest Supercomputer Unveiled (Tim Ferguson / ZDNet News: January 15, 2008) at the University of Edinburgh's Advanced Computer Facility. Hector the High-End Computing Terascale Resource will be a boon to research in areas such as the impact of climate change.
Why Computers? (Tom Hoffman / Tuttle SVC: January 16, 2008) - amazingly, this question is still being asked and demanding answers.
The Invisible Computer Revolution (Joel Selanikio / BBC News: January 17, 2008) - 'The question we should be asking ourselves, then, is not 'how can we buy, and support, and supply electricity for, a laptop for every schoolteacher'... but rather 'what mobile software can we write that would really add value for a schoolteacher...'
iGoogle for iPhone Released, and It’s Pretty Good (Garett Rogers / Googling Google: January 12, 2008)
IDC Serves Up Top 10 Storage Predictions for 2008 (Brian Fonseca / New York Times: December 24, 2007) - green storage initiatives, online storage services.
Collaboration and Storage (eSchoolNews) - School Web Lockers are web-based storage spaces where teachers and students can store school-related files and access them from any online computer.
Pew Internet Project Issues New Report on Information Searching (NewsBreaks: January 20, 2008) - in the USA, the Internet is the first port of call for finding information.
Battle for the Network Will Mark 2008 (Dana Blankenhorn / Open Source: December 19, 2007) - open source advocates will lose ground in the Net Neutrality contest. For background reading, download Lawrence Lessig's 'The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World'
- there never seems to be enough, but they are always working on it.
3.5G Gives Mobile Broadband a Leg-up (Natasha Lomas / ZDNet Australia: January 11, 2008)
Is Apple Readying a Wireless Announcement? Maybe Not (Marguerite Reardon / CNET News: January 14, 2008) - 'WiMax - a wireless broadband technology that will deliver faster download speeds than 3G wireless over longer distances than is possible with Wi-Fi'
FCC Resumes Testing of Internet Devices (The Sydney Morning Herald: January 19, 2008) - high-speed Internet service over unused television spectrum?
Plastic Optical Fibres Could Bring Cheap Super-Fast Broadband (The Cheers News: January 12, 2008)
Undersea Cable to Speed Up Broadband (Nick Miller / The Age: January 15, 2008) - cheaper and faster broadband for all Australians (?)
Ultra Broadband Conquers Distance (Paul Kelly and Richard Kerbaj / Australian IT: January 17, 2008) - will facilitate remote collaboration on complex projects in real time with high-definition precision. See also 'Video Conferencing on Steroids' a Giant Leap for Research (Nick Miller / The Age: January 17, 2008)
Cellphone Obsession Leads Japanese Children into a Scary World (Miwa Suzuki / Dawn: January 12, 2008) - few can now live without their phones.
Cell Phone College Class Opens in Japan (Yuri Kageyama / USA TODAY, 2007) - Cyber University offers an online class via mobile phone.
Broadcasters Gear Up for Cell-Phone TV (The Sydney Morning Herald: January 07, 2008) - American broadcasters will be able to start transmitting TV for portable devices next year.
TV / VIDEO:
Online Video Sites Doubled in Popularity in 2007 (eSchoolNews: January 11, 2008)
Educational YouTube Collections You Simply Do Not Want to Miss! (ZaidLearn: December 28, 2007)
No Quick Resolution: Blu-ray Pulls Ahead of HD DVD, but Old Discs Will Stick Around (Mike Musgrove / Washington Post: January 9, 2008) - too soon to frisbee your DVD collection.
High Definition Video to Internet Computers, Cell Phones and Handhelds... (Business Wire: January 07, 2008)
eSN Special Report: Visual Learning: How the Rise of Digital Video is Transforming Education (Robert L. Jacobson / eSchool News: January 02, 2008)
Teachers College Launches After Ed TV (EducationPR: January 16, 2008) - a new web-based video channel produced by the EdLab at Teachers College, Columbia University will offer 'news, documentary and editorial segments focused on the future of learning.'
More Than 3.5 Million Programmes Accessed via BBC iPlayer in First Fortnight (BBC Press Office: January 15, 2008) - a great thing for lifelong learning in the UK.
