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Report: 6 Tech Trends that Embody the Future of Higher Ed

Augmented reality, makerspaces and adaptive learning are carving out spaces in the future of higher education.

Researchers studying the future of technology in higher education have pinned down the six key trends that will shape the coming years.

In its latest release, the New Media Consortium’s 13th annual Higher Education Edition Horizon Report includes findings based on surveys conducted with 58 technology and education experts on the future of the industry. These can be boiled down into six key trends, six significant challenges and six important developments in educational technology.

"It is our hope that this research will help to inform the choices that institutions are making about technology to improve, support, or extend teaching, learning, and

creative inquiry in higher education across the globe," the report states.

Technologies this year were selected for "relevance to teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in higher education."

Here are the key education technology takeaways from this year’s report:

BYOD (1 year)

“The BYOD movement is enabling students to learn using the technology with which they are already familiar and comfortable, providing them with a greater sense of ownership over their learning. With 86% of undergraduate students owning a smartphone or tablet, today’s students expect to be able to use whatever devices they choose to access learning content, take notes, gather data, and communicate frequently with their peers and instructors.”

Learning Analytics and Adaptive Learning (1 year)

“Institutions are increasing accountability efforts to improve graduation rates and identify students at risk of dropping out. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is using analytics to determine potential problem areas. Upon investigating the graduation rates of their nursing students, for example, the university made a discovery they had not anticipated; students were being forced to select a different major because they were struggling with a particular English course rather than a core science course.”

Augmented and Virtual Reality (2-3 years)

“Given the mounting interest and investment in VR and AR by technology companies, educational exposure to these technologies will benefit students in STEM disciplines or entrepreneurial pathways by preparing them for the future workplace.”

Makerspaces (2-3 years)

“By participating in hands-on design and construction in makerspaces, students engage in creative problem-solving and higher-order thinking.”

Affective Computing (4 to 5 years)

“As incubators of affective computing innovation, universities are significantly advancing the field. MIT has been deeply involved since the inception through their Affective Computing Group (ACG).”

Robotics (4 to 5 years)

“Robots have been used to train medical students and perform clinical procedures in hospital settings for some time now. At the National Autonomous University

of Mexico, medical students practice a variety of procedures on 24 robotic patients, which are connected to a software system than can simulate the symptoms of various diseases.”

The full report can be downloaded at NMC’s website.

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Feb 04 2016

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