Collaborative environments, cloud computing, and 'smart' objects are among the technologies that a group of experts believes will have a profound impact on K-12 education within the next five years or sooner. The group, called the New Media Consortium (NMC), has come out with an annual report on emerging technologies in higher education for the last several years. This year, for the first time, NMC has issued a K-12 version of its 'Horizon Report' as well. The Horizon Report: 2009 K-12 Edition, released earlier this month, identifies and describes six emerging technologies that will have a huge impact on K-12 education within the next one to five years. The report groups these technologies according to their time-to-adoption horizon–one year or less, two to three years, or four to five years. It also outlines key trends and challenges associated with the their adoption.
Made possible through a grant from Microsoft Corp., the report draws on published resources, current research and practices, and expertise from an advisory board of experts in education and technology. Members include representatives from the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), technology vendors, EDUCAUSE, and U.S. school districts and universities. 'This is the first report we have developed with a focus on emerging technologies for elementary and secondary schools, and we hope that K-12 educators will use it as a resource for robust dialog and technology planning,' said Larry Johnson, NMC's chief executive. 'The technologies we identified have the power to transform teaching and learning both in the short and long term.'