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EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) and the New Media Consortium (NMC) recently released the 2012 Horizon Report (the 9th edition of this report), which examines emerging technology that will have an impact on higher education over the next five years. The report, which also identifies key trends and challenges expected to continue over the same period, is considered a valuable guide for campus leaders and education marketing departments.

These findings were identified through a comprehensive review, analysis, and discussion process, that incorporated research, articles, papers and interviews. The board responsible for this review consisted of 47 experts from 9 countries: Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.

The report this year has identified six technologies that are expected to break into the education mainstream. Each one was assigned an adoption horizon (one year or less, two to three years and four to five years).

Here are the findings for 2012:

  • Electronic tablet computing  (one-year adoption horizon)
  • Mobile apps (one-year adoption horizon)
  • Learning analytics (two- to three-year adoption horizon)
  • Game-based learning (two- to three-year adoption horizon)
  • Gesture-based computing (four- to five-year adoption horizon)
  •  Internet of Things (four- to five-year adoption horizon)

Here is a video breaking down the findings of the 2012 Horizon Report:

YouTube video

As you can see, 2012 is clearly shaping up to be the year that education goes mobile.

We’ve discussed the reasons why you’re school should be going mobile in the past, but these new Horizon Report findings truly illustrate the need for a mobile marketing strategy. Put simply, if your college or university does not have a mobile-friendly website or mobile app, and it is not in the process of developing these resources, you are already falling behind your competitors.

Smart phones and tablet computers are expected to take over laptops this year in Web usage, and recent surveys show that 98 per cent of students already own a cell phone. The mobile revolution, in other words, has started, and educational institutions can no longer ignore it. A mobile friendly presence has become a necessity.

What are your thoughts on the 2012 Horizon Report findings?