The Technology Outlook for Community, Technical, and Junior Colleges 2013-2018

The NMC and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), with the support of Dell Inc. and Intel, have jointly released the Technology Outlook for Community, Technical, and Junior Colleges 2013-2018: An NMC Horizon Project Sector Analysis at NISOD’s 35th annual International Conference on Teaching & Leadership Excellence. This report applies the process developed for the NMC Horizon Project, with a focus on identifying and describing emerging technologies likely to have an impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in two-year higher education institutions around the world. Twelve emerging technologies are recognized across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, as well as key trends and challenges expected to continue over the same period, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning.

The Technology Outlook for Community, Technical, and Junior Colleges 2013-2018 identifies BYOD, flipped classroom, online learning, and social media as technologies expected to enter mainstream use at community, technical, and junior colleges in the first horizon of one year or less. Badges, games and gamification, learning analytics, and next generation LMS are seen in the second horizon of two to three years; the Internet of Things, natural user interfaces, virtual assistants, and virtual and remote laboratories are seen emerging in the third horizon of four to five years.

“Campus leaders and practitioners in two-year colleges across the globe will use the report as a springboard for discussion around significant trends and challenges,” said Dr. Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the NMC and Project Director for the report. “The biggest trend identified reflects the need for students to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want. Emerging technologies, including mobile devices, are making this increasingly possible.”

The subject matter in this report was identified through a qualitative research process designed and conducted by the NMC that engages a body of experts in education, technology, business, and other fields with a distinctly community, technical, and junior college perspective around a set of research questions designed to surface significant trends and challenges and to identify emerging technologies with a strong likelihood of adoption in two-year institutions. The Technology Outlook for Community, Technical, and Junior Colleges 2013-2018 details the areas in which these experts were in strong agreement.

"NISOD is happy to have collaborated with the NMC, Dell, and Intel on this compelling report," said Dr. Larry Miller, NISOD's Executive Director. "We believe this report is of significant importance to the rapid changes we're seeing at two-year institutions, and it will help inform education leaders about important developments in key learning technologies.”

"Identifying the major trends and challenges for learning is critical at a time when all institutions are making investments in emerging technologies and adopting new teaching approaches,” added Becky Musil, Associate Director of NISOD. "This makes the report essential for anyone planning the future of learning at their institution.”

“At Dell, we help identify where technology may be able to best support the learning needs of students and help prepare them with the technical skills and core competencies to be career-ready,” said Jon Phillips, Global Education Director, Dell. “As the report notes, students today are increasingly learning beyond the usual school day, beyond the classroom and they are learning in their own unique ways. At Dell we work to address the unique learning needs of this generation and the future by personalizing learning supported by technology, integrating technology into curriculum and teaching and providing the IT infrastructure for colleges to efficiently manage the increasing expectations.”

“This report represents a partnership between industry and academia to ensure that community, technical and junior colleges are positioned to better leverage the power of technology to serve their students and faculty, as well as to bring up the next generation of technology workers,” said Roma Arellano, Intel Manager, Learning and Development. “We know that learning innovations in higher education are critical in creating a robust global innovation economy.”

The Technology Outlook for Community, Technical, and Junior Colleges 2013-2018 is available online, free of charge, and is released under a Creative Commons license to facilitate its widespread use, easy duplication, and broad distribution.

> Download the report (PDF)


About the New Media Consortium
The New Media Consortium (NMC) is an international not-for-profit consortium of learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies. For 20 years, the NMC and its members have dedicated themselves to exploring and developing potential applications of emerging technologies for learning, research, and creative inquiry. For more information, visit

Since 1978, the National Institute for Staff & Organizational Development (NISOD) has been dedicated to the professional development of faculty, administrators, and staff; and to the continued improvement of teaching and learning, with the ultimate goal of student success. More than 700 community colleges around the world are NISOD-members, including almost every large community college district, the majority of urban and technical colleges in the United States and Canada, and more than 200 small, rural colleges around the world. For more information, visit

About Dell
Dell Inc. is committed to helping students develop the knowledge and skills they need to learn and succeed in an increasingly digital world and a globally competitive workforce. As a top provider of technology and services to schools, colleges and universities, Dell listens to and works with students, educators, administrators, parents and community members around the world to deliver innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more in and out of the classroom. Learn more about Dell in Education at Follow us on Twitter @DellEDU.

About Intel
In our increasingly global economy, Intel recognizes that curiosity, critical thinking and a strong foundation in math and science are necessary for tomorrow’s workforce. That’s why Intel gets directly involved in education programs, policy advocacy and technology access efforts that enable today’s youth to develop skills they need to be the innovators of tomorrow. For more information, visit

Cover photo by Tom Haymes, Houston Community College

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