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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 campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The format of 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.
“University administrators and educators across the world use the report as a springboard for discussion around important trends and challenges,” says Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the NMC. “Personalizing learning on a deeper level, along with finding more accurate ways to measure different kinds of learning to provide better insights to educators and students, will be critical over the next five years.”
“With its 2015 edition, the Horizon Report for higher education has taken some important evolutionary steps,” notes ELI Director Malcolm Brown. “The report embeds the six technologies more explicitly in the overall context of higher education, with its expanded section on trends and challenges. The report has always assisted the community in making decisions about technology directions, but now the trends and challenges sections provide additional resources for campus discussions and decision making.”
Key Trends Accelerating Higher Education Technology Adoption
Significant Challenges Impeding Higher Education Technology Adoption
A number of challenges are acknowledged as barriers to the mainstream use of technology in higher education. “Blending Formal and Informal Learning” and “Improving Digital Literacy” are perceived as solvable challenges – those which we both understand and know how to solve. “Teaching Complex Thinking” and “Personalizing Learning” are considered difficult challenges, which are defined and well understood but with solutions that are elusive. Described as wicked challenges are “Competing Models of Education” and “Rewarding Teaching,” which are complex to define, much less to address.
Important Developments in Educational Technology for Higher Education
Additionally, the report identifies bring your own device (BYOD) and flipped classroom as digital strategies and technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the near-term horizon of one year or less. Makerspaces and wearable technology are seen in the mid-term horizon of two to three years; adaptive learning technologies and the Internet of Things are seen emerging in the far-term horizon of four to five years.
The subject matter in this report was identified through a qualitative research process designed and conducted by the NMC that engaged an international body of experts in higher education, technology, business, and other fields around a set of research questions designed to surface significant trends and challenges and to identify emerging technologies with a strong likelihood of adoption in higher education. The NMC Horizon Report > 2015 Higher Education Edition details the areas in which these experts were in strong agreement.
The NMC Horizon Report > 2015 Higher Education Edition is available online, free of charge, and is released under a Creative Commons license to facilitate its widespread use, easy duplication, and broad distribution.
About the New Media Consortium
The NMC is an international community of experts in educational technology – from the practitioners who work with new technologies on campuses every day; to the visionaries who are shaping the future of learning at think tanks, labs, and research centers; to its staff and board of directors; to the expert panels and others helping the NMC conduct cutting edge research. The role of the NMC is to help our hundreds of member universities, colleges, museums, and organizations drive innovation across their campuses. For more information, visit www.nmc.org.
About EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative
The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) is a community of higher education institutions and organizations committed to the advancement of learning through the innovative application of technology. For more information on the ELI, visit www.educause.edu/eli.