Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 NMC Horizon Report - Tech Trends

The annual NMC Horizon Report will be released in February 13-15 at the EduCause Conference in Austin, Tx and online. A shortlist of applications, trends and issues is posted on its wiki.  This is a good time to review and think about what higher education thinkers are thinking, and to share with K-12 educators so they can better prepare students and themselves.  NOTE:  The issue of digital literacy is identified as a "key skill in every discipline and profession", yet training is rare in teacher education and faculty preparation. 

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less
Cloud Computing
Mobile Apps
Social Reading
Tablet Computing

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years
Adaptive Learning Environments
Augmented Reality
Game-Based Learning
Learning Analytics

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years
 Digital Identity
Gesture-Based Computing
Haptic Interfaces
 Internet of Things

Top trends and issues:

  • The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators.
  • Computers as we know them are in the process of a massive reinvention because we increasingly expect media to be touchable and interactive. 
  • Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models. [about time!]
  • Increasingly, students want to use their own technology for learning. 
  • Institutions are increasingly exploring technologies that allow teachers and students to better collaborate. 

  • Lecture capture, podcasting, and cheap personal video recorders increasingly make it much easier to prepare lecture-style content for students to see/hear before coming to class. 
  • People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to. 
  • The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized. 
  • There is a new emphasis in the classroom on more challenge-based and active learning.
  • The world of work is increasingly collaborative, driving changes in the way student projects are structured.

  • Appropriate metrics of evaluation lag the emergence of new scholarly forms of authoring, publishing, and researching. 
  • The demand for personalized learning is not adequately supported by current technology or practices. 
  • Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession. This challenge, driven by a related trend, appears here because despite the widespread agreement on the importance of digital media literacy, training in the supporting skills and techniques is rare in teacher education and non-existent in the preparation of faculty. As lecturers and professors begin to realize that they are limiting their students by not helping them to develop and use digital media literacy skills across the curriculum, the lack of formal training is being offset through professional development or informal learning, but we are far from seeing digital media literacy as a norm. This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that digital literacy is less about tools and more about thinking, and thus skills and standards based on tools and platforms have proven to be somewhat ephemeral.
  • Dividing learning into fixed units such as credit hours limits innovation across the board. 
  • Economic pressures and new models of education are bringing unprecedented competition to the traditional models of tertiary education.
  • Institutional barriers present formidable challenges to moving forward in a constructive way with emerging technologies. 
  • The global drive to increase the number of students participating in undergraduate education is placing pressure across the system. 
  • Most academics are not using new and compelling technologies for learning and teaching, nor for organizing their own research. 
  • New modes of scholarship are presenting significant challenges for libraries and university collections, how scholarship is documented, and the business models to support these activities.
  • Simply staying organized and current presents a challenge in a world where information, software tools, and devices proliferate at the rate they do today. 

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