The NMC is pleased to share a preview of the upcoming inaugural NMC Horizon Report > 2015 Cross-Sector Edition, which chronicles technology uptake in higher education, K-12 education, and libraries. Download the free report or read the text summary below.


Horizon Report April Fool's Day Cover_border

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

Collaborative Robots
This category of technology was born out of two converging trends in education: collaboration and artificial intelligence. These are robots that, every time you turn around, have invited you to join their Google Doc. They are always on Skype, launching video calls with you, even when you’re having a bad hair day. They care about what you are thinking and want to work together to share the credit for your good ideas. They do not understand that they are just equipment in a campus makerspace (“Does not compute.”) They are programmed to desire teamwork. Why won’t you love them?

 Sharks with Laser Beams
Also commonly referred to as “Sharks-with-frickin-laser-beams” by PhD field expert, Austin Powers’ Dr. Evil, this technological development is poised to change the way students learn. Largely a response to kids being deemed apathetic about the world around them, some thought leaders believe rather than encouraging curiosity through exploratory learning, it is more effective to scare students into learning. Who needs teachers to warn of upcoming exams when there could be sharks with frickin’ laser beams circling every classroom?


Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

Implantable Technology
The next incarnation of wearable technology is technology that literally gets under your skin. Why wear smart-glasses on your face when you can wear them on your brain? Who needs location intelligence in your smartphone when you have a GPS chip in your shoulder? Implantable technology is poised to disrupt education in the next few years — mostly because students will all be listening to their iTunes and Spotify playlists in class …through their embedded earbuds.

Social Media Cyborgs
As enabling technologies like implantable connected chips and cyborg hardware becomes less taboo, people are able to become one with the social media universe through sophisticated surgical body-network procedures. Social media cyborgs are the new students — and they have massive online followings. This does not translate to real-life social skills as they have been understood in the past. Social media cyborgs are constantly interrupting instruction with their loud emoting interjections — “LIKE! UPVOTE! +1! SMILEY FACE WITH SUNGLASSES! WOMAN DANCING IN RED DRESS!” Their always-on, connected cameras are also perturbing to other students and instructors alike, especially under fluorescent lighting on a Monday morning, when they assert “#NOFILTER!” Yet, the potential to shape social media cyborgs into educational tools is immense.


Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

Cloaks of Invisibility
As a reaction to overcrowded classrooms, cloaks of invisibility were invented to allow larger volumes of students to participate in increasingly smaller spaces. However, some thought leaders caution that learners may abuse this technology by vanishing when teachers call on them. In fact, writers of the NMC Horizon Report series leverage cloaks of invisibility when they run out of

Teleportation is the transfer of matter without physical traversing. This technology has been frequently demonstrated by Mortal Kombat’s Rayden, who has not responded to the NMC’s request for an interview. Researchers tried to track him down, spotted him out of the corners of their eyes, and then he was gone. Compelling applications of teleportation for teaching and learning include the ability to take instant field trips and pop in and out of different lecture halls.


April Fool’s!!! 😉

About The Author

Samantha Adams Becker, Senior Director of Communications for the NMC, is the Director of the NMC Horizon Project and lead writer and researcher for the NMC Horizon Report series, which analyzes emerging technology uptake in various education sectors across the globe. She has an expertise in digital communications, with a special interest in e-publishing, social media, and online learning. In 2013, she taught the first online course ever to exclusively take place in Facebook, which was geared towards training education professionals to integrate social media into their teaching practices. Previous to the NMC, Samantha facilitated the digitization of books and periodicals for several of the world’s largest publishers and was the managing editor of a lifestyle magazine.

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