- The 2016 Horizon Report, produced by the New Media Consortium and Consortium for School Networking, identified redesigning learning spaces and rethinking how schools work as longterm trends driving ed tech adoption, with collaborative learning and deeper learning approaches as mid-term trends and coding as literacy and students as creators as trends driving adoption in the next two years.
- In terms of challenges impeding technology adoption, the Horizon Report lists creating authentic learning experiences and rethinking the roles of teachers as solvable, advancing digital equity and scaling teacher innovations as difficult, and the achievement gap and personalized learning as “wicked,” where the challenges are complex to even define, let alone solve.
- Online learning and makerspaces are expected to be widely adopted in classrooms in one year or less, robotics and virtual reality are expected to take two or three years, and artificial intelligence and wearable technology are expected to take four or five years.
This year’s Horizon Report was informed by a group of 59 experts. The report itself includes more information about each prediction and free resources for administrators to consider as they think about integrating some of the emerging technologies in the classroom. Some of the trends are repeated from last year, but many are new. As technologies become widely adopted, they fall off the list. Makerspaces, for example, are on the list as an emerging technology for the second year in a row, while in 2015, bring your own device programs joined it as expected to be widely adopted in one year or less. BYOD programs are now very common in schools, but makerspaces, though popular, still have quite a bit of room to grow.
Opportunities presented by personalized learning reflect powerful potential in education, though they remain one of the field’s most complex challenges. The Horizon Report highlights the fact that there is no consensus in the field about what personalized learning strategies must do, which make it difficult to measure their success. Schools should continue testing and tracking personalized learning options as the field coalesces around best practices.