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12 big technologies on the education horizon

These technologies, with impacts ranging from immediate to future, have big K-12 implications

horizon-technology [1]Much of technology’s potential remains untapped in today’s classrooms, but the more stakeholders know about how technology tools can transform learning, the more those technologies can truly influence education.

Larry Johnson, founder of the Horizon Project, outlined the emerging technologies that will impact education in one to five years, as included in the 2014 Horizon Report K-12 Edition, set for release this summer.

These technologies will be narrowed down to six, but those six will be revealed when the report is formally released.

(Next page: The 12 up-and-coming technologies)

1 year or less:
2. Cloud computing
3. Mobile apps
4. Tablet computing

2-3 years:
5. 3D printing
6. Games and gamification
7. Learning analytics
8. Makerspaces

4-5 years:
9. Flexible displays
10. The Internet of Things
11. Virtual and remote laboratories
12. Wearable technologies

“The future is already here,” Johnson said. “We just need to look for the good models, where people are getting traction, and follow what they’ve done.”

“Understanding the changing K-12 landscape is critically important for all of us, as we try to design learning experiences to help students succeed,” said Jim Vanides, global education program manager for HP, which supports the report research.

The report includes some slightly new approaches this year, focusing on fast, mid-range, and long-range trends, as well as examining varying degrees of education challenges.

Fast trends approaching in 1-2 years include:

Mid-range trends, 3-4 years away, include:

Long-range trends, 5 years or more away, include:

Challenges are examined with a two-dimensional framework, focusing on whether the challenges is solvable, and whether it is understandable. These challenges all have implications for policy, leadership, and practice.

Solvable challenges:

Difficult challenges:

“Wicked” challenges:

To compare this year’s report with last year’s, watch this three-part CoSN Google Hangout series on the 2013 Horizon Report K-12 Edition: