Forecasting K-12 Edtech Adoption Trends

Technology Tips

Forecasting K-12 Edtech Adoption Trends

Making predictions can be like playing musical chairs

By Tony Wan     May 25, 2014

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?)

2014 2013 (PDF) 2012 (PDF)
One Year or Less
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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