Last month the New Media Consortium (NMC) published its annual Horizon Report which identifies 6 key trends accelerating technology adoption in higher education and 6 challenges hindering its progress. The NMC is a not-for-profit group born from the union of higher education institutions, museums and companies that centers its research activity on emerging technologies.
The report divides the trends accelerating ed tech adoption into fast, mid-range and long-range trends. Fast trends are the growing perception of online learning as a viable alternative to some forms of face to face learning, and the gradual emergence of new learning environments. As for mid-range trends, the report identifies the increasing credit gained by the open education resources and the growing use of data left by students on the internet to improve the educational experience. The long-range trends are the ever more positive attitude of universities towards change (especially the one driven by technology) and the boost of cooperation among higher education institutions.
The six challenges impeding ed tech adoption in higher education are divided into solvable, difficult and wicked challenges. The solvable challenges are digital literacy, which starts to be addressed at school, and the need to blend formal and informal learning. Difficult challenges are those concerning the emergence of a myriad ways of communication and interconnection and the difficulties when it comes to personalize learning. Finally, the competition between new and traditional models of education and the lack of rewards for teaching are labeled as wicked challenges.
All in all,