Forecasting K-12 Edtech Adoption Trends


Trends change with the season. And in education technology, no one does a more persistent job of tracking these shifting patterns than the New Media Consortium. Last week, the Austin, TX-based organization gave a sneak peek at the 2014 K-12 Horizon Report, which projects fast, mid-range and long-range edtech adoption trends. Here are this year's forecasts--and the first thing that came to our mind, based on what we've been reporting on:

Fast (1-2 years)

  • Rethinking the role of teachers; (and let's not forget how we train and support them for these new roles!)
  • Shift to deep learning approaches; (buzzword warning: "Challenge-Based Learning")

Mid-range (3-5 years)

  • Increasing focus on OER content; (seems like this is always on the horizon...)
  • Increasing use of hybrid learning designs; (what's the difference between "blended" and "hybrid," you ask?)

Long-range (5+ years)

The report also lists obstacles to adopting these wonderful technologies and practices:

Solvable Challenges

  • Creating "Authentic Learning Opportunities";
  • Integrating personalized learning;

Difficult Challenges (for which solutions are "elusive")

  • Complex thinking and communication;
  • Increased privacy concerns;

Wicked Challenges ("Those that are complex to even define, much less address")

  • Competition from new models of education;
  • Keeping formal education relevant.

The report preview concludes with a forecast for when specific technologies will make their way in K-12 education. Here, it's useful to compare and contrast the 2014 predictions with those from previous years. (Someone has to hold meteorologists accountable, right?)


2013 (PDF)

2012 (PDF)

One Year or Less
  • BYOD
  • Cloud Computing
  • Cloud Computing
  • Mobile Learning
  • Mobile and Apps
  • Tablet Computing
Two to Three Years
  • Games and Gamification
  • Learning Analytics
  • Learning Analytics
  • Open Content
  • Game-Based Learning
  • Personalized Learning Environments
Four to Five Years
  • The Internet of Things
  • Wearable Technology
  • 3D Printing
  • Virtual and Remote Labs
  • Augmented Reality
  • Natural User Interfaces
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