Research Question 4: Critical Challenges

What do you see as the key challenge(s) related to teaching, learning, or creative expression that learning-focused institutions will face during the next 5 years?

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

As you review what others have written, please add your thoughts and comments as well.

Please "sign" each of your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 7, 2012

Compose your entries like this:
  • Challenge Name. Add your ideas here, with few sentences of description including full URLs for references (e.g. And do not forget to sign your contribution with 4 ~ (tilde) characters!

  • Appropriate metrics of evaluation lag the emergence of new scholarly forms of authoring, publishing, and researching. Traditional approaches to scholarly evaluation, such as citation-based metrics, are often hard to apply to research that is disseminated or conducted via social media. New forms of peer review and approval, such as reader ratings, inclusion in and mention by influential blogs, tagging, incoming links, and re-tweeting, are arising from the natural actions of the global community of educators, with increasingly relevant and interesting results. These forms of scholarly corroboration are not yet well understood by mainstream faculty and academic decision-makers, creating a gap between what is possible and what is acceptable. (Carried forward from the NMC Horizon Report > 2012 Higher Education Edition)
  • The demand for personalized learning is not adequately supported by current technology or practices. The increasing demand for education that is customized to each student's unique needs is driving the development of new technologies that provide more learner choice and control and allow for differentiated instruction. It has become clear that one-size-fits-all teaching methods are neither effective nor acceptable for today's diverse students. Technology can and should support individual choices about access to materials and expertise, amount and type of educational content, and methods of teaching. (Carried forward from the NMC Horizon Report > 2011 K-12 Edition)BYOD example In the Winter, 2011 "On CUE" publication is an article by David Thornburg, "Mobile Devices and the Future of Learning". See pages 5 and 7 after downloading this issue at For those who are not members here are a few thoughts from the article. He addrresses how schools should change to accommodate the wide variety of student-owned devices coming into the classroom. He predicts that every child will have a mobile device within six months. "Now I am not so naive as to think that we can change focus with a simple snap of the fingers. To start with, many of our assessments are based on student recollection of material from the data and information levels. Second, educators need a tremendous amount of support in moving from a content-delivery model to one based (for example) on inquiry and student projects. And third, we need to consider the tremendous power of social networks and design ways to use them as part of our educational practice. This is all pretty scary stuff. For example, if Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest on earth!" Also this is an article from Leading and Learning, February, 2012 Point/Counterpoint on the question: Should Students Use Their Own Devices in the Classroom?
    [user:jan.morrison|1329417326]] - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Mar 3, 2012- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012- limad limad Mar 13, 2012
  • Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession. The challenge is due to the fact that despite the widespread agreement on its importance, training in digital literacy skills and techniques is rare in teacher education and school district professional development programs. As teachers begin to realize that they are limiting their students by not helping them to develop and use digital media literacy skills across the curriculum, the lack of formal training is being offset through professional development or informal learning, but we are far from seeing digital media literacy as a norm. This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that digital literacy is less about tools and more about thinking, and thus skills and standards based on tools and platforms have proven to be somewhat ephemeral. (Carried forward from the NMC Horizon Report > 2011 K-12 Edition) - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Mar 4, 2012 - claus.gregersen claus.gregersen Mar 4, 2012
  • Economic pressures and new models of education are presenting unprecedented competition to traditional models of schools. Across the board, institutions are looking for ways to control costs while still providing a high quality of service. Schools are challenged by the need to support a steady — or growing — number of students with fewer resources and staff than before. As a result, creative institutions are developing new models to serve students, such as streaming survey courses over the network. As these pressures continue, other models may emerge that diverge from traditional ones. Simply capitalizing on new technology, however, is not enough; the new models must use these tools and services to engage students on a deeper level. (Carried forward from the NMC Horizon Report > 2011 K-12 Edition)
  • Institutional barriers present formidable challenges to moving forward in a constructive way with emerging technologies. Too often it is education’s own processes and practices that limit broader uptake of new technologies. Much resistance to change is simply comfort with the status quo, but in other cases, such as in promotion and tenure reviews, experimentation with or adoptions of clearly innovative applications of technologies is often seen as outside the role of researcher or scientist. (Carried forward from the NMC Horizon Report > 2012 Higher Education Edition) - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Mar 3, 2012- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012
