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Digital Education team blog


Ideas and reflections from UCL's Digital Education team


2016 Horizon Report

By Clive Young, on 5 February 2016

It’s that time of year again. Every year the NMC Horizon Report examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning, and ‘creative inquiry’ within the environment of higher education.

The report, downloadable in PDF, is compiled by an international body of experts and provides a useful checklist trends, challenges and technologies in the field and provides a useful benchmark of what is most talked about at the moment.horizon2016

The key trends identified in the in the short term are

  • Growing focus on measuring learning
  • Increasing use of blended learning designs

Longer term trends are: advancing cultures of innovation, rethinking how institutions work, redesigning learning spaces and a shift to deeper learning approaches.

Key ‘solvable’ challenges are the same as last year

  • Blending formal and informal learning
  • Improving digital literacy

More difficult challenges are; competing models of education (e.g. competency-based education in the US), personalising learning, balancing our connected and unconnected lives and of course keeping education relevant. “Rewarding teaching”, from last year seems to have been, ahem, solved.

The important developments in educational technology they identify are in the short term are

  • Bring your own device (BYOD), same a last year
  • Learning analytics and adaptive learning

Longer-term innovations are; augmented and virtual reality, makerspaces, affective computing (interpreting/simulating human emotions) and robotics.

As usual there are useful commentaries and links throughout. Once again, encouraging that quite a few of these ideas are already being implemented, trialed and discussed here at UCL.

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