Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption in K-12

What is on the five-year horizon for K-12 schools? What trends and technologies will drive educational change? The NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on, and use in teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in schools. The report, based on the opinions of 56 experts, identifies six key trends in educational technology that are likely to impact the core mission of schools over the next five years.

EdTech TrendsLong-Term Impact Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in K-12 education for five or more years

Rethinking How Schools Work

There is a focused movement to reinvent the traditional classroom paradigm and rearrange the entire school experience – a trend that is largely being driven by the influence of innovative learning approaches. The multidisciplinary nature of these approaches has popularized the creative application of technology and fostered innovative designs of school models. Learning is becoming more fluid and student-centered – changing the way schools must operate.

Shift to Deeper Learning Approaches

There has been a long-term emphasis in the classroom on deeper learning approaches, defined as the delivery of rich core content to students in innovative ways that allow them to learn and apply what they have learned. Project-based learning, problem-based learning, inquiry-based learning, and similar methods foster more active learning experiences and are expected to become more prevalent.


Mid-Term Impact Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in K-12 education for three to five years

Increasing Use of Collaborative Learning Approaches

Collaborative learning, which refers to students or teachers working together in peer-to-peer or group activities, is based on the perspective that learning is a social construct. The approach involves activities that are focused around placing the learner at the center, emphasizing interaction and doing, working in groups, and developing solutions to real-world problems. They’ve proven to be successful in improving engagement and achievement and will likely become more prominent in education.


Shift from Students as Consumers to Students as Creators

Learners are beginning to explore the act of creation, rather than the consumption of content. The growing accessibility of mobile technologies is giving rise to a whole new level of comfort with producing media and prototypes. Many educators believe that honing these skills can lead to deeply engaging experiences in which students become authorities on subjects through investigation, storytelling, and production.


Short-Term Impact Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in K-12 education for one to two years

Increasing Use of Blended Learning

Drawing from best practices in online and face-to-face learning methods, blended learning is on the rise in K-12 schools and a growing number of well-funded initiatives and studies are solidifying the impact of the trend. These emerging models support personalized learning, resulting in more engaged, self-directed students. When designed and implemented effectively, hybrid models allow students to practice and achieve mastery of content at their own pace.


Rise of STEAM Learning

STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) learning is a twist on popular STEM learning, placing an additional emphasis on the arts. STEAM education is about engaging students in a multi- and interdisciplinary learning context that values the humanities and artistic activities, while breaking down barriers that have traditionally existed between different classes and subjects.

Some of these trends are already beginning to have a significant impact on education, and should only continue to gain influence as adoption continues to increase in schools around the U.S. It’s important for resellers to understand these trends, and the impact they will inevitably have on their customers’ growing educational technology needs.

Download the Full Report

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