iSchool associate professor future-casts emerging educational technologies

marciaWhat’s next on the horizon in educational technology? Florida State University School of Information associate professor Marcia Mardis is one of 50 people from across the globe future-casting emerging technologies for the New Media Consortium’s (NMC) Horizon Report.

The internationally recognized NMC Horizon Report series are part of the NMC Horizon Project, “a comprehensive research venture established in 2002 that identifies and describes key trends, significant challenges, and emerging technologies likely to have a large impact over the coming five years in education around the globe.”

The NMC is an international community of experts in educational technology — from the practitioners who work with new technologies on campuses every day; to the visionaries who are shaping the future of learning at think tanks, labs, and research centers; to its staff and board of directors; to the advisory boards and others helping the NMC conduct cutting edge research.

“It is the report people reference when researching the next big thing in education technology,” Mardis said.

horizon-logo-footer4Mardis is in her second consecutive year on the panel of experts which develops the K-12 Edition of the NMC Horizon Report, which examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning, and creative inquiry within the environment of pre-college education.  The panel generates the report after a three-month virtual process.  While the full report will be released in June at the 2014 NMC Summer Conference in Portland, Ore., the group released a preview of their findings in mid-April.

“I learn so much when I do this,” Mardis said.  “I bring the things I think are hot from the areas of the world I have contact with.  I like to see what other people bring, especially the international perspectives.  But when it comes down to it, there is an amazing amount of agreement on what we see as things that are trending and not just flashes in pan but trends that have the potential to transform education through technology.”

For over a decade, Mardis has been recognized for her research on the intersection of school libraries, open education resources, and broadband, a field known an “education informatics.”  In particular, she has been lauded for her efforts to raise awareness of the vital role school librarians play in students’ STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] achievement in schools.

Mardis has led over $17 million of research support from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the National Science Foundation, and other agencies for her work on schools, broadband, and STEM digital learning; served as a visiting professor in Australia and Canada; is a Distinguished Research Fellow of the National Science Digital Library; and was just appointed as a President’s Fellow for Internet2.

The following is a summary of the Horizon Report’s findings listed in the preview:

I.  Key Trends Accelerating K-12 Ed Tech Adoption 

Fast Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in schools over the next one to two years
* Rethinking the Roles of Teachers
* Shift to Deep Learning Approaches

Mid-Range Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in schools within three to five years

* Increasing Focus on Open Content
* Increasing Use of Hybrid Learning Designs

Long-Range Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in schools in five or more years

* Rapid Acceleration of Intuitive Technology
* Rethinking How Schools Work

II.  Significant Challenges Impeding K-12 Ed Tech Adoption 

Solvable Challenges: Those that we understand and know how to solve
Creating Authentic Learning Opportunities
* Integrating Personalized Learning

Difficult Challenges: Those that we understand but for which solutions are elusive 
* Complex Thinking and Communication
* Increased Privacy Concerns

Wicked Challenges: Those that are complex to even define, much less address
* Competition from New Models of Education
* Keeping Formal Education Relevant

III. Important Developments in Technology for K-12 Education

Time-to-Adoption Horizon:  One Year or Less   
* Cloud Computing

Time-to-Adoption Horizon:  Two to Three Years 

* Games and Gamification
* Learning Analytics

Time-to-Adoption Horizon:  Four to Five Years

* The Internet of Things
* Wearable Technology