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Higher Education Tech Forecast Sees MOOC, Tablet Momentum

Next waves will include gamification, learning analytics, 3-D printing and wearable technologies, according to the NMC Horizon report on new media in education.

As interesting as these key technologies, so are the underlying trends and obstacles the NMC Horizon report identified.

The major trends:

-- Openness and transparency as values in their own right.

-- MOOCs as supplements to traditional university courses, attractive to faculty seeking a massive, global audience.

-- Workforce demands for skills more commonly learned in informal settings, rather than the university.

-- Using the large amounts of data generated by online experiences to personalize learning and measure performance.

-- The changing role of educators now that students have access to vast amount of information on the Web.

-- Shifting education paradigms that encompass online learning, hybrid learning and collaboration.

The obstacles:

-- Faculty training does not acknowledge the importance of digital literacy.

-- Scholarly evaluation has yet to encompass new modes of publishing, feedback and recognition.

-- Inertia and comfort with the status quo.

-- The demand for personalized learning is not yet fully supported by available technologies.

-- New models of education are challenging traditional institutions of higher education with competition they have not faced before.

-- Most academics are not using new technologies for learning, teaching or organizing their own research.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr or Google+.

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User Rank: Apprentice
2/22/2013 | 2:10:55 PM
re: Higher Education Tech Forecast Sees MOOC, Tablet Momentum
One of the trends you mention is Gǣshifting education paradigms that encompass online learning, hybrid learning and collaboration.Gǥ To drill into this more, I believe a crucial component that needs to be part of online education -- now and in the future -- is a strong focus on student-center support services and interaction. In my experience, IGve seen how courses that are highly interactive, engaging, outcomes-based, and even what you could call beautiful, are the ones that help students reach their full potential the best. However, to get there, educational institutions need to overcome one of the obstacles you mention -- Gǣfaculty training does not acknowledge the importance of digital literacy.Gǥ We must turn this around and train faculty so they are well-equipped for teaching in a technology-rich, student-focused online environment. That is a big part of how colleges and universities will stay relevant moving into the next several years.
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