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

horizon-technologyMuch 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:

  • Digital delivery is increasingly the norm
  • Evolving expectations for teachers
  • Growing ubuquity of social media
  • Shift to real-world learning

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

  • Growing importance of teaching ikids to code
  • Focus on open content
  • Integrations of hybrid learning designs
  • Rising preference fo rpersonal tech

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

  • The changing physical layout of furniture and classrooms

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:

  • Authentic learning
  • Blending formal and informal learning
  • Low digital fluency of teachers
  • Personalizing learning

Difficult challenges:

  • Complex thinking and communication
  • Increased public concern about privacy
  • Scaling teaching innovations
  • School infrastructures are under-resources

“Wicked” challenges:

  • Balancing our connected and unconnected lives
  • Keeping education relevant

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:

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