Page 14 - Campus Technology, November/December 2017
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Future Trends in Technology and Education
Student debt
Campus mergers and closures Graduate school shrinkage Partisan and bipartisan political pressure
International education Racial inequality Sexual assault Athletics
K–12 and higher education Macroeconomic indicators Library changes Alternative degrees Shared academic services Remedial classes Challenges to internships Adjunctification Green sustainability Demographics Executive compensation Enrollment changes Alternative certification Inter-generational tension Responses to Trump
The LMS world
More MOOCs and online learning Gaming in education Badges
Flipped classroom/blended learning Educational entrepreneurship Open education possibilities Crowdsourcing in academia Digital humanities develops Faculty criticizing deployment
of technology
Big data and data analytics
Maker movement Shared academics Rise of the net generation
Internet of Things New forms of creativity Digitization
The limits of the web Cloud computing Moore’s Law Open source Office vs. web office Shopping online Copyright battles New interfaces Fragmented internet Onshoring hardware
Automation in education Blockchain in education Campus digital threats Crowdfunding in academia E-books in higher education Mobile devices in education Social media in education 3D printing in curricula Video and education Virtual reality in education
Automation’s promise Blockchain Digital security threats Crowdfunding E-books Device ecosystem Social media
3D printing Digital video Virtual reality
human race, can be blindsided by what essayist and risk analyst Nicho- las Taleb dubs “black swans”: events that have a very low probability of occurring, but when they do have enormous impact. (For recent exam- ples think of the 9/11 attacks and the 2008 financial crisis.)
Trend Analysis
To begin with, a leading futures approach focuses on analyzing present-day trends to explore their downstream impact. This involves identifying and documenting forces that help shape the present situation. For technology and education, these change drivers include a variety of forces, from rising demand for video (both consuming and producing), to an aging popula- tion, to deepening use of mobile devices. We can quantify the shape of these trends, then extrapolate them. An example of this method is my Future Trends in Technology and Education (FTTE) report, which has
tracked and documented more than 80 trends since 2012. I build and share FTTE-driven extrapolations through presentations, blog posts and publications.
Trend analysis has several advan- tages, starting with realism. To under- stand a trend, we have to look care- fully at the real world, including both qualitative and quantitative informa- tion. To some extent campus offices already do this, and many are looking to expand that data-gathering. Trend extrapolation can be useful for think- ing through drivers that are not chang- ing dramatically, but gradually. How- ever, not all drivers follow linear progressions, meaning trend analysis is not a universally applicable method.
Environmental Scanning
Identifying trends is no small feat, and actually constitutes a second futures method, usually referred to as environ- mental scanning. As the term sug- gests, this approach involves scan-
CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | November/December 2017

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