Is technology changing the way you educate students or the way you may learn as a student: The six trends identified by Horizon Report in Education.

The recently release NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition looks at emerging technologies that will impact education through adapting the way in which education is delivered and received.

Categorised into time-to adoption – when they are expected to enter the classroom – these technologies will look to enhance learning experiences, engage the learner, introduce new means of communication and change the delivery of education.

  • Within one year (near term) or less Mobile Apps and Tablet Computing will be in the classroom:  Mobile Apps can be used for numerous activities such as annotations, social networking, training and support. Tablets offer the same with increased capability of sharing content, videos etc. The added benefit of these devices is that the offering of one-to-one learning.
  • Two to three years (mid-term) Game Based learning and Learning Analytics will be introduced:  Growing interest in gaming will aim at bringing more engaging learning to students which will increase confidence, improve skills and critical thinking, collaboration and creativity. Using these skills and the data gathered learning analytics will provide data that can be used to change the structure of education making it more effective
  • Four to five years’ time Gesture based computing and the Internet of things will become part of education: Learning by doing is how we learn. Gesture based simulations will make our learning more intuitive and immerse learners into the topic particularly when merged with the internet of things, where objects can be used to enhance communication methods and data passing.

In conjunction with emerging technologies within Higher Education (HE) the Horizon report identifies four key trends that have been ranked in significance of importance for driving technology adoptions.

  1. People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to: Time is of an essence and therefore balancing work, home and school presents challenges, with many people needing a combination of learning and work through having information easily accessible or ‘just in time learning’.
  2. The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized: The internet is our source to everything. Having cloud-based models we are growing more independent of browser based software as they can be a cost saving – even with current concerns around privacy settings.
  3. The world of work is increasingly collaborative driving changes in the way student projects are structured: A number of collaborative tasks we do have tools to make it such as Google Docs, Skype and Wikis. These are now entering the workplace and school environment.
  4. The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators: Identifying and helping a student identify skills that can be transferred into the real world is crucial. Preparing a student for the world of work needs to become a factor in education.
  5. Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models: Students already spend a lot of free time on the internet whether that’s learning, exploring or sharing information. They collaborate without knowing and developing more advanced skills. Combining a host of online applications, hybrid learning and collaboration model will future proof education.
  6. There is a new emphasis in the classroom on more challenge-based and active learning: Active learning experiences allow a student to take control of their learning, it becomes decision based and challenging, they connect with the learning by learning by doing through immersive experiences.

These technologies identified may not have been impacting learning and teaching to their full potential on a global scale so far however we believe that some of these technologies are already in the classroom and being embraced as tools for learning. Games-based learning in particular, has already entered the classroom and is seen to be changing the way students learn in the selected schools that we have witnessed.

Report produced in conjunction with EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. The full report can be found here


About Chopper
Chopper….or Helen Axe when she’s not at work holds a BA (Hons) in Communication Culture and Media from Coventry University. Leaving uni I discovered I had an interest in capturing memories through photos. If you would like any of the pictures - putting them onto canvas is an option.

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