Although the release date for the Horizon Report 2015, K-12, is not for two more weeks, some of the core findings are leaking out through various blogs. The Horizon Report by NMC and ELI is looked at as a comprehensive time line of educational technologies. Put in a five-year time frame, this report is used as a predictor of which technologies are expected to become more prevalent in K-12 schools. There is also a post secondary report that was released in February, 2015 also predicting upcoming technologies in the college and university setting.
This report’s predictions for the five year time frame include some new technologies. I see Drones on the list for the first time. The report will specify their use withing the K-12 environment and I am hoping for something more than keeping individuals from cheating.
Visual Data Analysis is also mentioned in the five year prediction. With so much data posted on the web, it only seems logical that students know how to interpret this data. Data Visualization is harder to learn as you get older so an introduction to it as part of literacy training would move students towards reading of data and illustrating data throughout their formative years. Through two workshops I have attended about Data Visualization, I particularly noticed that there are students (these ones were in grade 3) and adults who pick up this concept quickly and there are others (like me) who marvel at their perception.
Information Visualization is cited in the two to three year outlook. Again, Google has made the amount and quality of information available to students seemingly endless. The learning comes from taming information to understand concepts and apply them in other learning to deepen a student’s understanding. Not an easy task, but certainly a skill that is transferable across curriculum.
Adaptive Learning Technologies are being used more often but the personalizing of learning that can be gained from new technologies will be applied to many types of K-12 instruction. A variety of these technologies can facilitate many types of learning and engage a variety of students.
And, in the one year forecast, my passion – maker spaces. We are looking to engaged, collaborative, STEM learning and this innovation ticks off all of the boxes. Imagine having students engaged in various types of design, inventing, re-design, prototyping – all during the school day. Imagine stretching curriculum to challenge students to answer real world questions through their own design. A huge leap forward for many students who shut down in the passive, note-taking, teacher-led, classroom. A further challenge for teachers, who must assess during the process of learning rather than mark answers in the evening. I see this innovative learning as a more realistic preparation for students to work through problems and understand their surroundings so much more. Students will acquire skills that they will continue to use throughout their education and their life journey. Maker spaces seem like a wonderful opportunity to challenge students in a progressive school setting.
Stay tuned for the results of the Horizon Report’s predictions. Hopefully some changes will be coming to a school near you.