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2014 Horizon Report

NMC Horizon Report 2014 Higher Education EditionWhat’s next on the horizon for technology and education? The 2014 Horizon Report from New Media Consortium (NMC) and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative provides researched insights what to expect over the next several years for technology trends in higher education. The Horizon Report has been produced annually since 2002 and amazingly many of the trends and rates of adoption continue to be accurate. With the ability work with leaders in higher education IT the creators of the Horizon Report provide an honest and accurate assessment of some of the trends to watch and adopt.

To provide a frame of reference for how fast these new technologies will impact education the Horizon report places important developments in educational technology into “time-to-adoption horizons.” This year’s six trends to watch include:

Time-to-Adoption: One Year or Less
Flipped Classrooms – “In the flipped classroom model, valuable class time is devoted to more active, project-based learning where students work together to solve local or global challenges — or other real-world applications — to gain a deeper
understanding of the subject.

Learning Analytics – “Learning analytics is an educational application of “big data,” a branch of statistical analysis that was originally developed as a way for businesses to analyze commercial activities, identify spending trends, and predict consumer behavior.”

Time-to-Adoption: Two to Three Years
3D Printing – “Known in industrial circles as rapid prototyping, 3D printing refers to technologies that construct physical objects from three dimensional(3D) digital content such as 3D modeling software, computer-aided design (CAD) tools, computer-aided tomography (CAT), and X-ray crystallography.”

Games and Gratification – “Gameplay has long since moved on from solely being recreational and has found considerable traction in the military, business and industry, and increasingly, education as a useful training and motivation tool. While a growing number of educational institutions and programs are experimenting with game-play, there has also been increased attention surrounding gamification — the integration of gaming elements, mechanics, and frameworks into non-game situations and scenarios.”

Time-to-Adoption: Four to Five Years
Quantified Self – “Quantified self describes the phenomenon of consumers being able to closely track data that is relevant to their daily activities through the use of technology. The emergence of wearable devices on the market such as watches, wristbands, and necklaces that are designed to automatically collect data are helping people manage their fitness, sleep cycles, and eating habits. Mobile apps also share a central role in this idea by providing easy-to-read dashboards for consumers to view and analyze their personal metrics. Empowered by these insights, many individuals now rely on these technologies to improve their lifestyle and health.”

Virtual Assistants – “Virtual assistants are a credible extension of work being done with natural userinterfaces (NUIs), and the first examples are already in the marketplace. The concept builds on developments in interfaces across the spectrum of engineering,
computer science, and biometrics. The Apple iPhone’s Siri and Android’s Jelly Bean are recent mobile-based examples, and allow users to control all the functions of the phone, participate in lifelike conversations with the virtual assistant, and more.”

The 2014 Horizon Report provides some other areas of insight that are new to the reporting format. For instance the report also includes information on key trends that are accelerating technology adoption as well as significant challenges impeding technology adoption in higher education. Both of these factors are important for educators and IT professionals be aware of as they will greatly impact how a trend can be adopted by a user group.

Watch the video below for a brief overview of the report:

In a recent medical librarians Twitter chat the subject of the Horizon Report and it’s impact on medical librarians was addressed. Many questions and ideas came from the chat, the transcript is available for review.

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