Six trends that will influence technology adoption in higher education in the next five years

The NMC (New Media Consortium) annual report has been published since 2002 with the purpose of mapping the impact of new media in education, based on the analysis of 56 experts from 22 countries. The 2017 edition of the paper unveils six trends that will drive technology planning and decision-making toward adopting new media in education around the world in the next five years.


Collaborative Learning

The dynamics of classrooms are changing: the teacher has, less and less, a prominent place, giving way to the construction of knowledge in a collaborative way, in which the student is the central figure of learning. This means that there is more diversity in teaching, since everyone contributes from their personal points of view and history, and that the student is the protagonist of their learning journey. In order for collaboration to take place efficiently, there is a need for constant creation and maturation of cloud content hosting services, workspace sharing platforms, social networks geared toward teaching, and other interaction tools.


Hybrid teaching

In recent years, educators and students have seen hybrid education as a viable (and necessary) alternative to exclusively face-to-face models. Among the advantages of the hybrid models there are mobility, flexibility of schedules, student autonomy, smaller investments in infrastructure and cheaper monthly fees. The offer of online modules and courses tends to grow, demanding the development of more complex and complete platforms.


Reorganization of physical spaces

To incorporate more active methodologies in classrooms, universities have reorganized their physical spaces. There is a growing demand for spaces that accommodate these pedagogical changes, harboring projects that prioritize interaction, mobility, flexibility and the use of diverse devices for learning. This includes IT infrastructure, social areas, makerspaces and rooms for experimentation.


Results measuring

As new technologies are introduced in education, the possibility of measuring students’ interests and performance in a personalized way increases. Online courses, applications and other digital tools provide important information for both faculty and pedagogical direction/coordination of institutions. Decision making therefore tends to be increasingly grounded in the feedback offered by these tools.


New teaching methodologies

Problem-based and project-based learning has become more widespread, especially in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering disciplines. These methodologies help to better prepare students for the job market and the real challenges they will face in life after the academic period. The planning of the technological equipment of the universities is fundamental so that the new methodologies are put into practice, since the format of the classes is no longer only expositive.


Innovation culture maturation

In recent years, colleges and universities have shied away from traditional teaching models in which only researchers and academics produce knowledge and begin to act as incubators of innovative projects across the academic community: teachers, students, staff. The challenge for the next few years is to continue to transform the campuses into appropriate places for the emergence of innovative ideas, spaces that encourage creativity, autonomy and collaboration and, of course, equipment and tools that allow prototyping and putting projects into practice.

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