The inaugural Horizon.x expert panel has completed voting for the NMC Technology Outlook for Cooperative Extension 2016-2021, and the topics have been selected. The nine key trends, nine significant challenges, and 12 important developments in education technology below will be featured in this year’s report to be released in September.

We are now looking for projects, policies, and leadership initiatives that reflect these topics in action. We invite you to submit your exemplary work at View definitions and discussions of all of the final topics on the NMC Technology Outlook for Cooperative Extension 2016-2021 Wiki.

I. Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption in Cooperative Extension Programs

Long-Term Trends: Driving technology adoption in cooperative extension programs for five or more years
• Advancing Cultures of Change and Innovation
• Emergence of New Audiences
• Shift from Learners as Consumers to Learners as Creators

Mid-Term Trends: Driving technology adoption in cooperative extension programs over the next three to five years
• Growing Focus on Measuring Learning
• Increasing Focus on Participatory Experiences
• Proliferation of Open Educational Resources

Short-Term Trends: Driving technology adoption in cooperative extension programs over the next one to two years
• Communities of Learning
• Increasing Cross-Institution Collaboration
• Increasing Value of the User Experience

II. Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption in Cooperative Extension Programs

Solvable Challenges: Those which we both understand and know how to solve
• Blending Formal and Informal Learning
• Embracing Change as a Constant
• Promoting Extension Programs

Difficult Challenges: Those we understand but for which solutions are elusive
• Measuring the Impact of New Technologies
• Staff Turnover and Training
• Under-resourced Organizational Infrastructure

Wicked Challenges: Those that are complex to even define, much less address
• Managing Knowledge Obsolescence
• Scaling Innovations
• Teaching Complex Thinking

III. Important Developments in Educational Technology for Cooperative Extension

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less
• Makerspaces
• Mobile Learning
• Online Learning
• Social Networks

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years
• 3D Printing
• Big Data
• Drones
• GIS/Location Intelligence

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years
• Networked Objects
• Robotics
• Telepresence
• Wearable Technology

We’d love to hear from you personally, but feel free to also poll your own networks — we’re trying to cast a wide net as we look for great examples of people using or experimenting with these technologies in practice.

We are interested in learning about any kind of research, pilot programs, innovative projects, or work happening at your institution, organization, or program in any of the areas listed above. Our goal is to help readers understand the potential impact of these areas and their applications in cooperative extension programs, as well as policy and leadership. Of course, a number of innovative programs, institutions, and organizations are already involved in some of these areas, and those are the very efforts we want to highlight. Of special interest are any activities that have a significant web presence so that a URL might be included in the report.

How to Participate
If you know of examples we could include, please use the brief web form at to tell us about them. We ask for a title, a URL, and a one- or two-sentence description; you also will need to select which of the topics your example falls under. The process takes about two minutes.

We hope to have your examples by Monday, August 1st, but no matter what, we’d love to hear about what you are doing! All we really need is a sentence of description and a URL — we’ll do the rest.