Research Question 4: Significant 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: - alan alan Jan 27, 2010


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


  • Digital Citizenship - ethical and moral use of technology across the entire educational spectrum from K-to 12 to higher education. Digital citizenship is a challenged that needs to be addressed, whether it is validating information, plagurism or inappropriate activity, the increasing incorperation of these technologies into every aspect of our lives and the lives of our stduents means the approapriate, ethical and moral use of technology is a critical challenge for all of use - andrew.churches andrew.churches Sep 5, 2010
  • Revealing one's location is becoming an integral part of using many mobile apps. The challenge here is the tension between protecting privacy and accessing services: if I opt not to allow services to access my location from my mobile, I protect my privacy at the expense of being able to use mobile apps that I might find useful. On the other hand, if I elect to use the apps, I reveal to the world where I am (and where I'm not, like at home or at work at certain times of the day). See http://econsultancy.com/blog/6126-iphone-users-will-have-to-get-used-to-tracking - ninmah ninmah Aug 24, 2010
  • It seems to me that many students are less concerned with issues of privacy and much keener to obtain new functionality - nick.tate nick.tate Sep 2, 2010.
  • Practices for evaluating student work will evolve in response to the changing nature of schoolwork and student preferences for receiving feedback. As students continue to use new media and technology in research and class work — either because it is assigned or because they prefer it — effective methods of assessing non-traditional work must be developed. Additionally, new ways to conduct and deliver evaluations and grades must be adopted that take advantage of technology for dynamically assessing and reporting progress and for delivering feedback in ways that are meaningful and convenient for students. [From the 2009 Horizon.anz Report] - Larry Larry Aug 25, 2010
  • School buildings and learning environments do not easily allow for embracing the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), or enable the sorts of learning support systems being promoted by modern theorists. Many classrooms are not equipped to support the number of students who bring laptops and require power and reliable Internet connectivity. Further, most of these spaces were designed for instructor-led lecture classes and are not conducive to collaborative group work. In a world where learning happens more and more in groups, particularly groups connected to resources via the Internet, traditional classrooms are no longer the best kind of space for every learning experience. Even the online spaces available to students often do not support their preferences or the recommendations of experts; many course and learning management systems that are used in schools are enterprise systems that too often do not reflect students’ desire for flexible, customizable tools. [From the 2009 Horizon.anz Report] - Larry Larry Aug 25, 2010
  • There is a growing need for formal instruction in key new skills, including information literacy, visual literacy, and technological literacy. To fully participate in the media-rich world around them, students must be able to understand basic content and media design, interpret media and advertising, and create multimedia messages that demonstrate visual fluency. These skills are not routinely taught and it is often wrongly assumed that because they are surrounded by media-rich messages, students simply absorb the ability to interpret and create them. There is an increasing realization that these skills are as important as written, spoken, and information literacy, and they must be formally taught. [From the 2009 Horizon.anz Report] - Larry Larry Aug 25, 2010 I agree. This is something that needs to be incorporated more and more into teaching so students (and educators) are able to be fully engaged with new technologies. - KeeneH KeeneH Aug 25, 2010 I too have found that this applies to students as well as staff. Amazingly there are students who have not been exposed to these technologies and need instruction which is often not a recognised need. We forget that not 100% of homes have computers and wifi. - lydia.kavanagh lydia.kavanagh Aug 30, 2010 Agree but also hate to say the skills needed are as basic as account management - have dealt with students unable to tell the difference between a personal account and a website - robyn.jay robyn.jay Aug 30, 2010 While Lydia is correct about not all homes having computers or wifi - this is understating the power and potential of the numerous other digital tools available almost universally. Consider the cell phone and its capacity (In NZ pop=4.1 million # of cellphones exceeds this considerably 2007 estimate was over 4.2 million), the gaming console as a medium of communication by internet connectivity (in NZ again there are more game consoles than households), personal devices like MP3 players ipods etc with huge capacity beyond just playing music. However, I do agree with the need for developing Infomation, media and technological fluencies. This will impact on teachers some of whom are not even litrerate let alone fluent - andrew.churches andrew.churches Sep 5, 2010
  • There is a growing recognition that new technologies must be adopted and used as an everyday part of classroom activities, but effecting this change is difficult. The difficulty lies in creating new opportunities for learning in a well-established system. Teachers must be encouraged to master technological tools the same way any professional is expected to master his or her tools. To take advantage of new technologies, teachers, already pressed for time and resources, must be given the opportunity to incorporate professional development, training, and preparation into their own practice. [From the 2009 Horizon.anz Report] - Larry Larry Aug 25, 2010
  • Many teachers recognize the potential of social networking for teaching and learning, but integrating it effectively into teaching practice is challenging. Rather than fighting social networking, a challenge will be how best to leverage this and integrate it into teaching for the maximum benefit to students and educators. The European Union recently commissioned a report looking at the impact of social computing on society. Im particular chapter 6 looks at social computing and learning. While focused on the EU, this work has some broad implications for other parts of the world. http://ftp.jrc.es/EURdoc/JRC54327.pdf - KeeneH KeeneH Aug 25, 2010
