Every year the NMC Horizon Report publishes a report on emerging technology trends and their potential impact on student learning (Johnson et al., 2013). Here is a list of the tech trends this year for K-12:
It is not surprising that mobiles devices and tablets were listed as the most important tech trend. Schools either already have iPads/Chromebooks, or are finding ways to finance and purchase tablets for their classroom. In fact, a Winnipeg school division has decided to make iPads mandatory in their schools and are implementing a 1:1 iPad pilot project this fall (CBC News, 2013). This goes to show that educators are already placing an importance on mobile learning in schools. The way in which they are implementing tablets should also be considered. Tablets shouldn’t be used merely to replace textbooks and provide a technology alternative. They should be used for collaborating, learning and productivity (Johnson et al., 2013). If a school does decide to make tablets mandatory for in-school use, are they promoting access to technology or creating a bigger digital divide? Should parents have to pay for tablets to be used at school? Are school leaders basing their decision on the trends or on sound logical reasoning? These will be some of the many questions educators and edtech specialists will have to determine when adopting tablets at their school.
The other trends listed in this report seem foreign to me at the division 1 level. I am not sure how learning analytics will assist student learning at this level. Nor have I considered open content, 3D printing, and virtual laboratories. Cloud computing is something that was mentioned as a potential option for school, however, with the policies and parameters needing to be addressed around cloud computing, I am unsure if schools will be ready to adopt cloud computing in the next year. I can see this happening in the next 2-3 years instead.
What surprised me the most between the 2012 (Johnson, Adams, & Cummins, 2012) and the 2013 (Johnson et al., 2013) report is that there was a significant difference in emerging trends. The 1 year adoption were similar, but the 2-3 and 4-5 year adoptions were very different. Would it be wise to follow all the suggestions of adoption when one year the focus is on game-based learning and the next year the focus is on learning analytics?
CBC News. (2013, May 29). Winnipeg school division making iPads mandatory in class. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2013/05/29/mb-ipads-stjames-assiniboia-school-division.html
Johnson, L., Adams, S., & Cummins, M. (2012). NMC Horizon report: 2012 K-12 edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Retrieved from http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2012-horizon-report-K12.pdf
Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., Freeman, A., & Ludgate, H. (2013). NMC Horizon report: 2013 K-12 edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Retrieved from http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2013-horizon-report-k12.pdf