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What is on the 5-year horizon for K12 tech trends?

A STEAM learning philosophy is just one of many trends that districts will incorporate more over the next five years, according to the latest New Media Consortium/CoSN Horizon Report, which annually tracks short- and long-term edtech trends that will affect districts.

Makerspaces have emerged as the key conduit for STEAM because the “act of making” infuses artistic design into science and engineering, says the report, which surveyed 60 experts about edtech challenges and solutions.

Makerspaces also help connect a multiple range of subjects, which has become more popular among K12 lessons.

Time to adoption

0-1 years: Makerspaces, Robotics

2-3 years: Analytics Technologies, Virtual Reality

4-5 years: Artificial Intelligence, The Internet of Things

Students at Miami-Dade County Public Schools, for example, use 3D CAD software to create toys and vases. Science students also connected Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to their engineering class by building objects that are meaningful in the story. As a result, students felt more invested in the literature, the report states.

And the makerspace at Yorktown High School in New York is where at least one student is 3D-printing a prosthetic hand and controlling its movements via an Arduino board.

Key trends accelerating technology adoption

Short-term: Coding literacy, STEAM

Mid-term: Measuring learning, Redesigning learning spaces

Long-term: Advancing cultures of innovation, Deeper learning

Another trend is a growing focus on measuring learning, which involves evaluating assessment tools that measure academic readiness, school progress, skills acquisition and student achievement.

California’s Board of Education launched the California School Dashboard last spring to target achievement gaps. The website includes data on academic achievement, school climate, student engagement and standardized testing scores­—all of which are key in school accountability.