  • There is a need for technology training at the highest levels of educational institutions, as well as for a corps of qualified trainers. We are talking here about the potential of so many exciting technologies and yet so many educators are not competent in use of tools that have been around for years, such as facilitating online discussions or searching for relevant multimedia to support learning in their topic. More than that, they do not see a need to become competent and begin to use them. Developing exciting technologies is easier than changing peoples' behaviours. Most decision-makers see a need to move to e-learning but are not clear about the benefits technologies offer or how to lead the change to achieve this potential. Informed decision-makers are crucial if tutorial staff are to be motivated and acquire the new skills. http://akoaotearoa.ac.nz/takingthelead touches on this. I am sure there are other relevant links - please add links here if you know of any. - terry.neal terry.neal Aug 28, 2010
  • It is often difficult to strike an effective balance between experimentation and security when it comes to instructional technology. When exploring and supporting the use of technologies for learning, teaching, and research, IT managers need to challenge the security/risk issues rather than allowing them to stifle innovation. Risk management and innovation are not necessarily good companions and to fully explore experimental learning and teaching using technologies. Policy rigidity can stifle progress and innovation - new policy (or adaptation of existing policy) may be required to enable exploration of innovative ideas and methods that are not necessarily consistent with previous practice. - shirley.reushle shirley.reushle Aug 29, 2010
  • At the risk of being controversial, I am not certain that this is true. Many IT directors are well aware of the need to design IT environments that are fit for purpose. For innovation, a sandpit environment with relaxed control over standardisation is required and can be fairly straightforwardly constructed so that is appropriately isolated. This can exist on the same infrastructure as an "engine room" environment which runs the finance system - nick.tate nick.tate Sep 2, 2010.
  • I'm not sure Nick, I don't think a really effective sandbox is that easy to construct if you intend it to be something that can effectively explore the dynamic consequences of new technologies online. Many sandboxes end up compromised by the need to isolate key internal systems so that the experience of a student becomes less flexible - changing the experience in ways that prevent a genuine realisation of the benefits. There is also the problem that a sandbox alone is insufficient to achieve change - you need systems that can evaluate new ideas, extract the useful lessons learnt in the sandbox and then deploy as effective services outside of the sandbox. There is a lot more to this than the technical component.- stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Sep 2, 2010
  • Reduced funding continues to present challenges in adopting new technologies for many institutions. Funding for the mobile devices, programs and interfaces, wireless access, etc. Student's responsibility or ours? For example, I had to hire 1000 clickers for a first year class and police the doors to ensure that they were all returned at the end of lecture. Unsustainable yes - but we have no policy for clicker purchase/ maintenance etc. And moving things on an institution basis is so very slow. - lydia.kavanagh lydia.kavanagh Aug 30, 2010
  • Assessment methods are not in alignment with learning activities. I added this to the list in the last Horizon Report and I think it is becoming even more important. There is a growing disconnect between the online learning activities that students are expected to undertake and the assessment tasks they are required to complete. Teachers are still very conservative when it comes to high stakes summative assessment tasks. The on;line environment offers so many possibilities for more engaging, interesting and demanding assessment tasks, yet end of semester exams are still so common, with students sitting in neat rows isolated from all sources of information. This has to change. - geoffrey.crisp geoffrey.crisp Aug 30, 2010
  • There is a conceptual mismatch between pedagogical practice and the design of many emerging technologies that makes it difficult for teachers to appreciate or use new tools. Many new technologies are based on underlying philosophical beliefs of openness, collaboration, connection, student-centredness etc that simply do not align to the majority of teaching practices. Take up is poor because lecturers/teachers simply don't get it; they can't see how technologies enhance what they do already. With some exceptions - eg http://hums3001.unsw.wikispaces.net/ - we generally (at best) see lecture notes put into a wiki where students can use the discussion forum to respond and at worst see LMSs full of PDFs. The challenge is how to change teaching practices to take advantage of what new technologies really have to offer - robyn.jay robyn.jay Aug 30, 2010
  • Where emerging technologies are adopted, they are often added on to the tools and methods already in place, rather than evaluated as appropriate replacements. The path of least resistance is still the 'additive model' of technology adoption where teachers merely add new technologies onto existing technologies and traditional ways of teaching. A much deeper level of integration is required to move beyond taming technology to exploiting its potential to transform the learning and teaching process. Relatively few teachers have yet to embrace the concept of substitution where new ways of doing things actually replace some of the traditional technologies and pedagogies. - mark.brown mark.brown Aug 31, 2010