  • A key challenge is the fundamental structure of the K-12 education establishment — aka “the system.” As long as maintaining the basic elements of the existing system remains the focus of efforts to support education, there will be resistance to any profound change in practice. Learners have increasing opportunities to take their education into their own hands, and options like informal education, online education, and home-based learning are attracting students away from traditional educational settings. If the system is to remain relevant it must adapt, but major change comes hard in education. (Carried forward from the NMC Horizon Report > 2011 K-12 Edition) In this article from The Journal, January, 2012 there is discussion around systems thinking and its application to technology and education. The author identifes four interlocking reform waves that are moving through our education system, all spurred by technology. "First, we have a content shift from print to digital taking place. Then there is the shift from print to digital in assessment. Next, a move from print to digital in professional development is also in play. Finally, underlying all these efforts is a technology infrasturucture that is changing quicker than any reform." jan.morrison jan.morrison Feb 16, 2012 - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Mar 3, 2012- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012- shafika.isaacs shafika.isaacs Mar 4, 2012
  • Learning that incorporates real life experiences is not occurring enough and is undervalued when it does take place. This challenge is an important one in K-12 schools, because it results in a lack of engagement in learning on the part of students who are seeking some connection between their own lives and their experience in school. Use of technology tools that are already familiar to students, project-based learning practices that incorporate real-life experiences, and mentoring from community members are a few practices that support increased engagement. Practices like these may help retain students in school and prepare them for further education, careers, and citizenship in a way that traditional practices are failing to do. (Carried forward from the NMC Horizon Project > 2011 K-12 Short List) - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Mar 3, 2012
  • Many activities related to learning and education take place outside the walls of the classroom and thus are not part of our learning metrics. Students can take advantage of learning material online, through games and programs they may have on systems at home, and through their extensive — and constantly available — social networks. The experiences that happen in and around these venues are difficult to tie back to the classroom, as they tend to happen serendipitously and in response to an immediate need for knowledge, rather than being related to topics currently being studied in school. (Carried forward from the NMC Horizon Report > 2011 K-12 Edition) - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Mar 3, 2012- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012- limad limad Mar 13, 2012
  • Most academics are not using new and compelling technologies for learning and teaching, nor for organizing their own research. Many researchers have not had training in basic digitally supported teaching techniques, and most do not participate in the sorts of professional development opportunities that would provide them. This is due to several factors, including a lack of time, a lack of expectations that they should, and the lack of infrastructure to support the training. Academic research facilities rarely have the proper processes set up to accommodate this sort of professional development; many think a cultural shift will be required before we see widespread use of more innovative organizational technology. Many caution that as this unfolds, the focus should not be on the technologies themselves, but on the pedagogies that make them useful. (Carried forward from the NMC Horizon Project > 2012 Higher Education Short List) - claus.gregersen claus.gregersen Mar 4, 2012
  • New modes of scholarship are presenting significant challenges for libraries and university collections, how scholarship is documented, and the business models to support these activities. While the university library has traditionally housed collections of scholarly resources, social networks and new publishing paradigms, such as open content, are challenging the library’s role as curator. Students and educators are increasingly able to access important, historic research in web browsers on devices of their choosing. As such, libraries are under tremendous pressure to evolve new ways of supporting and curating scholarship. (Carried forward from the NMC Horizon Report > 2012 Higher Education Edition)
  • Putting 21st century technology into 19th century schools is a major undertaking. The 19th century school systems are still ubiquitous, from the outdated, industrial nature of old buildings to the old learning models and processes upheld therein. Schools must adopt 21st century technology to overcome the challenge of the current linear archetypes. These new tools are the antidote; organic and non-linear, 21st century technology facilitates the freedom for students to quickly discover information whenever they need it. In turn, they develop more sophisticated skill sets that open the doors to four-year universities and better jobs. (Carried forward from the NMC Horizon Project > 2011 K-12 Short List) - claus.gregersen claus.gregersen Mar 4, 2012Agree but also putting 21st century technology into the hands of teachers that think teaching as they did in the 20th century is still OK is as dangerous- sarietjie.musgrave sarietjie.musgrave Mar 4, 2012- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012- shafika.isaacs shafika.isaacs Mar 4, 2012- limad limad Mar 13, 2012
