Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Key Trends Accelerating Higher Education Technology Adoption

This year’s NMC Horizon Report identifies the Integration of Online, Hybrid, and Collaborative Learning and the Growing Ubiquity of Social Media as fast trends driving changes in higher education over the next one to two years. The Shift from Students as Consumers to Students as Creators and the Rise of Data-Driven Learning and Assessment are mid-range trends expected to accelerate technology use in the next three to five years; and Agile Approaches to Change and the Evolution of Online Learning are long-range trends, positioned at more than five years away.

Significant Challenges Impeding Higher Education Technology Adoption

A number of challenges are acknowledged for presenting barriers to the mainstream use of technology in higher education. Low Digital Fluency of Faculty and Relative Lack of Rewards for Teaching are perceived as solvable challenges — those which we both understand and know how to solve. Competition from New Models of Education and Scaling Teaching Innovations are considered difficult challenges, which are defined as well understood but with solutions that are elusive.  Described as wicked challenges are Expanding Access and Keeping Education Relevant, which are complex to define, much less address.

Important Developments in Educational Technology for Higher Education

Additionally, the report identifies Flipped Classroom and Learning Analytics as technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the first horizon of one year or less. 3D Printing and Games and Gamification are seen in the second horizon of two to three years; Quantified Self and Virtual Assistants are seen emerging in the third horizon of four to five years.
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