  • I think this one of the most important points. Too often 'blended learning' is being used an excuse to not make leadership decisions to stop activities that are now able to be done more effectively in other ways. Institutions are adding to the cost structure of learning rather than extracting costs (of all types) from their operations. I think this is a result of the 'innovation' approach which is usually driven by local enthusiasts who don't engage with the challenging task of redefining wider organisational activities (and who normally are not able to do so even if they wanted to). The current model only works if you assume that the introduction of new technologies drives greater access to significant new groups of students who you were not previously serving and at a low marginal cost, both of these are not now generally regarded as plausible in my experience (and certainly not in a 'managed enrolment' environment where we are turning students away).- stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Sep 2, 2010
  • Faculty are under pressure to publish and perform, making it difficult to engage with and master new technologies that could be used for teaching and learning. The intensification of academic workload is well documented coupled with the pressure on university staff to increase research outputs and performance. Under these conditions it is increasingly problematic to expect teachers to have both the 'skill and will' to fully take advantage of new digital technologies to enhance the student learning experience. - mark.brown mark.brown Aug 31, 2010
  • A combination of Marks' comments above and Larrys' comments on change... put simply "Professional Development (PD)" Not sure about NZ, but Australian focus regarding education has been on the DER (Digital Education Revolution) which has promoted 1:1 computer use without addressing PD for staff. This was mentioned in the 2008 Horizon Report but it hasn't gone away. Worse still, Gov't funding has been in K-12 only. Higher Ed has seen little in the way of funding change. - stephen.atherton stephen.atherton Aug 31, 2010
  • In today's networked world, learners are placing greater value on knowing where to find information rather than on knowing the information themselves. Organisations will need to adapt to the fact that web 2.0 citizens will enter places of work and learning highly connected to a network of peers that they rely on for entertainment, mutual learning, and collaboration. They may expect to be able to make use of these personal learning and social networks, and the technologies that make these networks possible, in their places of work or study. These web 2.0 citizens operate in a world that is open and mobile, and they are unlikely to accept authority that is automatically assigned to a position. Their world is flat and devoid of hierarchy. In a world where information about their areas of interest or expertise is increasing exponentially they will place greater store on connected networks, which may extend beyond classroom or workplace boundaries,and knowing where to get the knowledge and information they need, rather than having that knowledge and information themselves. - michael.coughlan michael.coughlan Aug 31, 2010
  • Re: Michael's comments. Spot on. And worse still, policy makers often confuse "information" with "knowledge". Perhaps it's an epistemological obsession of mine, but we have heard rhetoric of "Knowledge Nations" and "knowledge workers" but knowledge is information that is used, adopted, learned. Information is not knowledge... it has a cognitive process or two to go through before it evolves to that state. So quick and easy access to information does not mean teh learning process is enhanced or knowledge built. - stephen.atherton stephen.atherton Aug 31, 2010
  • I agree, but I also think that the issue is that many new technologies and tools being introduced are information access/consumption focused rather than analysis/creation focused. We still struggle to process and contextualise information efficiently - people talk about "the shallows" and information overload, but where are the cognitive tools? Tools like the iPad are great for consuming information but I'm still looking for tools that would allow me to manage that consumption in a sophisticated way.- stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Sep 2, 2010
  • Co-ordinated efforts still not happening. It's old hat, but I recall Di Laurillard commenting on the required pieces of the ICT puzzle (over a decade ago in chapter 13 of the Dearing Report on lifelong learning) having to be in place for an ICT project to succeed. Those pieces included content (electronic info, learning materials,management/info systems/research databases etc), Communications infrastructure (network, computing platforms, peripherals, IT support) and Management (strategy, PD, support). I still only rarely see those pieces in unison in HiEd. - stephen.atherton stephen.atherton Aug 31, 2010

  • The requirement for all levels of education to be able to demonstrate objectively that the "qualities" they espouse for their students are actually being achieved. Accountability is becoming a federal and state mantra regardless of the politics and this requirement will have a profound impact on the way in which learning activities are constructed, the assessment used to gauge competency and the contribution of these activities to developing "student qualities". To underpin this goal the appropriate technologies, applications and processes will have to be developed and implemented across all sectors. Hiding is not an option. - Phillip.Long Phillip.Long Sep 2, 2010
  • I agree - I noted something similar in Q3 before seeing this comment.- stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Sep 2, 2010
  • Institutional inertia. a) Keeping up with the technology adoption of students both in technology based pedagogy but also in supporting the student's personal technology within the learning spaces and the campus as a whole. b) One size fits all LMS adoptions. We must develop this as a platform to support higher level differentiation rather than as a cage to enforce uniformity. c) Encouraging innovation. - Phillip.Long Phillip.Long Sep 2, 2010
  • The advent of cloud computing and the migration of a lot of IT infrastructure to the cloud will provide a significant challenge to the skillsets of existing IT groups. Premium skills in future will include the need to act as a broker and integrator of services. Currently, many have infrastructure management skills and these may be less required - nick.tate nick.tate Sep 2, 2010.