On the Horizon, Horizon List, Horizon Home Page: A Forerunner of Education in the 21st Century
by James L. Morrison

[Note: This is a re-formatted manuscript that was originally published in On the Horizon, 1995, 3(4), 3-4. It is posted here with permission from Jossey Bass Publishers.]

A few weeks ago we responded to an invitation by the National Information Infrastructure Awards Committee to participate in a competition for an award designed to demonstrate the capability, utility, and potential of the "information highway" in encouraging communication, collaboration and access to information beyond traditional boundaries.  Respondents were requested to document how they were using the information highway (i.e. Internet) and how they were encouraging its use.

In preparing our response, it became clear that the evolution of our service to include a listserv and a World Wide Web (WWW) home page (our Web site) provides an example of how educational programming may well occur in the coming decade.

Let me explain. Horizon Home Page is an easily accessible site containing past issues of On the Horizon, a futures planning database of abstracts, "gems" from the Internet containing discussion strings by participants on emerging trends and issues that may affect education, as well as "good stuff" from avant-garde articles in non-mainstream publications.   Anyone with access to the Internet can easily browse these materials and contribute to them.  Moreover, we use Horizon List to post draft On the Horizon articles for review, critique and comment by Horizon List participants; many of these responses are then posted in the WWW pages, thereby enabling browsers to benefit from not only the articles, but also from the comments generated by the articles.  In addition, WWW browsers are encouraged to add their own comments to articles and to contribute to the futures planning database.  Since Horizon List participants and Horizon Home Page browsers are spread around the globe, the comments we receive enrich articles and discussions.

Combining the WWW site with an Internet list demonstrates how schools and colleges can use this technology for their educational programming.  As Andy Carvin (1995) pointed out in the February/March issue of On the Horizon, any school or department could post curricular materials and student papers/projects on a Web site, which could be used/critiqued/revised by students and teachers via Internet e-mail on a listserv, just as we do in producing articles for the newsletter.  Curricular programs on a Web site could include not only graphics and text (which is what we have), but also audio and video (which we do not currently have).  Within a few months it will be possible to insert text on the Web through improved HTML translators as easily as it is to insert text in different word processing applications.  Such technology lends itself to constructionist, active-learning activities, activities that capture the imagination and creativity of students, thereby enhancing the learning process.

In the coming months in the Horizon Home Page, we intend to host regular, real-time chat sessions and conferences between leading futurists and educators on the Web site.  Please join us, and preview what you and your faculty colleagues will be doing in classrooms in the 21st century.

[Carvin, A. (1995) The world wide web:  The killer application for education?   On the Horizon, 3(3), 13-14.]

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