The Digital Media Academy, along with companies like Apple, Adobe and Sun Microsystems, is a Corporate Sponsor of the New Media Consortium. The New Media Consortium (NMC) is an international 501(c)3 not-for-profit consortium of nearly 300 learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies. Given the relevance to our own mission of providing effective and relevant digital media training, we are pleased to support a leading organization dedicated to researching and promoting best uses of digital media in teaching and learning. One of major ways DMA participates in the New Media Consortium is at their annual conference. This year in Monterey, California (June 10-13, 2009), we will be conducting hands-on sessions in a classroom sponsored by Apple. Sessions will include Final Cut Pro training and other Apple Pro-Apps training.
One of the major contributions of the New Media Consortium is the Emerging Technology Initiative. The goal of this project is to uncover emerging technologies that have potential for adding great value to creative expression and education. Emphasis is placed on uncovering how these technologies will impact the future and be relevant given emerging trends in technology and education. The Horizon Project is the centerpiece of the Emerging Technology Initiative, and the NMC’s annual Horizon Report is one of the most widely-read publications in higher education.
This year’s 2009 Horizon Report is now available, and I wanted to highlight something I found especially interesting. One of the “Key Trends” identified is the emerging affinity for computer games as learning tools by students entering college and the workforce. One example of game-based learning is the Global Challenge Award, an online science program for pre-college students, age 14-17. Online and social gaming among kids is extremely popular (obviously), and it is fueling the success of game-based learning. Social gaming is also helping create a generation of kids who respond very well to learning methods that are interactive and social. Most learning institutions have not recognized this opportunity to engage students more effectively, but I suspect in the next several years we will see more schools augmenting their learning methods to be more social, perhaps incorporating more game-based learning where appropriate. One irony here is that many parents (myself included) do not readily make the connection between developing social and interactive learning skills and online computer games. Something to think about!