Predicting Tech Trends in Education is Hard, Especially about the Future

Paul A. Kirschner & Mirjam Neelen

In the last few months, two “predictive” documents found their way into our hands. The first one is the 2016 NMC[1]/CoSN[2] Horizon report for elementary and secondary education and the second is the SURF Trend report 2016: How technological trends enable customised education. Both are very interesting and well-written reports. However they’re also a bit tricky in that they’re not really underpinned by concrete evidence from the educational sciences and therefore, their predictions are in our opinion a bit like reading tea leaves: They’re very visible, but what do they mean?

As a preamble to discussing the SURF Trend report 2016 an aside to frame some background. Last year, Paul Kirschner presented a keynote at the 6th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK16). The keynote was had the title Learning Analytics: Utopia or Dystopia (You can watch the…

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