February 25, 2015

Strategic edtech planning with the 2015 NMC Horizon Report

Posted by Laura Guertin

I know the educational technology and instructional services staff at my university always look forward to the annual release of the Horizon Report.  If you are not familiar with this effort produced by The New Media Consortium (NMC) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), the “NMC Horizon Project [is] an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning” (The New Media Consortium website).

To read the full higher education edition of the 2015 NMC Horizon Report (56 pages), visit: http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2015-nmc-horizon-report-HE-EN.pdf

To read the 8-page report preview, visit: http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2015-nmc-horizon-report-HE-EN.pdf

No time to read the report?  Check out this YouTube video summary:


I have reproduced the table of contents from the full report below.  How many of these topics are you, your department, or your institution addressing or discussing?  Or are you ahead of the edtech curve?


Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption in Higher Education

  • Long-Term Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in higher education for five or more years
    • > Advancing Cultures of Change and Innovation
    • > Increasing Cross-Institution Collaboration
  • Mid-Term Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in higher education for three to five years
    • > Growing Focus on Measuring Learning
    • > Proliferation of Open Educational Resources
  • Short-Term Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in higher education for the next one to two years
    • > Increasing Use of Blended Learning
    • > Redesigning Learning Spaces

Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption in Higher Education

  • Solvable Challenges: Those that we understand and know how to solve
    • > Blending Formal and Informal Learning
    • > Improving Digital Literacy
  • Difficult Challenges: Those we understand but for which solutions are elusive
    • > Personalizing Learning
    • > Teaching Complex Thinking
  • Wicked Challenges: Those that are complex to even define, much less address
    • > Competing Models of Education
    • > Rewarding Teaching

Important Developments in Educational Technology for Higher Education

  • Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less
    • > Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
    • > Flipped Classroom
  • Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years
    • > Makerspaces
    • > Wearable Technology
  • Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years
    • > Adaptive Learning Technologies
    • > The Internet of Things