2015 NMC Horizon Report: K-12 Edition

“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important. ”
-Attributed to Bill Gates

The NMC Horizon report has been around since 2004, published by the New Media Consortium (NMC) which is a community of hundreds of leading universities, colleges, museums, and research centers. The NMC stimulates and furthers the exploration and use of new media and technologies for learning and creative expression. Its purpose is to provide an overview as to what is on the near, medium and far horizon in regards to trends in the education sector, and is broken into three sections; they key trends, significant challenges and important developments in educational technology. Each year, the report is prefaced by something similar to the below (which has been pulled from this years Report.

What is on the five-year horizon for K-12 schools worldwide? Which trends and technologies will drive educational change? What are the challenges that we consider as solvable or difficult to overcome, and how can we strategise effective solutions? These questions and similar inquiries regarding technology adoption and transforming teaching and learning steered the collaborative research and discussions of a body of 56 experts to produce the NMC Horizon Report > 2015 K-12 Edition, in partnership with the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN). The NMC also gratefully acknowledges ISTE as a dissemination partner. The three key sections of this report — key trends, significant challenges, and important developments in educational technology — constitute a reference and straightforward technology planning guide for educators, school leaders, administrators, policymakers, and technologists. It is our hope that this research will help to inform the choices that institutions are making about technology to improve, support, or extend teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in K-12 education across the globe. View the wiki where the work was produced.

The  2015 NMC Horizon Report K-12 is now out, and as always provides for some interesting reading. To download the full report (free), please click here. If you are disinclined to read the full report, I have included below the summary video that has been released to provide an overview f the findings in this years edition of the K-12 NMC Horizon Report.

I would encourage you to at least watch the summary video, if not read the report, and I would very much like to hear your thoughts on it. This is not just for those working within the education sector. I believe that awareness of these issues will be important for parents as they think about where they want to send their children to school over the next decade as each of the areas identified in the report come to fruition.

An interesting and relatively easy to understand graphic is included on page two of the report, which I have included below.

Retrieved from page two of http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2015-nmc-horizon-report-k12-EN.pdf on 18/08/2015
Retrieved from page two of http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2015-nmc-horizon-report-k12-EN.pdf on 18/08/2015

In regards to the developments in technology, I can easily see the predicted timelines playing out, as many schools have already joined the vast number of early BYOD adopters, with my own school in the process of adopting it. Makerspaces are also something that has seen a large number of early adopters both within Australia and internationally, .

3D printing, which is shown in the mid-term adoption frame is on the cusp, with a small number of schools already on board (including one which I wrote about here as part of my review of the FutureSchools Conference back in March) while Adaptive Learning Technologies is something that I have heard discussed, but not in any detail. The two far term developments are thing that I would expect to be seeing in a few classrooms dotted around the world in the next two years, with widespread adoption over the next two years.

The challenges that are listed up the left hand side are thing that will play a large role in determining the success or not of the implementation of the various technologies in the classroom and those issues will play out across the next few elections at State and Federal levels, with the politicians blithely promising the world and providing crumbs. They will also play out in the conversations that are held in school staff rooms around the world, as the culture of the school will play a part in whether or not various technologies are picked up and tried out, or fully implemented.

I would very much like to hear what my readers think on this topic, as the use of technology in the classroom is something that I strongly believe is not going to go away, as technology becomes ubiquitous in our daily lives both at home and at work, and we need to ensure that our children are equipped to be responsible and respectful digital citizens as much as we work to ensure they are the same in the non-digital world.