Six New Technologies on the Horizon to Change Higher Education

The annual Horizons report by Educause and The New Media Consortium has a pretty good track record identifying technologies that will have a significant impact on education. For example, the 2006 report cited social computing such as Wikipedia, Skype and internet tagging to be technologies that would soon have an immediate impact.

So what does the 2011 Horizon Report see as the six technologies likely to have an impact on higher education over the next five years?

The technologies are separated by their “time to adoption” which ranges from one year or less to five years.


One year or less:

  • Electronic books
  • Mobiles

Two to three years:

  • Augmented realities
  • Game-based learning

Four to five years:

  • Gesture-based computing
  • Learning analytics

The longer-range technologies may not be mainstream yet, but they are making appearances. For example, “augmented reality,” which the 2006 report identified in the four- to five-year adoption category, is being used by Logical Choice Technologies to help motivate young children to learn how to read, and Skidmore College has used it to enhance its campus map.


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