Twelve learning technologies with big education potential

A number of technologies could impact education in the coming years.

Technologies that enable more personalized learning are poised at the forefront of learning trends, according to this year’s Horizon Report K-12, an annual report that forecasts learning technologies that will have a large impact on learning in the immediate future and in the coming years.

The report comes from a group of about 45 international experts who go through a set of research questions and discuss about 60 different learning technologies, thinking about trends, challenges, and impact.

(Next page: The NMC’s list of 12 impactful technologies)

Learning technologies that will become widespread and widely-implemented in a year or less:
1.  Bring your own device initiatives
2.  Cloud computing
3.  Mobile learning
4.  Online learning

Technologies and practices that have the potential to change teaching and learning, but that are two or three years from popular practice, include:
5.  Electronic publishing
6.  Learning analytics
7.  Open content
8.  Personalized learning

Four or five years down the line, learning technologies that may dramatically influence education include:
9.  3D printing
10.  Augmented reality
11.  Virtual and remote labs
12.  Wearable technology

Several key factors are driving technology trends:

  • Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning, and collaborative models
  • Social media is changing the way people interact, present ideas and information, and communicate
  • Openness–concepts like open content, open data, and open resources, along with the notions of transparency and easy access to data and information–is becoming valued
  • As the cost of technology drops and school districts revise and open up their access policies, it is becoming more common for students to bring their own mobile devices
  • The abundance if resources and relationships possible on the internet is challenging us to revisit our roles as educators

Key challenges include:

  • Ongoing professional development needs to be valued and integrated. “The good news is that it actually is getting simpler,” said Larry Johnson, CEO of the New Media Consortium and founder of the Horizon Project. “The professional development that we’re going to need is going to be more pedagogical than technological, and I think that’s a very good sign.”
  • Too often, it is education’s own practices that limit broader uptake of new technologies
  • New models of education are bringing unprecedented competition to traditional models of schooling
  • K-12 must address the increased blending of formal and informal learning

The report is produced by the New Media Consortium, the Consortium for School Networking, and the International Society for Technology in Education.

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Laura Ascione

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