NMC Horizon is a project by the New Media Consortium to “chart the landscape of emerging technologies” in learning and education. Since 2002, it has provided annual reports focusing on academic and research libraries, colleges and universities, K-12 institutions, and museums. Each report focuses on six key trends, six challenges, and six developments poised to impact learning in the future. They are created with a comprehensive panel of experts, who take part in surveys and online discussions.
When it comes to higher education, the future trends seem to highlight the importance of embracing a more open digital culture. This includes discussions, ecosystems, and inclusiveness in particular. Sustainable innovation on the classroom level will depend on consistent demands by peer groups. Otherwise, potentially groundbreaking ideas will remain on the fringes.
Key trends: The report suggests that within two years, blended and collaborative learning will become part of the standard practice and offering in higher ed. Quantitative approaches, along with a better embrace of measurement and analytics, is predicted to take longer for a broad implementation. New ideas about the architecture and design of physical learning places are forecasted to reach a similar height, set to join the mainstream conversations in 2019 or later.
Challenges: The report defines two issues as “Solvable”: improvement of digital literacy and the integration of formal and informal learning. Farther down the road, and more difficult to understand, this includes the reduction of the achievement gap and digital inequity.
Technology: The report suggests that 2017 is the year of mobile and adaptive learning. Further down the road are Internet of Things implementations, artificial intelligence, and “Next-Generation LMS” or NGDLEs, defined as an interoperability ecosystem.
NMC is a community of education and culture organizations, analyzing technological trends, tool and the impact of new media. They produce regular global and regional reports and subject-specific technological outlooks. All of their content is free to download, with Creative Commons licenses.