New Instructional Video Site - MonkeySee (ResearchBuzz: January 15, 2008) - monkey see, monkey do: modeling for learning.
Online Video Rentals Give Educators Options (eSchool News: January 18, 2008) - ref. Apple's new iTunes movie rental service
Digital Gateway to the Heavens in All Their Grandeur (Rory Carroll / Brisbane Times: January 07, 2008) - the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, the world's biggest digital camera (3200 megapixels), will survey the entire sky several times a week.
Flickr to Host Library of Congress Photos (Stephen Shankland / Webware: January 16, 2008) - 3,000 images
Online Flickr Photo Sharing in Plain English (via Judy O'Connell / Hey Jude: January 13, 2008) - a useful little video.
GPS / GIS:
Magellan Announces Google-Enabled GPS (The Sydney Morning Herald: January 07, 2008) - enhanced connectivity allows users on the road to get real-time information.
GPS Adds Dimension to Online Photos (The Sydney Morning Herald: January 19, 2008) - uses for geotagging photographs.
GIS and Geographic Inquiry - a collection of eSchool News articles on educational uses for geospatial technologies.
Readings: Trends in Software.
Microsoft Vista and Office 2007: Becta says "review the findings of the report before considering any large-scale investment or deployment" (Seb Schmoller / Fortnightly Mailing: January 10, 2008) - Becta's advice to schools is based on cost and interoperability issues.
Pandia’s Greatest Hits 2007 (Pandia Search Engine News) - most read was Six Great Sites for Keeping Track of Search Engine News
Google Custom Search Engine has been popular - see what Zaid Ali Alsagoff and others have achieved with it at Google Custom Search For Open/Free Educational Resources! (ZaidLearn: January 21, 2008). Stephen Downes' Edublogs Custom Search currently searches 456 select sites.
Search Wikia is touted as an open and participatory social search engine.
Social Networking Prediction for 2008 (Dan Farber / Between the Lines: December 31, 2007) - identity portability via OpenSocial APIs?
Local & Social Media Predictions for 2008 (Sebastien / Praized Blog: December 18, 2007) - 2008 the Year of Identity?
WEB-BASED APPLICATIONS / SOFTWARE AS SERVICES
Growth of Web Applications in the US: Rapid Adoption (Rubicon Consulting: September 25, 2007) - a hot topic in the tech industry.
Eight Reasons SaaS Will Surge in 2008 (Phil Wainewright / Software as Services: January 02, 2008)
Examples of Web applications useful in education: Google Apps Education Edition (a suite of tools for schools), and PDF Hammer, a website that allows you to edit your PDF files online for free.
Readings: Trends in Education
Horizon Report 2007 (New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative) - the changing environment of higher education.
Five Predictions for 2008 and More (John Moravec / Education Futures: January 07, 2008)
Labor Digital Education Revolution about to COAGulate (Marcus Browne / ZDNet Australia: January 10, 2008) - the Council of Australian Governments is undertaking an audit into the state of IT in Australian secondary schools.
Educators Can Learn from What Works (Kevin Donnelly / Australian IT: January 03, 2008)
Top 10 Ed-Tech Stories Still Resonate in 2008 (eSchool News) - significant issues in educational technology.
Most Clicked ASCD SmartBrief Stories (SmartBrief)
Top 100 Tools for Learning 2007 (Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies) - the results of Jane Hart's survey.
Projects (Futurelab) - examples of projects reflecting innovation in education.
Top Ten Global Trends That Force Us to Rethink Education (Education Futures: June 18, 2007)
Classroom of the Future (Learning TRENDS / MASIE Center: January 16, 2008) - share your thoughts.
Meaningful Learning with Technology (3rd Edition) (David H. Jonassen, Jane Howland , Rose M. Marra, David Crismond / Prentice Hall, 2007)
Web 2.0: New Tools, New Schools (Gwen Solomon, Lynne Schrum / Intl Society for Technology, 2007)
Differentiating Instruction with Technology in K-5 Classrooms (Grace E. Smith, Stephanie Throne / Intl Society for Technology, 2007)