2014 NMC Summer Conference > Session Pathways

This year, we are excited to announce brand new Summer Conference pathways, or session themes. The new pathways are aligned with the ongoing research of the NMC Horizon Project so that you can relate the sessions you attend with the technologies, trends, and challenges that are set to shape the future of teaching and learning. Select one specific pathway that is most relevant to your work or a skill you want to acquire -- or embark on multiple pathways for a well-rounded perspective on all things edtech. Choose your own NMC Summer Conference learning adventure!

Click on any pathway below to get more details.


3D Printing and Making
We are in the midst of a shift in students being content consumers to creators. 3D printing technologies are enabling more hands-on learning experiences that often put students in control of how they demonstrate their knowledge, and Makerspaces provide venues for them to experiment and build. This pathway explores tools, techniques, and ideas for integrating more creation-centered learning across courses and programs. Threads in this pathway include but are not limited to:

  • Projects that leverage 3D modeling or printing
  • The creation and use of Makerspaces for active learning and creativity
  • Pedagogies and best practices that encompass creation-oriented learning


Data Visualization Technologies
We communicate in increasingly visual ways -- from video production to infographics and all of the rich, media-centric methods in between. In an environment with an abundance of information, there is a need to put a comprehensible face to all of the data. This pathway examines the technologies that help us decipher the information we generate, by finding patterns, accessibly displaying data, or even physically materializing our ideas. Learn how to draw meaning out of complex notions and figures, and share it with those who will benefit from it. Threads in this pathway include but are not limited to:


  • Examples of visual data analysis in action
  • Information visualization tools and techniques
  • Ways to create and implement universal design
  • Applications of volumetric and holographic displays
  • Teaching and learning models that encompass forms of visualization
  • Methods to publish or broadly share visualizations


Digital Strategies
Great digital strategies enrich teaching and learning inside and outside of the classroom. This pathway explores ways to harness the power of technology to reimagine how lessons and content can be delivered. Transcend conventional ideas and learning activities to create something that is new, meaningful, and 21st century. Threads in this pathway include but are not limited to:

  • The development of digital teaching and learning pedagogies
  • Trends and challenges in implementing emerging digital strategies
  • Examples of the flipped classroom or flipped learning
  • BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device”) policies/activities that are boosting student engagement
  • Gamified learning models
  • The creation and use of Makerspaces for active learning and creativity


Games and Gamification
While a growing number of institutions are experimenting with game-play, there has also been more attention surrounding gamification -- the integration of gaming mechanics into non-game situations. Games and gamification are both gaining support among educators who recognize that they can stimulate large gains in productivity and creativity. Learn how to develop and implement game-based learning in your curricula and programs. Threads in this pathway include but are not limited to:


  • Gamified learning approaches
  • Tools and techniques for game development
  • Badging and micro-credit models
  • Educational game-play pilots and studies


Learning Technologies
While many technologies being used for learning today have roots in the consumer industry, the past decade has unearthed a host of tools and resources developed distinctly for education. This pathway examines the emerging technologies that are changing the landscape of formal and informal learning to make it more accessible and personalized. Make sure you’re on the cutting edge of educational technology by exploring forward-thinking tools and ideas. Threads in this pathway include but are not limited to:

  • Examples of innovative online learning programs or massive open online courses
  • Creative uses of open content and licensing, or new open initiatives
  • Mobile learning strategies and initiatives
  • Personalized learning or personal learning environments in action
  • Applications of virtual or remote laboratories
  • Learning analytics programs or tools
  • Implementations of badging and microcredit exchanges


Media Production
There is a widespread demand for both faculty and students to have adequate levels of digital competency, and media production is an increasingly important and valued skill. Discover compelling and efficient methods and tools for producing polished videos, presentations, e-books, and more. Threads in this pathway include but are not limited to:


  • Tools and techniques for video production and editing
  • Hands-on media production workshops
  • E-book development and pilots
  • General media creation and dissemination tips


Social Media Technologies
We all know by now that learning is not a solo journey. Communication, collaboration, and media-creation and literacy are critical 21st century skills that are increasingly being factored into curricula in institutions across the globe. This pathway explores the technologies that are making learning a more interactive experience. See how education professionals are using socially-rich platforms to share and build upon new ideas, as well as connecting students, teachers, and field experts to enrich each others’ lives. Threads in this pathway include but are not limited to:

  • Applications of social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Edmodo, Google+, etc.) for teaching and learning
  • Successful crowdsourcing or crowdfunding initiatives
  • Examples of collective or tacit intelligence in action
  • New notions of collaborative environments
  • Projects that emphasize the development of learners’ digital identities
  • Pedagogies or strategies that incorporate a major social learning component, including peer-to-peer learning

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The Edward and Betty Marcus Institute for Digital Education in the Arts (MIDEA) provides timely, succinct and practical knowledge about emerging technologies that museums can use to advance their missions.
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The largest educational presence in any virtual world, involving more than 150 colleges and universities and a very active community of educators that numbers nearly 12,000.
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