Below are the ten metatrends compiled for the Communiqué Please comment on each of them within the sections devoted to their discussion.

Of key significance to the 100 thought leaders in attendance, and to the larger world of education as well were the in depth discussions that took place around the ideas of where technology is going. These ideas will also be the centerpiece of the coming report, and focused on understanding which technologies seem to be "sticky" and persist, and which are generative (in the sense of shaping perceptions that allow subsequent technologies to take traction) — and how to know one from the other.

A wide lens was aimed at the world around education, and that lens had a uniquely global focus. What interested the group — which represented 20 countries from six continents — was what trends are truly international? Which are impacting learning and education worldwide, from the most advanced countries to the poorest?

From these discussions, 28 hugely important metatrends were identified. The ten most significant are listed here and will be the focus of the upcoming NMC Horizon Project 10th Anniversary Report:




1. The world of work is increasingly global and increasingly collaborative. As more and more companies move to the global marketplace, it is common for work teams to span continents and time zones. Not only are teams geographically diverse, they are also culturally diverse.



2. People expect to work, learn, socialize, and play whenever and wherever they want to. Increasingly, people own more than one device, using a computer, smartphone, tablet, and e-reader. People now expect a seamless experience across all their devices.



3. The Internet is becoming a global mobile network — and already is at its edges. Mobithinking reports there are now more than 6 billion active cell phone accounts. 1.2 billion have mobile broadband as well, and 85% of new devices can access the mobile web.



4. The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based and delivered over utility networks, facilitating the rapid growth of online videos and rich media. Our current expectation is that the network has almost infinite capacity and is nearly free of cost. One hour of video footage is uploaded every second to YouTube; over 250 million photos are sent to Facebook every day.



5. Openness — concepts like open content, open data, and open resources, along with notions of transparency and easy access to data and information — is moving from a trend to a value for much of the world. As authoritative sources lose their importance, there is need for more curation and other forms of validation to generate meaning in information and media.



6. Legal notions of ownership and privacy lag behind the practices common in society. In an age where so much of our information, records, and digital content are in the cloud, and often clouds in other legal jurisdictions, the very concept of ownership is blurry.



7. Real challenges of access, efficiency, and scale are redefining what we mean by quality and success. Access to learning in any form is a challenge in too many parts of the world, and efficiency in learning systems and institutions is increasingly an expectation of governments — but the need for solutions that scale often trumps them both. Innovations in these areas are increasingly coming from unexpected parts of the world, including India, China, and central Africa.



8. The Internet is constantly challenging us to rethink learning and education, while refining our notion of literacy. Institutions must consider the unique value that each adds to a world in which information is everywhere. In such a world, sense-making and the ability to assess the credibility of information and media are paramount.



9. There is a rise in informal learning as individual needs are redefining schools, universities, and training. Traditional authority is increasingly being challenged, not only politically and socially, but also in academia — and worldwide. As a result, credibility, validity, and control are all notions that are no longer givens when so much learning takes place outside school systems.



10. Business models across the education ecosystem are changing. Libraries are deeply reimagining their missions; colleges and universities are struggling to reduce costs across the board. The educational ecosystem is shifting, and nowhere more so than in the world of publishing, where efforts to reimagine the book are having profound success, with implications that will touch every aspect of the learning enterprise.
- paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Feb 3, 2012As was obvious from the comments I made during the retreat, I believe this is both a huge issue and a huge opportunity. The fact that the Horizon Reports have expanded to include K-12, regional editions, and museums is an indication that we have plenty of colleagues in overlapping fields of play that should continue to be part of the overall conversation we're having about the education ecosystem. Furthermore, recognition that libaries are part of the mix is very encouraging in light of their increasing role as social learning spaces. One final thought from the retreat: if we can draw our colleagues from associations such as the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), I believe we'll be adding yet another vibrant player to the mix. Tremendously grateful to the New Media Consortium staff and supporters for all they are doing to create this sort of conversation, coalition, and resource for positive change.