Over the Horizon: High School in 2017

Writing about future trends in any industry, at least from the blogging perspective, is fun because there is no accountability and it is fair to be blissfully optimistic. With that disposition I write now, inspired by the recently released 2012 Horizon Report K12 edition, a projection of possible future trends in education technology authored by Larry Johnson, Samantha Adams, and Michele Cummins of the New Media Consortium.

The NMC Horizon Report > 2012 K-12 Edition is available for free download here.

Last year I wrote about the 2011 edition of the report. To make it more fun I fictionalized a day in the life of Elroy, a high school student in the year 2016. My post drew the attention of the authors of the report and this year I helped advise them. As one of several globally sourced advisory board members, I participated in a wiki discussion that took place over several weeks this winter. I learned about technology applications I had not yet even heard of, and as one of the only traditional school teachers on the panel, I probably brought too much skepticism to the proceedings. Casting my skepticism aside, let’s take a look at what a day in the life of Elroy might look like in 2017.

Meet Elroy, a 15 year-old junior at Sequoia High School in Redwood City. The year is 2017. Elroy has been in public school since his first day of kindergarten. Beginning in ninth grade, Elroy’s parents elected to enroll him in the Open School Project (O.S.P.) at Sequoia, a program initiated that same year to accommodate the growing demand for personalized learning environments utilizing the wealth of educational resources available with the latest technology.

Read more at the New Media Consortium..

About Jack West

Teacher, team member, father, neighbor.

4 Responses

  1. lgleaton


    Thought-provoking as always! I am really excited about so many aspects of this ‘future’ of education!

    My one concern, and it’s with my usual skeptical positivism that I wonder this, is as someone who remembers how much more free time we were all supposed to have once this whole ‘computer thing’ took off, and who has seen exactly the opposite happen, with more (time on/at) work required of each of us, (instead of the same or less), what encouraging signs have you seen that this won’t also be the case with education? That the 30% less time taken to be educated to today’s standards won’t mean an actual increase by 30% (or more) of what Elroy will be expected to know then… (Clear as mud? Let me know I can try to clarify.)


  2. whereiskatima

    Oh if this could come true! Do you think it is actually possible for education to snap itself together this effectively and quickly? I loved every moment of what you wrote and my only concern would be the length of time to actually implement something so rich with prospects at a better education.

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