Visualizing future trends for education and technology

With the help of Future Trends in Technology and Education friends and Patreon supporters, we now have a first FTTE infographic.

The idea was to organize all of the 85+ trends the report tracks into a single image. This first design is aimed at appearing as one page, such as for a workshop handout.

FTTE visualization

The heart of it is the group of three main columns, which contain the bulk of FTTE content.  The very top contains the higher ed crisis or bubble trends; they appear up there because they rest on other trends, like pillars.  I showed the connection between specific technologies as they appear in the world and their educational instances (3d printing, digital video, etc) by aligning them up within a colored box.

Each trend contains countervailing trends as well.

Later I’d like to edit and compress it down to smaller sizes, as for a card.  That would most likely involve combining trends into rubrics or mega-trends, like piling VR, AR, and MR together.  I can also turn this into an interactive object, with links from each trend.

What do you think?

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12 Responses to Visualizing future trends for education and technology

  1. Lauren says:

    Very useful. I think the idea of making it more interactive would be great online, particularly as it would add more depth to those in need of it (or allow for capture of evolving conversation either from you or from wider sources), but as a summary/printable/conversation starter, this is just great.

  2. Hi Bryan,

    Nice graphic. Very useful and thought provoking.

    Here’s one future trend that has attracted my interest, and it is one that I did not see on your graphic. Perhaps it is just coming up on the radar.

    The education sector, the political persuasion sector, and the business sector are all now adapting to the advent of new machine learning algorithms and big data. These three sectors have big data sets for their respective intended audiences: students, voters, and customers. Further, these sectors can now apply machine learning algorithms to their respective data sets to go beyond mass messaging. Now all three are extending their reach and power with personalized messaging, which in turn allows them to gather additional data on their intended audiences.

    As for the education sector, my interest is in whether and how schools will support virtual tutor and digital assistant technologies, both of which gain power when given access to large, complex student information records. Also, there is a synergy between these two technologies when they work together to serve a student over many courses, perhaps for an entire lifetime.


  3. I just noticed that you do have Big Data and data analytics as a category. I guess my particular interest (see previous comment) does fit under that heading. I just elaborate to draw connections with personalized political & commercial messaging as well as personalized tutoring and digital assistant technology.

  4. Hi Bryan,

    Here on some more thoughts on personal tutors and digital assistants.

    Schools are already thinking about tutors that can access massive student records. The next step would be to support digital personal assistant(s) which can make use of the student info record.

    Initially this would be for tasks related to university administration (e.g. counseling students on courses they might want to take). Also, many courses use applications (e.g. CAD packages) which have user preferences. A student’s digital assistant may help the student interact with these applications. Then there’s the whole area of doing a job search. Once again, the digital assistant may play a role here as well.

    In general, the student’s digital assistant becomes his/her representative to the outside world. It automates tasks the student really doesn’t want to deal with and doesn’t need to deal with. It is aided in doing these tasks by having access to the student’s record.

    If the digital assistant can respond to routine emails as a secretary might (probably with the student checking to make sure the DA says the right thing) eventually this could be extended to have the DA simulating the student in chat rooms. Once again, this would be under the real student’s supervision. It would be a form of testing.

    Even if the chatbot technology is poor, there may still be many people that are interested in it. For example, the student may want to interact with the his/her own digital assistant or tutor via chatbot technology.

    If a student becomes a teaching assistant, the teaching assistant may be able to offload some chatroom tasks (e.g. interacting with undergrads) to the DA.

    Teaching assistants who become professors may want to do the same. The tutor and the digital assistant may be with a person for life.

    Who knows, perhaps the tutor and the digital assistant will someday be able to outlive the person. That’s much further down the road. But, schools may want to start toying with that idea, too.


  5. David Daza says:

    Great post. As you probably remember, we’d worked in our edtech radar, our document is in spanish but I’ll be happy to translate and share it with you.

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