NMC and CoSN release technology trend report

Friday, June 20, 2014

The New Media Consortium (NMC) and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), with the support of HP, released the NMC Horizon Report > 2014 K-12 Edition at a special session at the 2014 NMC Summer Conference in Portland, Oregon. This sixth K-12 edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research; project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry.

Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving school leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The format of the report is new this year, providing these leaders with more in depth insight into how the trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership, and practice.

“Teachers, administrators, and practitioners across the world use the report as a springboard for discussion around important technologies, trends, and challenges,” says Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the NMC. “As examined in the report, addressing the evolving roles of educators, along with supporting mobile learning and 1:1 environments through large-scale applications of BYOD and cloud computing will be critical over the next year.”

Key Trends Accelerating Educational Technology Adoption in Schools

The NMC Horizon Report > 2014 K-12 Edition identifies “Rethinking the Role of Teachers” and the “Shift to Deeper Learning Approaches” as fast trends accelerating the adoption of educational technology in K-12 education over the next one to two years. The “Increasing Focus on Open Educational Resources” and the “Increasing Use of Hybrid Learning Designs” are mid-range trends expected to accelerate technology use in the next three to five years; and the “Rapid Acceleration of Intuitive Technology” and “Rethinking of How Schools Work” are long-range trends, positioned at more than five years away.

Significant Challenges Impeding Educational Technology Adoption in Schools

A number of challenges are acknowledged for presenting barriers to the mainstream use of technology in K-12 education. “Creating Authentic Learning Opportunities” and “Integrating Personalized Learning” are perceived as solvable challenges — those which we both understand and know how to solve. “Complex Thinking and Communication” and the “Safety of Student Data” are considered difficult challenges, which are defined as well understood but with solutions that are elusive. Described as wicked challenges are “Competition from New Models of Education” and “Keeping Formal Education Relevant,” which are complex to define, much less address.

Important Developments in Technology for K-12 Education

Additionally, the report identifies BYOD and cloud computing as technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the first horizon of one year or less. Games and gamification and learning analytics are seen in the second horizon of two to three years; The Internet of Things and wearable technology are seen emerging in the third horizon of four to five years.

The subject matter in this report was identified through a qualitative research process designed and conducted by the NMC that engages an international body of experts in primary and secondary education, technology, business, and other fields around a set of research questions designed to surface significant trends and challenges and to identify emerging technologies with a strong likelihood of adoption in K-12 schools. The NMC Horizon Report > 2014 K-12 Edition details the areas in which these experts were in strong agreement.

“HP is proud to support the important work of the Horizon Project,” said Jeannette Weisschuh, Director of Economic Progress, Corporate Affairs at HP. “The report is vital in advancing technology in K-12 education and provoking innovative thinking among educators around the globe.”

“The NMC Horizon Report > 2014 K-12 Edition is particularly important, because it reframes the key trends, significant challenges, and emerging technologies facing education in a fresh and improved format,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “There is no better way to start a conversation about the new possibilities with technology for learning than by reading the report. CoSN is thrilled to again be a partner with NMC in this important effort.”

The NMC Horizon Report > 2014 K-12 Edition is available online, free of charge, and is released under a Creative Commons license to facilitate its widespread use, easy duplication, and broad distribution.

> Download the report at go.nmc.org/2014-k12.

About the New Media Consortium (NMC)

The New Media Consortium is an international not-for-profit consortium of learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies. For over 20 years, the NMC and its members have dedicated themselves to exploring and developing potential applications of emerging technologies for learning, research, and creative inquiry. For more information on the NMC, visit www.nmc.org.

About CoSN (Consortium for School Networking)

CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. Visit www.cosn.org or call 866-267-08747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and events, advocacy and policy, membership and the CETL certification exam. For more information, visit www.cosn.org.