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NMC and Educause released the latest Horizon Report last week, which was a nice prompt for me to revisit this project (mostly untouched since this time last year).

For those keeping track at home, here are the things the two organizations see “on the horizon”:

One Year or Less

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): “BYOD, also referred to as BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology), is the practice of people bringing their own laptops, tablets, smartphones, or other portable devices with them to learning or work environments.”

Learning Analytics and Adaptive Learning: “Learning analytics is an educational application of web analytics aimed at learner profiling, a process of gathering and analyzing details of individual student interactions in online learning activities. The goal is to build better pedagogies, empower active learning, target at-risk student populations, and assess factors affecting completion and student success. Adaptive learning technologies apply learning analytics through software and online platforms, adjusting to individual students’ needs.”


Two to Three Years

Augmented and Virtual Reality: “Augmented reality (AR), the layering of data over 3D spaces to produce a new experience of the world, sometimes referred to as ‘blended reality,’ amplifies access to information, bringing new opportunities for learning. Virtual reality (VR) describes computer-generated environments that simulate the physical presence of people and objects to generate realistic sensory experiences.”

Makerspaces: "“Higher education institutions are repositioning themselves to promote skillsets with applicable value in a rapidly advancing world.296 In this landscape, creativity, design, and engineering are making their way to the forefront of educational considerations as tools such as 3D printers, robotics, and 3D modeling applications become accessible to more students.”


Four to Five Years

Affective Computing: “Affective computing refers to the idea that humans can program machines to recognize, interpret, process, and simulate the range of human emotions.”

Robotics: “Robotics refers to the design and application of robots, which are automated machines that accomplish a range of tasks.”


Updates to this project:

I’ve added 2016’s higher ed-focused report to the list of reports that goes back to 2004.

I’ve also updated the JSON files that anyone can access via the GitHub repo for this project – they live in the data folder – and use to power visualizations or what-have-you.

And I’ve updated the simplest of graphics that show how these predictions have (or have not) changed year-over-year.

Click for full-size

When I started this project last year, there was a little flurry of interest from the powers-that-be in moving this report away from the restricted and proprietary PDF. It doesn’t look like anything has happened in the intervening months. A pity. But I’ve dropped the ball too. Hopefully I can find some more time this year to do more on this…

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Audrey Watters


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Horizon Report Data Liberation

A Hack Education Project

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