Main Nav

For Release:
February 2, 2012

Malcolm Brown
Director, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative

Today, the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) and the New Media Consortium (NMC) released the 2012 Horizon Report, the ninth edition of this annual joint publication. Each year, the Horizon Report describes six areas of emerging technology that will have significant impact on higher education and creative expression over the next one to five years.  The Horizon Report also identifies key trends and challenges expected to continue over the same period, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning.

The report identifies six technologies that are expected to enter mainstream use in learning-focused organizations. Each of the six is assigned to one of three adoption horizons: one year or less, two to three years, and four to five years. For 2012, electronic tablet computing and mobile apps are identified in the one-year horizon; learning analytics and game-based learning in the two- to three-year horizon; and gesture-based computing and the Internet of Things in the four- to five-year horizon.

The advisory board for the project identified these technologies through comprehensive review, analysis, and discussion of research, articles, papers, and interviews. It then drafted a roster of dozens of candidate technologies, which it gradually refined to the six key technologies appearing in the 2012 report. This year, the advisory board consisted of 47 experts from numerous fields and included representatives from 9 countries: Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States.

“Identifying the key emerging technologies for learning is vital at a time when all institutions are forced to make very careful choices about investments in technology,” notes ELI Director Malcolm Brown. “The Horizon Report goes beyond simply naming technologies; it offers examples of how they are being used, which serves to demonstrate their potential. The report also identifies the trends and challenges that will be key for learning across all three adoption horizons. This makes the Horizon Report essential for anyone planning the future of learning at their institution.”

“Campus leaders and practitioners across the world use the report as a springboard for discussion around emerging technology,” agrees Larry Johnson, chief executive officer of the NMC. “As this is the ninth year of the project, the report also offers an opportunity to think how some of these technologies have unfolded over time. What we see is that there continue to be long-term channels along which educational technology is evolving. These have affected, are affecting now, and will continue to affect the practice of teaching and learning in profound ways for some time.”

The Horizon Report has become a bellwether for teaching, learning, and creative inquiry. Well over 100,000 copies of last year’s report have been distributed. The 2012 Horizon Report is available at no charge and has been released with a Creative Commons license to facilitate widespread use. It can be accessed at

About EDUCAUSE and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative

EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association and the foremost community of IT leaders and professionals committed to advancing higher education. EDUCAUSE programs and services are focused on analysis, advocacy, community building, professional development, and knowledge creation because IT plays a transformative role in higher education. EDUCAUSE supports those who lead, manage, and use information technology through a comprehensive range of resources and activities. For more information, visit

The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) helps institutions advance learning through IT innovation. ELI is a community that works together to stay on the leading edge of teaching and learning with technology through a focus on learners, interaction and engagement, and learning technologies. ELI brings value to members through exploration, awareness, and enablement. Learn more about ELI at

About the New Media Consortium

The New Media Consortium (NMC) is an international not-for-profit consortium of learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies. Its hundreds of member institutions constitute an elite list of the most highly regarded colleges and universities in the world, as well as leading museums, key research centers, and some of the world's most forward-thinking companies. For more than 15 years, the consortium and its members have dedicated themselves to exploring and developing potential applications of emerging technologies for learning, research, and creative inquiry. The consortium's Horizon Reports are regarded worldwide as the most timely and authoritative sources of information on new and emerging technologies available to education anywhere. For more information on the NMC, visit its website at