Jul.17, 2013

The new NMC report was released - produced by the New Media Consortium, the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), with the support of HP, this fifth edition in the annual K-12 series of the NMC Horizon Project examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in pre-college education.

Six emerging technologies are identified 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. They are:

Cloud computing, mobile technologies, open Content, 3D printing, learning analytics and remote and virtual laboratories.

The NMC Horizon Report > 2013 K-12 Edition recognizes cloud computing and mobile learning as technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the first horizon of one year or less. Learning analytics and open content are seen in the second horizon of two to three years; and 3D printing and virtual and remote laboratories emerged in the third horizon of four to five years.

The report says it would take also four to five years for 3D printing to be widespreadly adopted in K-12 education. It says,

One of the most significant aspects of 3D printing for teaching and learning is that it enables more authentic exploration of objects that may not be readily available to schools.


In science and history classes, for example, students can make and interact with models of fragile objects such as fossils and artifacts.Through rapid prototyping and production tools, chemistry students can print out models of complex proteins and other molecules, similar to what can be seen in 3D Molecular Design's Model Gallery.


While it has become easier for teachers and students to work with these models, some of the most compelling applications of 3D printing in K-12 come from schools and programs that involve students creating something that is all their own.


Higher education institutions are paving the way for 3D printing in education, and are also launching initiatives that make it more accessible to K-12 schools.

The report shows an example of the PlayMaker school. It is a collaborative project between GameDesk, New Roads, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and it has implemented a Maker space as part of the in-school curriculum, with lessons tied to core curriculum standards. Students design objects that can be immediately replicated and prototyped through a 3D printer to create models that demonstrate physics concepts. Watch the video below:

The report concludes as the technology becomes cheaper and more prevalent in schools and afterschool programs, access will no longer be an obstacle for the widespread adoption of 3D printing.

The annual K-12-focused research project generates considerable interest every year. "It provides a variety of presentation tools and ready-to-use activities to help stimulate forward-thinking local conversations about how emerging technologies can be leveraged to tackle key education challenges and achieve instructional objectives." said Keith Krueger, CoSN CEO.

The NMC Horizon Report > 2013 K-12 Edition is available for free download here.

Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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