The 6 Education Technology Trends You Should Know About

Not too long ago, the NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition was released, with the aim of examining emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching and learning within higher education settings.

This is the eleventh time the New Media Consortium has put out this report, and it is interesting to look back and see what they had to say last year, as compared with their findings this year. In the report, the NMC teams with the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative to identify six trends that are accelerating the adoption of technology in higher education.

The report identifies the technologies, and then separates them into three timeframes (called Horizons) that they think will match when each technology will enter mainstream use. Just for reference, last year’s identified trends were MOOCs (Horizon 1),  tablet computing (Horizon 1), games/gamification (Horizon 2),  learning analytics (Horizon 2),  3-D printing (Horizon 3), and wearable technologies (Horizon 3).

This year, the group has identified social media (Horizon 1), integration of hybrid, online and collaborative learning (Horizon 1), the rise of data driven learning and assessment (Horizon 2), students as creators instead of consumers (Horizon 2), agile approaches to change (Horizon 3), and the evolution of online learning (Horizon 3).

While you’re welcome to download and peruse the whole report from the NMC website, we’ve decided just to highlight the key trends that they’ve identified to get you thinking.

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2014’s Key Trends

(all quotations from the NMC Horizon Report)

Social Media –  “Educators, students, alumni, and the general public routinely use social media to share news about scientific and other developments. The impact of these changes in scholarly communication and on the credibility of information remains to be seen, but it is clear that social media has found significant traction in almost every education sector.”

Hybrid, Online, and Collaborative Learning – “An increasing number of universities are incorporating online environments into courses of all kinds, which is making the content more dynamic, flexible, and accessible to a larger number of students,”

Data Driven Learning and Assessment – “As learners participate in online activities, they leave an increasingly clear trail of analytics data that can be mined for insights.”

Students Shifting From Consumers to Creators – “University departments in areas that have not traditionally had lab or hands-on components are shifting to incorporate hands-on learning experiences as an integral part of the curriculum.”

Agile Approaches to Change – “When educators are able to experiment with new technologies and approaches before implementing them in courses, they have the opportunity to evaluate them and make improvements to teaching models.”

The Evolution of Online Learning – “The value that online learning offers is now well understood, with flexibility, ease of access, and the integration of sophisticated multimedia and technologies chief among the list of appeals.”