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What will be the important emerging technologies for the future?

What will be important emerging technologies for the future? Why? What role will they play in higher education?


Submitted by 1 year ago

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  1. I'm not sure if revolutionary technology will come in a neat identifiable package from one company with a recognizable brand. I do believe that any technology providing learner analytics as a part of their package will be a game changer. We have had amazing technologies that bring people together with more attention to detail and faster connectivity for some time now. The real game changer will not be the technology itself necessarily but people's approach and use of it. Analytics will allow people to peer into learning styles and find trends that correlate achievement of learning outcomes to specific technologies and teaching techniques. Not only will teachers be able to do this for their students but students will be able to do this for themselves. Knowing what to use, how to use it effectively, who it is going to work for, and who it is not going to work for will be the truly important technology innovation of the future.

    1 year ago
  2. Moderator

    Augmented reality is at the top of my list. I think the promise of something like Google Glass is less about what it enables you to share (way too much is probably the answer to that) and more about how unobtrusively you can get information. The promise of Google search has always (to me) been, "you don't have to remember it, you just have to know how to find it." Augmented reality is that "pull" sense of knowledge combined with a "push" from objects (or a smart pull if your device recognizes the object).

    The most recent example is in medicine where doctors are experimenting with wearing Glass during operations. Not only does it allow them to get a heads up display of information on the procedure, but it would also be possible to alert a doctor to a special issue about the patient related to the organ or area the doctor is viewing.

    With this kind of technology making it easier to find things, higher education has the opportunity to move to discussing how you identify credible sources (avoiding "I saw it on the internet, so it must be true") and using information to construct higher level analysis and persuasive narratives.

    When technology truly allows us to end the need to memorize facts, then the real revolution in education can begin.

    1 year ago
  3. Along the line with augmented reality, a possible emerging technology is 3D hologram on top of Gigabit network. See:




    Imagining that you can have your study partner "virtually sitting" right next to you as a high fidelity 3D hologram and you can collaborate together, anytime, anywhere. Wouldn't that be cool? I wonder in that case, what differences would that make, when we try to compare a 2D LOL "emoticon" to a 3D hologram big laugh or hug, to a real hug, etc. That would be interesting.. :)

    1 year ago
  4. Moderator

    As I've pondered this some more, I think there is an underlying infrastructure emerging technology that has to happen before many other things happen. Pervasive, high speed, always on, always available network connections. And it probably also needs to be priced for actual consumers. As long as wi-fi is hit or miss (and even on many campuses, it's still treated as a luxury network with lower speeds and coverage) and cellular is expensive, we won't get to the really interesting innovations because the network will be the bottleneck.

    1 year ago
  5. Mobile, mobile, mobile. And use of its real potential for visual, audio, gps, search, interaction, chat, email, collaboration

    1 year ago

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    1 year ago