Preview of 2017 K-12 Horizon Report

[This year I was part of the team selecting the Emerging Technologies, Trends, and Challenges for the global K-12 world. The team had members around the world. I served on the team representing the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN). When I served as the Coordinator of Educational Technology for the Fox Chapel Area School District, I used the report annually to benchmark the district goals for integrating technology into the learning process. In my teaching at Carnegie Mellon University I always shared the document with my students who worked on their technology plans or other planning document. ]

Photo by Norton Gusky CC BY 4.0

The expert panel has completed voting and the topics for the NMC/CoSN Horizon Report > 2017 K-12 Edition have been selected — below. The K12 Project as whole is led by the New Media Consortium, in collaboration with the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and made possible by mindSpark Learning (formerly known as Share Fair Nation). The report is set to be released in August, 2017. We’re now looking for any projects, programs, policies, or leadership initiatives that fit any of the below chosen areas, to be submitted here. Download the official NMC/CoSN Horizon Report Preview > 2017 K-12 Edition to view definitions of the topics below or check out the related discussions of all of the final topics in the 2017 Horizon.k12 Workspace.

I. Key Trends Accelerating K-12 Tech Adoption

 Long-Term Trends: Driving edtech adoption in K-12 education for five or more years

  • Advancing Cultures of Innovation
  • Deeper Learning Approaches

Mid-Term Trends: Driving edtech adoption in K-12 education for the next three to five years

  • Growing Focus on Measuring Learning
  • Redesigning Learning Spaces

Short-Term Trends: Driving edtech adoption in K-12 education for the next one to two years

  • Coding as a Literacy
  • Rise of STEAM Learning

II. Significant Challenges Impeding K-12 Tech Adoption

Solvable Challenges: Those which we both understand and know how to solve

  • Authentic Learning Experiences
  • Improving Digital Literacy

Difficult Challenges: Those we understand but for which solutions are elusive

  • Rethinking the Roles of Teachers
  • Teaching Complex Thinking

Wicked Challenges: Those that are complex to even define, much less address

  • The Achievement Gap
  • Sustaining Innovation through Leadership Changes

III.  Important Developments in Educational Technology for K-12

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

  • Makerspaces
  • Robotics

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

  • Analytics Technologies
  • Virtual Reality

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Internet of Things

VR, AR, and the Internet of Things: Life Beyond Second Life

[According to this Campus Technology interview with Phil Repp, the VP for IT at Ball State, there are many new opportunities to view ancient ruins, use simulations in the health sciences, or understand the mechanics of flight using AR/VR.]

By Mary Grush 12/06/16


It gets even more interesting when virtual and augmented reality meet the Internet of Things.”  — Phil Repp

Ball State University has been exploring virtual reality since the early days of Second Life. Here, CT talks with Vice President for Information Technology Phil Repp about how our hyper reality has changed, with more advanced virtual reality, augmented reality, the ability to work in HD, the inclusion of the IoT and datasets, and the increasing accessibility of related tools and devices.

Mary Grush: When did Ball State University start working with virtual reality and related technologies, and why was that priority for you?

Phil Repp: Our own efforts in VR began in the mid-90s and grew out of the need to have greater visualization of ideas in many of our disciplines on campus.

Grush: Hadn’t there been strides in visualization in some disciplines much earlier than that?

Repp: Ways to visualize ideas has been a kind of search for a very long time, particularly in the design disciplines. You can even find it dating back to the 15th century in examples like Filippo Brunelleschi, who invented perspective: He didn’t like the idea of flat drawings of his buildings, so he learned how to show dimension through perspective. And there have been stages in various disciplines over time — e.g., mathematics and the sciences — where discipline-specific visualization tools took several steps forward.

So the search for better visualization of ideas has been on for centuries, but recently technology has taken it to a whole different level. And VR can both span disciplines and offer an intuitive experience.

For us at Ball State University, when technology tools started to get more sophisticated and VR became more generally available — you remember the early days of Second Life, for example — that’s when we began experimenting with the hyper reality of representing and visualizing ideas.

Soon we were using many 3D tools, virtual reality, and augmented reality to move ourselves toward the ability to represent things in a way that would be closer to what’s in a person’s mind’s eye in sharing and communicating an idea.

Read more…

The Internet of Things Is Here

[For several years there’s been growing talk about the Internet of Things (IoT). In this Educause article Florence Hudson looks at the trend and the possible risks as well as benefits. While K-12 has not jumped on the IoT bandwagon, it’s still important to think about the trend, especially in light of the growing number of issues around privacy and security.]


The Internet of Things (IoT) is a topic that engenders excitement, skepticism, and anxiety. Supporting these feelings are expectations regarding the potential value that the IoT can create today and into the future, the “hype-cycle” considerations, and the risks regarding security and privacy. Yet the fact is, the Internet of Things is here. Now. Higher education thus has an opportunity to support the development and deployment of the technical and business model innovations for an IoT-enabled economy, to build the leaders of the IoT-enabled economy today and into the future, and to address the TIPPSS risks related to the IoT: Trust, Identity, Privacy, Protection, Safety, and Security.

The current reality of the IoT is already staggering, not even considering the expectations and hype about the future: billions of physical devices, across the world, that have digital sensors and are interconnected by leveraging the Internet or other network technology. An estimated 13.4 billion devices were connected in 2015, representing more than twice the human population on the planet at the time, and this number is projected to nearly triple, to 38.5 billion devices, by 2020.1

Connecting the physical to the digital world can encompass a wide range of objects: vehicles, appliances, lighting, health and wellness devices, manufacturing systems, buildings, bridges, water pipes, food containers, electric meters, security systems, cameras, wearable devices, drones, and many more. These objects are connected through a digital sensor that collects and transmits data to other devices or to a centralized management system. The public Internet or private networks connecting these devices provide the communications between these devices—or “things.”

A report recently published by Internet2 highlights the IoT at the top of the “Key Information and Communications Technology Trends for the Research and Education Community” through 2025.2 According to some estimates, the IoT could create $11.1 trillion in global economic value by 2025, representing 11 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP).3 This economic value reflects both the upside revenue potential for IoT-related devices, applications, and services and also the efficiencies and cost reductions generated through the IoT. This multi-trillion-dollar opportunity not only attracts investments but also requires innovation in technology and business models to be enabled. The risk factors of the IoT require additional research and development.

The higher education community can lead the development of the technologies, business models, ethics, and leaders of the IoT-enabled world. For example, professors of engineering and computer science are directing IoT labs for the improvement of IoT technologies, including security design. They can work with business schools to design curricula and form IoT clubs to create new business models. Law schools can teach IoT ethics, privacy, and policy. Medical schools can enable the “Internet of Medical Things.” Informatics programs can teach how to leverage the volumes of IoT data, with TIPPSS. Through such efforts, the higher education community can work across disciplines to develop the technologies, business models, and leaders for the IoT-enabled economy of the future.

Read more…