Monday, December 31, 2007

Looking Back, Looking Forward...

Happy New Year everyone! Hard to believe that another year is past and a new one about to begin. Thought I would take some time to look back at 2007 and look forward to 2008 (everyone is doing it - so figured I might as well too!).

I posted over 150 times in 2007 - my God I'm wordy! Hopefully I had some things to say that actually made sense. Many of my posts happened at conferences I attended (STLHE 2007 and CIT 2007) - I found that blogging the conference experience "live" was a great way to fully experience what was happening - great way to reflect on the day's events and get ready for the next day.

I also spent a lot of time focussing on education and in particular what I see as the future of education - the Personal Learning Environment (PLE). PLEs, and the increased use of mobile devices will have a major impact on how we design and deliver learning over the next few years. Learners will want more specific and customized learning that will fit into their increasingly busy lives - more flexibility, more options. Institutions will leverage distance and blended learning to increase enrollments with limited investments in capital building projects (and online courses cost a lot less than having to build additional brick learning spaces).

So here is what I think will be the "big things" of 2008:
  1. Blended learning and blended learning opportunities will increase - in the end (maybe not the end of 2008 but soon after), more learners will be taking a blended approach to learning than a traditional classroom only model
  2. Second Life will continue to grow and will be bought by one of the big players in the Internet (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft...)
  3. Open Source will continue to take away from proprietary software - Google Docs and similar online collaborative "suites" will increase in use and popularity
  4. Web 2.0 apps will become mainstream as businesses and educational institutions start to use them regularly
  5. E-Mails use will decline in favour of IM, Twitter, Facebook and other more immediate forms of communication - EMail will be for "communicating with old folks"
  6. Facebook will still be big, but may decline as people become tired of all of the "applications" cluttering up the interface. Look to Orkut and other social networking sites to grow among those wanting to be social without all of the "other stuff". Ning will grow in the creation and use of personal and customized social networking sites
  7. I hope that someone creates the social networking equivalent of Meebo allowing me to use one interface for all of the social networking sites that I belong to - Facebook, LinkedIn, Bebo, Ning...
  8. Microsoft Windows Vista will continue to struggle, good news for Apple and Linux distros like Ubuntu. More and more educational institutions will look at multi-boot Apple computers as the solution to their IT infrastructure needs.
  9. The iPhone will come to Canada - PLEASE!!!! The iPhone is the future of learning...
  10. I'll continue to blog in 2008, focussing on education and other things that make me go hmmm... including my new mantra of ECMO - Engagement, Collaboration, Mobility, and Openness - it's where education has to go...
To provide some balance, here are some other views of the year past and the year to come:
So there you have it - a quick look back and a quick look forward. All I can say is that I'll continue to post here and hopefully some of it will even make sense.

Happy New Year everyone!

Gotta love iStockphoto - this same image is on the front page of today's Ottawa Citizen!

(Photo - Janus Coin by Marco Prins)

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