What’s new in the 2016 NMC/CoSN Horizon Report for K-12?Each year, the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) jointly create the NMC/CoSN Horizon Report: 2016 K-12 Edition as part of the NMC Horizon Project, a comprehensive effort established in 2002 by the NMC to chart the landscape of emerging technologies for teaching, learning, and creative inquiry. The report provides a five-year forecast of trends and emerging technologies that will drive educational change and aims to help educators and schools leaders plan for their use of technology over the next several years. Produced by a panel of experts from around the world, this year’s group was composed of 59 education and technology experts from 18 countries on six continents.

You can read the 58-page report here. No time? No problem. Below is a summary of the findings for 2016. If you read last year’s report, you’ll recognise many of the points, although we’ve noted anything new for this year and the points that have shifted since 2015.

Key Trends
Short-Term Impact Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in K-12 education for one to two years NEW for 2016: Coding as a literacy due to its significant role in imparting computer science skills in learners


Students as creators and becoming authorities on subjects through investigation, storytelling, and production (mid-term trend in 2015)
Mid-Term Impact Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in K-12 education for three to five years Collaborative learning among students or teachers working together in peer-to-peer or group activities Deeper learning approaches that engage students in critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and self-directed learning (long-term trend in 2015)
Long-Term Impact Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in K-12 education for five or more years Rethinking how schools work in order to keep pace with the demands of the 21st century workforce and equip students with future-focused skills NEW for 2016: Redesigning learning spaces to accommodate more immersive, hands-on activities


Significant Challenges
Solvable Challenges: Those that we understand and know how to solve Authentic learning experiences that bring students in touch with real-world problems and work situations NEW for 2016: Rethinking the role of teachers, from providing expert-level knowledge to constructing learning environments that help students gain 21st century skills including creative inquiry and digital literacy
Difficult Challenges: Those that we understand but for which solutions are elusive NEW for 2016: Advancing digital equity so that every demographic has the same level of access to high speed broadband Scaling teaching innovation

into mainstream practice (wicked challenge in 2015)

Wicked Challenges: Those that are complex to even define, much less address NEW for 2016: Achievement gap, an observed disparity in academic performance between student groups, especially as defined by socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity or gender Personalised learning to address the specific learning needs, interests, aspirations or cultural backgrounds of individual students (difficult challenge in 2015)
Important Developments in Educational Technology
Short-Term Developments: Time-to-adoption horizon is one year or less NEW for 2016: Online learning, both formal and informal educational opportunities that take place through the web


Makerspaces, informal workshop environments located in community facilities or education institutions where people immerse themselves in creative making and tinkering activities
Medium-Term Developments: Time-to-adoption horizon is two to three Years NEW for 2016: Robotics, the design and application of robots — automated machines that accomplish a range of activities NEW for 2016: Virtual reality, computer-generated

environments that simulate the physical presence of people and/or objects and realistic sensory experiences

Long-Term Developments: Time-to-adoption horizon is four to five years NEW for 2016: Artificial intelligence which creates intelligent machines that more closely resemble humans in

their functions

Wearable technology, smart devices that can be worn by users and taking the form of an accessory such as jewellery or eyewear

You can also download the digital toolkit, which helps educational professionals stimulate discussion and engagement with the material among the wider school community.

What do you think of the Horizon Report for K-12? Let us know if the comments below if and how your school will take these findings into account in your future planning and strategy discussions.