8 Ed Tech Predictions for 2012:
1. Tuition and Campaigns: The cost of higher ed will become a major campaign issue in 2012. Candidates will have competing diagnoses for the issue, and competing plans to make higher ed both more affordable and more available. Educational technology and blended/online learning will receive lots of attention.
2. For-Profits and Open Education: The (welcome) surprise of 2012 will be an existing for-profit higher ed provider making an important and significant contribution to the open education movement. For-profits will step up to open learning for purely practical and self-interested reasons, namely the need to improve brand positioning and status, but this will not matter as all lifelong learners will benefit.
3. Kindle Subscription Model: Amazon will surprise the doubters and finally introduce an "all-you-can-read" KIndle subscription model. The price point will be high enough ($1 dollar a day) to exclude all but the most dedicated biblioholics, but the program will be way more successful (in terms of people signed up and Kindle devices sold) than Amazon could predict.
4. Media Management and Lecture Capture Tie-Up: We will see a merger between some lecture capture company (Echo360, Panopto, MediaSite, Tegrity) and some media management player (Kaltura, Ensemble, ShareStream). This tie-up might be a merger, but more likely will be the result of a purchase by a larger company (publishing or tech) or an investment from a private equity group.
5. An LMS Data Loss Event: Someplace, somewhere, something very bad will occur. This will be the loss of a significant number of courses with the associated course data -- and these courses will not be retrievable. This event will accelerate the adoption of cloud-based, LMS-as-a-service models, as local LMS installs are at higher risk than industrial grade distributed LMS/database cloud services.
6. China Investment: A Chinese company (backed by the state) will make a major investment in a U.S. ed tech company and/or a for-profit EDU provider. The Chinese higher education market is currently huge but poor, in the future it will be both bigger and richer. China will not be able to build enough campus-based universities to meet demand, and will need to find methods to quickly scale postsecondary blended and online higher ed. These will be strategic investments on the part of China.
7. Academic Library / Amazon Breakthrough: 2012 will be the year that academic librarians and Amazon finally enter into a productive relationship. Amazon will figure out that today's college students are tomorrow's e-book buyers, and will finally understand that the academic library is an incredible resource and partner.
8. Amazon Purchases: Amazon will get into the digital textbook and digital coursepack market in a big way with a major purchase (XanEdu or Study.net or Atavist or Inkling or some other). My money is on Amazon also buying Netflix or Hulu, solidifying its position as the great content aggregator and distributor of the early 21st century.
Wow, this is an Amazon-centric list.
Your ed tech predictions for 2012?