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.
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As part of its ongoing research, the NMC identifies areas of potential impact in teaching, learning, and creative inquiry. Each of the initiatives that guide the activities of the NMC centers on an unanswered question of broad application to the NMC community. Within each initiative, the NMC employs four strategies designed to tease out the relevant issues and find ways to address them. These strategies are to convene people around ideas; to catalyze dialog and discussion; to build community and engage people; and to contribute to the field in the form of publications, demonstration and other projects, and information archives.
Each of the NMCâ€™s major initiatives is supported by activities based on one or more of these strategies. As the landscape of technology and higher education changes, new initiatives are developed; and as new ideas become established and part of general practice, the older NMC initiatives that investigated them are retired. This sampling of three of the NMCâ€™s six current initiatives illustrates some of the range of the NMCâ€™s current work:
How can the NMC and its members keep abreast of emerging technologies that may be important to our collective work?
This initiative ensures the NMCâ€™s continual focus on identifying and understanding promising emerging technologies, especially through the lenses of creative inquiry and learning. The initiative is designed to stimulate systematic thinking about the future and its possible impacts, and is a fertile source of new ideas and major projects for the organization, several of which have themselves emerged as NMC initiatives.The Horizon Project is the centerpiece of the Emerging Technology Initiative, and its most visible product, the NMCâ€™s series of annual Horizon Reports, has become one of the most widely read publications in higher education, used by educational and other institutions all over the world.Â Readership is conservatively placed in the tens of thousands every year.
How are the processes and products of scholarship changing? What does this mean for the academy?
This initiative, which grew from work that originated in the Horizon Project , focuses on understanding the ways the practice of scholarship is changing, new forms of scholarly production, and the role of new media and especially the network, in scholarly work. The overall goal is to expand awareness of the many exciting developments in scholarly communication, and to help establish notions of quality and permanence. Included are efforts aimed at identifying how to assess the contributions of emerging forms of scholarship, showcasing the ways institutions are supporting experimentation with new methods of expression and ways of visualizing information, and stimulating greater use, understanding, and awareness of the value of these forms.
How has the growth and acceptance of new media opened new opportunities for learning, scholarship, and creative expression?
At the core of this initiative is a focus on how communication, art, learning, and technology are converging. A major goal of this effort is to stimulate ideas about how to use emerging media forms more effectively, especially at the intersection of these areas.This work permeates much of what the NMC does, but the initiative is an umbrella for specially focused programs. These have included the 21st Century Literacy Summit, which convened an international working group of thought leaders in this arena, traditional and online conferences on visual literacy and other topics related to new media and learning, alliances with groups like the Marcus Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation, and publications such as A Global Imperative: The Report of the 21st Century Literacy Summit .
Click here to learn more about these and other NMC initiatives.