Key Trends Accelerating Tech Adoption in HED

What’s on the five-year horizon for higher education intuitions?  What trends and technologies will drive educational change?  The NMC Horizon Report: 2016 HED 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 58 experts, identifies six key trends in education technology likely to impact how universities and colleges work.

HED Trends

Long-Term Impact Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in higher education for five or more years

Advancing Cultures of Innovation

There is a growing consensus among many higher education thought leaders that institutional leadership and curricula could benefit from adopting agile startup models – using technology as a catalyst for promoting a culture of innovation in a more widespread, cost-effect manner.  Educators are working to develop new approaches and programs based on these models that stimulate a top-down change and can be implemented across a broad range of institutional settings.

Rethinking How Institutions Work

A growing body of research highlights the disconnect between the demands of the 21st century economy and what college graduates are prepared to do when they leave academia.  There is an effort to make students more work-savvy though new policy initiatives, programs, and curriculum that encourage problem solving and collaboration skills needed in the workplace.


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

Redesigning Learning Spaces

Some leaders believe that new forms of teaching and learning necessitate new classroom configurations.  As universities continue to move away from traditional, lecture-based lessons and toward more hands-on scenarios, classrooms are starting to resemble real-world work and social environments to facilitate organic interactions and problem-solving.

Shift to Deeper Learning Approaches

There is a growing emphasis in higher education on deeper learning approaches, defined as the mastery of content that engages students in critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and self-directed learning.  These approaches are more student-centered, allowing learners to take control of how they engage with a subject.


Short-Term Impact Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in higher education for the next one to two years

Growing Focus on Measuring Learning

There is a renewed interest in assessment and the wide variety of methods and tools that educators use to evaluate, measure, and document academic readiness, learning progress, skill acquisition, and other educational needs of students.

Increasing Use of Blended Learning Designs

More learners and educators see online learning as a supplement to some form of face-to-face learning.  Drawing from best practices in both online and face-to-face methods, blended learning is on the rise at universities.


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 institutions 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.

Source: The NMC Horizon Report: 2016 HED Edition

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