The new edition reveals annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project, designed to identify and describe emerging technologies that could impact learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in K-12 education. Both organizations have also collaborated to produce an implementation toolkit to help educators put ideas from the report into action.
The report and toolkit are made possible by Share Fair Nation under a grant from the Morgridge Family Foundation.
Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving school leaders, educational technologists, and teachers a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The report provides in-depth insight into how trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership, and practice.
“Teachers, administrators, and policymakers worldwide will use the report to inform critical conversations and develop progressive strategies to meet the needs of today’s learners,” says Samantha Becker, NMC Senior Director of Publications & Communications and co-principal investigator for the report. “This edition reveals that more schools are implementing active learning approaches, transforming pedagogies and teachers’ roles in the classroom. We’re excited by how technology is enabling more students to apply creativity and critical thinking to address global issues.”
“The flagship Horizon Report, along with the new practical toolkit, give educators the insight to lead and take advantage of emerging educational innovations,” notes Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN and co-principal investigator for the report. “The toolkit will better allow school leaders to talk about these technologies right in the backyards of their communities. We are proud to partner with NMC on this forward-thinking effort and help school leaders make effective use of the tools needed to create and support modern, digital learning settings.”
The trends, challenges, and important developments in technology featured in the report are summarized below. New to this year’s edition and the NMC Horizon Report series in general are topics addressing digital equity, the achievement gap, and artificial intelligence, among others.
Key Trends Accelerating K-12 Educational Technology Adoption
The NMC/CoSN Horizon Report > 2016 K-12 Edition identifies “Coding as a Literacy” and “Students as Creators” as short-term trends accelerating the adoption of educational technology in K-12 education over the next one to two years. “Collaborative Learning” and “Deeper Learning Approaches” are mid-term trends expected to drive technology use in the next three to five years; meanwhile, “Redesigning Learning Spaces” and “Rethinking How Schools Work” are long-term trends anticipated to impact institutions for the next five years or more.
Significant Challenges Impeding K-12 Educational Technology Adoption
Several challenges are barriers to the mainstream use of technology in schools. “Authentic Learning Experiences” and “Rethinking the Roles of Teachers” are perceived as solvable challenges — those which we both understand and know how to solve. “Advancing Digital Equity” and “Scaling Teaching Innovations” are considered difficult challenges, which are defined and well understood but with solutions that are elusive. Described as wicked challenges are the “Achievement Gap” and “Personalizing Learning,” which are complex to define, much less to address.
Important Developments in Educational Technology for K-12 Education
Additionally, the report identifies makerspaces and online learning as digital strategies and technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the near-term horizon of one year or less. Robotics and virtual reality are seen in the mid-term horizon of two to three years; artificial intelligence and wearable technology are seen emerging in the far-term horizon of four to five year
The report’s findings were identified through a qualitative research process designed and conducted by the NMC that engaged an international body of experts in K-12 schools, technology, business, and other fields. The subject matter collaboration focused on 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 education. The NMC/CoSN Horizon Report > 2016 K-12 Edition details the areas in which these experts were in strong agreement.
The NMC/CoSN Horizon Report > 2016 K-12 Edition and Toolkit are available online, free of charge, and are released under a Creative Commons license to facilitate their widespread use, easy duplication, and broad distribution.
Direct to Full Text Report (58 pages; PDF)
Direct to Digital Toolkit