The Horizon Report from the New Media Consortium is a great place to go if you want to see what is coming up that may impact learning and teaching. The consortium looks at the technologies that are being used and talked about and selects a few for further analysis. The final short list is sorted into the technologies that will be ready for regular use within the year and those that are still being explored and need a few years before they are ready for prime time.
This year’s short list includes user-created content, digital audio, virtual worlds, educational games, the potential of mobile phones, and much more. To get the full story, check out the full report:
The Horizon Report
The Horizon Project Wiki
The wiki they used to create the report itself (less polished, but full of interesting links):
(from the March 2007 Emerging Technologies and Pie Presentation)
Del.icio.us, Flickr, YouTube, and similar services, allow users to store their collections (of bookmarks, photos, videos, etc.) online. These files can be shared with individuals, groups, or the world. Each item can also be tagged with keywords supplied by the poster (or other users). This “folksonomy” is more casual than library indexing, and can be the source of interesting connections, or frustration. Such sites can provide an easy way to post and comment on course work, or can be an environment to look at what is being posted and tagged by the society at large.
(from the May 2007 Emerging Technologies and Pie Presentation)
Audio Episode: Classroom Radio
A podcast is a series of audio or video files that the audience can subscribe to in order to receive, or be notified of, new episodes as soon as they are posted. The first part of the process involves posting digital audio or video files online, just as you would on a static Web page. The second part of the process involves creating an RSS “feed” that the audience can use to subscribe to the podcast. It is this second stage that differentiates a podcast from a collection of downloadable audio files.
Setting up a podcast the first time requires many steps, but once the structures in are in place, it becomes a simple process to add an episode. The hard part then becomes coming up with something to say on a regular basis. Before you post your first podcast episode, do some planning so you have a list of topics for future episodes and a clearly-defined process to ensure regular updates.