Monday, October 13, 2008

What's on the Horizon...

Over the weekend, it was necessary that I travel out of town.  On the plane, while reading the Horizon Reports, I noticed that the gentleman next to me was apparently carrying on the same student oriented activities - reading and highlighting - throughout the journey.  When he closed his book, I noted the title, "Teach Yourself TCP/IP".  I smiled.  Later I noticed that the airline magazine for October was dedicated to technology, with a variety of articles providing information related to innovations geared to connecting people and simplifying their work and personal lives.  While initially it struck me that this was an interesting coincidence, as the weekend progressed and I continued to read from the reports, it struck me that this is not a coincidence nor is it a trend... It is the way of the world. 
I read the reports in chronological order.  Beginning in 2005, which sounds like recent history, I am amazed to see how much has changed and progressed in these few short years.  Technology that was then looked at in terms of trends for the future are, in many cases, commonplace for a wide variety of people today; the 2008 report indicates that trends projected to take longer have already taken hold.  And I, a relative non-tech individual, am amazed that, as I read, I found that there are many ways that I am already engaging in some fairly forward thinking technologies in my work and personal life.  
Through the JDP we are engaged in an extended learning opportunity that has allowed several among us to participate in a doctoral program who might not otherwise have been able to so at this time... the Polycom system has made it possible.  Woven into that program are many other expectations to engage in various activities including (formerly) SAKAI, moodle, wikis, and bolgspots.  Initially these expectations feel a bit out of my comfort zone.  However, the guidance has been, for the most part, patient and encouraging, and I have risen to the challenge.  In reading the Horizon Reports, I am reminded of the importance of moving forward in my own knowledge of the technologies that are connecting this world.  As an educational leader, I recognize and understand the need for innovation and leadership in connecting my students and staff in greater, more meaningful ways.  It is my responsibility to lead that charge.
For much of the weekend, while reading the Horizon documents, I found myself feeling out of touch with the many advancements in technology that were described.  I wondered about the need for so many technologies and their impact on the human connection.  The reports tout the ways that technology informs and unites us, but I felt skeptical.  
Then, I received an e mail alert on my cell phone.  A major challenge at work had been resolved.  I was now free to enjoy the remainder of my weekend.          

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