Comparing the Horizon Report 2009 and Horizon Report 2009 for Australia and New Zealand

The EDUCAUSE Horizon Report for Australia and New Zealand 2009 was published recently. I thought I would just compare the findings for Australia and New Zealand with those for the US Horizon Report 2009 published earlier this year.

Time to Adoption Horizon Report 2009 Horizon Report 2009 Australia and New Zealand
One year or less Mobiles Mobile internet
Cloud Computing Private clouds
Two to three years Geo-everything Open content
The personal web Virtual, augmented and alternate realities
Four to five years Semantic aware applications Location based learning
Smart Objects Smart objects and devices


Whilst there are obviously many similarities, there are also some key differences. Notably the inclusion of ‘Open content’ and ‘Virtual, augmented and alternate realities’ in the AU/NZ edition for two to three year implementation. Whilst the original Horizon Report 2009 contained items for the ‘The personal web’ and ‘Semantic aware applications’.

These difference are interesting although I suspect that they reflect the rapidly changing nature of educational technologies rather than regional differences. The AU/NZ edition was published in September 2009 whereas the US edition was published in February 2009 I think. Augmented reality (AR) has really taken off this year as shown by the Google Trends chart below. This would probably be related to widely publicised Sixth Sense presentation at TED by Patti Maes and Prinav Mistry. It could also be related to the high profile work done in Second Life both in Australia and New Zealand the Island of Jokaydia and the Second Life Education New Zealand (SLENZ) being examples.

Augmented Reality - Google Trends

The inclusion of ‘Open content’ in the AU/NZ edition and its omission from the US edition is less easy to explain. Only one Australian university is listed as a member of the Open Courseware Consortium and no New Zealand institutions are listed. The only really high profile example cited from the region is the excellent  work done at Otago Polytechnic.

Having said that, the methodology used in developing the reports needs to be considered when looking at the differences. Both reports examined 80 technologies and then short listed them down to 12 (4 for each period). These were then finalised down to 6 (2 for each period). It would be very interesting to know which 12 were shortlisted for both the the US and the AU/NZ editions. It may well be the case that there were some very close decisions about the final technologies that were included for each period for each edition and some items that were included in the one final editions were very close in the other.

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