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Highlights from Yesterday’s Workshop on the Technology Horizon

Posted by on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 in News.

CFT Assistant Director Derek Bruff tweeted some highlights of yesterday’s Conversation on Teaching titled “The Technology Horizon at Vanderbilt,” a discussion of the 2010 Horizon Report identifying six emerging technologies likely to impact campuses in the next few years.  For those of you not following the CFT on Twitter, here are Derek’s comments.

  • Rhett McDaniel is getting us started in our discussion of the 2010 Horizon Report. Participants from all over the university!
  • Key trend in the Horizon Report: We’re connected everywhere we go. We expect that connectivity, and we work, learn, and play everywhere.
  • One short-term tech to watch: open content. Know of any open content intiatives at Vanderbilt? Let us know.
  • Horizon Report put e-books in the 2-to-3-year adoption horizon. Might the release of the iPad might speed that adoption up somewhat?
  • For that matter, might the iPad move gesture-based computing up from the 4-to-5-year horizon?
  • Now watching Scott Leslie’s video featuring interviews with Horizon Report board members:
  • In the video: @colecamplese discussing the use of mobile devices for backchannel conversations.
  • Also, @gardnercampbell on open content. What constitutes a “course” in a world of open content? What constitutes a community of learning?
  • More from @gardnercampbell: When you expose teaching and learning to the open web, the network effect kicks in and communities grow.
  • Julie Little from Educause on e-books: We think in hyperlinked ways, not in linear ways. e-books facilitate this and better annotation.
  • Alan Levine on augmented reality: Smart phones have opened up the door for all kinds of possibilities.
  • What is augmented reality? Check out this video about the acrossair iPhone app that layers info over a camera viewfinder:
  • In small group discussions looking at opportunities and challenges with emerging tech. The 4-to-5-year horizon group has lots of Qs!
  • Ideas on mobile computing: participating in lectures remotely, perhaps as part of inter-institutional courses. also, backchannel.
  • What is backchannel? Student-to-student and student-to-teacher discussions happening live, virtually. For more, see
  • Anyone using backchannel at Vanderbilt? Lots of interest about that here at the workshop.
  • Challenges with e-books: financial impact for students, multiple readers and formats, availability of books of interest.
  • Key questions at the 1-to-2-year horizon are mostly about changing faculty and student culture to leverage existing tools.
  • Key questions at the 3-to-4 year horizon are more about infrastructure, financial concerns, making technologies possible on campus.
  • two visualization tools worth exploring: world clouds (ex: and Gapminder for visualizing 5D data (
  • to see Gapminder in action, watch Hans Rosling’s TED talk on the rise of Asian nations: great use of #vizthink.
  • that should have been “word clouds” not “world.” that’s 2x today i’ve mistyped that! to make up for it, 1 more link:


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