  • Simply staying organized and current presents a challenge in a world where information, software tools, and devices proliferate at the rate they do today. New developments in technology are exciting and their potential for improving quality of life is enticing, but it can be overwhelming to attempt to keep up with even a few of the many new tools that are released. User-created content is exploding, giving rise to information, ideas, and opinions on all sorts of interesting topics, but following even some of the hundreds of available authorities means sifting through a mountain of information on a weekly or daily basis. There is a greater need than ever for effective tools and filters for finding, interpreting, organizing, and retrieving the data that is important to us. (Carried forward from the NMC Horizon Project > 2012 Higher Education Short List) I agree - need content curation tools- holly.jobe holly.jobe Mar 3, 2012- kari.stubbs kari.stubbs Mar 4, 2012- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012
  • We need to build curriculum that allows for a mixture of experiences and online learning. Traditional lectures and subsequent testing are still dominant learning vehicles in schools. In order for students to get a well-rounded education with real world experience, they must also perform group work outside the classroom that is accompanied by online exploration. The goal of this curriculum is for students to work with peers in other schools, connecting with each other online to design projects that incorporate local or global issues. While the students complete the project individually at their respective schools, the groups convene to review the project scope and present the results. The blended learning experience fosters a better grasp of project development, online collaboration, and ultimately encourages students to think outside the four walls of their classrooms and experience learning within communities. (Carried forward from the NMC Horizon Project > 2011 K-12 Short List) - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Mar 3, 2012- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012- limad limad Mar 13, 2012
  • Alberta Education (Canada) is in the process of redesigning curriculum to “respond to the attributes of today’s instantly connected learners. Available information and communications technologies must be leveraged to support learning experiences that challenge and engage today's learners, and must be equally leveraged when developing curriculum.” - karen.andrews karen.andrews Mar 13, 2012
  • Need for delibrate scaffolding of learning in view of over-personalisation of (social) interactions in online environment.The increasing ability of social media tools such as facebook to highly personalise content based on anticipated interests of the individual has the effect of shielding the individual from alternative and diverse materials. This can potentially limit creativity by denying the individual the opportunity to link ideas from very different disciplines. As educators, the challenge is to introduce such diversity into the learning consciousness of the students in measured and pedagogically sound ways. This might broadly require the relevant pedagogies to be developed and weaved into professional development courses. - horncheah horncheah Feb 28, 2012- limad limad Mar 13, 2012
  • We need to have a complete changing of the guard. IT staff may not be sufficiently informed/trained in the most current practices. This hinders the adoption of many technologies that could support student learning, some of which would be more cost effective. Also, IT staff are not, for the most part, experts in eductional technology and the need for both positions of expertise working together is often not understood. Besdies the lack of individual staff knowledge these positons at the primary and secondary level tend to make gauarded decisions rather than proactive decisions which advance the use of new technologies.jan morrison- jan.morrison jan.morrison Mar 1, 2012
  • We are not using digital media for formative assessment the way we could and should. Assessment is an important driver for educational practice and change. Over the last years we have seen a most welcome rise in the use of formative assessment forms in educational practice, but still many would say that there is an "assessment gap" in the sense that changes in curricula and skills demand are implemented in education, educational systems do not always keep up with regard to making necessary changes in assessment practices as a consequence of before mentioned changes. The second assessment gap is related to the lack of innovative use of digital media in formative assessment.- oystein.johannessen oystein.johannessen Mar 1, 2012- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012
  • How does Design Thinking effect learning with technology?Design Thinking provides a useful structure for the learner to know where they are in the learning journey without needing to be told. It places the responsibility for finding a compelling area to learn and an interesting approach to learning it firmly in the hands of the learner. Design Thinking can turn around the focus of technology use to becoming intuitive and driven by the need to think. judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Mar 4, 2012
  • Communication channels between the "industry" and the typical K12 classroom educator needs to improve.K12 teachers could benefit from "ahead of the curve" technologies and strategies and "the industry" could benefit from having a better understanding of where the typical classroom teacher is in their journey toward integrating technology. - kari.stubbs kari.stubbs Mar 4, 2012
  • How does the educational institution tackle the increased blending of formal and informal learning? Flipped classroom concepts? Freedom to innovate? - kari.stubbs kari.stubbs Mar 4, 2012- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012