It's Here: Technology Outlook for STEM+ Education

The NMC is pleased to announce the launch of a new Horizon Report Sector Analysis: the Technology Outlook for STEM+ Education 2012-2017

The Technology Outlook for STEM+ Education 2012-2017 reflects a collaborative effort between the New Media Consortium (NMC), the Centro Superior para la Enseñanza Virtual (CSEV), Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica, Electrónica y de Control at the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Education Society (IEEE) to inform educational leaders about significant developments in technologies supporting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. The addition of the “+” in the acronym, as used here, incorporates communication and digital media technologies in the traditional four areas of study. 

The research underpinning the report makes use of the NMC’s Delphi-based process for bringing groups of experts to a consensus viewpoint, in this case around the impact of emerging technologies on teaching, learning, or research in STEM+ education over the next five years. The same process underlies the well-known NMC Horizon Report series, which is the most visible product of an on-going research effort begun a decade ago to systematically identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on education around the globe. The work that produced the Technology Outlook for STEM+ Education 2012-2017 can be viewed at

This report was produced to explore emerging technologies and forecast their potential impact expressly in a STEM+ context. In the effort that ran from July through September 2012, the carefully selected group of 46 experts who contributed to this report considered hundreds of relevant articles, news, blog posts, research, and project examples as part of the preparation that ultimately pinpointed the most notable emerging technology topics, trends, and challenges for STEM+ education over the next five years.

"Campus leaders and practitioners across the world use the Horizon Report series as a springboard for discussion around emerging technology,” says Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the NMC. “By examining these technologies through a STEM+ lens, the report will help STEM educators to think more critically about how emerging technology can impact the practice of teaching and learning in profound ways."

The 12 “technologies to watch” presented in the report reflect our experts’ opinions as to which of the nearly 60 technologies considered will be most important to STEM+ education over the five years following the publication of the report. The advisory board agreed that cloud computing, collaborative environments, mobile apps, and social networking are only a year -- or less -- away from mainstream adoption in STEM+ education; augmented reality, learning analytics, massively open online courses, and personal learning enviornments are poised within the two-to-three year horizon; and collective intelligence, the Internet of Things, natural user interfaces, and wearable technology are four-to-five years out.

"The sector-based analysis of the Horizon Report provides priceless insight of the trends and challenges on particular fields and make even clearer the key cross-sector trends," notes Sergio Martin, assistant professor at UNED and a co-principal investigator for the report.

Download the report for the full list of these trends and challenges, along with overviews and examples of the 12 technologies in action. Published under a Creative Commons license, it can be shared, posted, remixed, adapated, etc.

> Download the Technology Outlook for STEM+ Education 2012-2017 PDF (A4)

Meet our Technology Outlook for STEM+ Education Partners:

CSEV is a Spanish non-profit organization created to promote e-learning through the implementation of ICT in education. CSEV activities are intended to: i) promote knowledge creation and transfer among individuals, businesses and institutions, ii) reduce time-to- implementation of new skills and knowledge; iii) adapt learning options to social needs and individual skills and preferences, and iv) eliminate geographical and social barriers to higher and lifelong education. In order to do so, CSEV promotes the collaboration with universities, experts, institutions and leading companies in the world to become a world-class source in the field of virtual training and education. Learn more at

The National University for Distance Education (UNED) is the only state-run Spanish distance-learning university, with centers throughout the country and 18 centers outside Spain. Since 1972, UNED has been a center of excellence aiming at making higher education accessible to everyone. UNED is one of the largest European Universities with around 260,000 students, most of them adult, near 1,500 teachers and 7,100 tutors. UNED delivers also many open courses for lifelong learning continuous education and Is currently quite involved in the UNED Abierta initiative. UNED Abierta explores new educational approaches based on bringing together, organizing and facilitating access to an extensive range of open educational materials. UNED Abierta also offers new ways to create open content collaboratively, with the participation of the whole educational community: teachers, tutors, researchers and students can both generate and consume content.

Researchers at the Electrical, Electronic and Control Engineering Department (DIEEC) of UNED prove more than twenty years of experience covering different developments within the so-called Technology Innovation frameworks and their ensuing applications. Learn more at

The IEEE Education Society is an international organization that promotes, advances, and disseminates state-of-the-art scientific information and resources, related to the Society's field of interest, and provides professional development opportunities for academic and industry professionals. The Education Society's field of interest is the theory and practice of education and educational technology involved in the effective delivery of domain knowledge of all fields within the scope of interest of IEEE. Learn more at

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