Desktop Research: Essays and Interviews on the Future

The initial listing of predictions about the future has been collected from our previous years' efforts and other recommended sources.

We'd love to see your clippings here as well! Please use the edit this page button to add more, or add comments on how or why you think they may or may not be important. As is the convention throughout the Horizon Project Wiki, we ask you to identify items you think are of high interest to us, as I have done here by typing 4 tilde (~) characters-- - Larry Larry Oct 30, 2011. This will help us to sift through the articles and determine which ones resonate most strongly with the board as a whole.

Recommended Reading


  • Better Data Can Help Colleges Fight Cheating
    http://chronicle.com/article/Better-Data-Can-Help-Colleges/141485/
    Administrators at UT-Austin have been collecting data on cheating since the 1980s, and have published the information online since 2003. Hundreds of incidents each year are broken down by gender, ethnicity, age, college, and grade-point average, as well as type of violation. Gary M. Pavela, researcher of academic ethics, says “without data, faculty members and administrators wind up reacting to individual instances of cheating without having a sense of larger trends that might be widespread on their campus or nationally.”
  • Consolidate This: Quantified Self Edition
    http://gigaom.com/2013/10/13/consolidate-this-quantified-self-edition
    There are too many choices available for consumers when it comes to devices and apps that track your steps or daily activities. What needs to happen is consolidation across the industry and a focus on storytelling, not just activity. Data is just data. It becomes an order of magnitude more interesting when a story takes form.
  • DNA Storage: The Code that Could Save Civilisation
    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130724-saving-civilisation-in-one-room
    Two scientists believe we can store all the world’s knowledge in DNA. The cycle of obsolescence that all data-storing technologies go through is a current problem for storing knowledge, but living things have been storing information in DNA since the dawn of life, including the instructions for building every human, animal, bacterium and plant. This is a storage medium that will never go obsolete.
  • The Do-It-Yourself Movement Goes to School
    http://porvir.org/en/porpensar/do-it-yourself-movement-school/20131111
    Every movement to innovate in education has a honeymoon phase, when everyone wants to do it. That is exactly where the Maker Movement is. Everyone wants to set up a fab lab, but this could also fade away two years from now if we don’t produce results.
  • E-Books Could Be The Future Of Social Media
    http://www.fastcolabs.com/3016658/e-books-could-be-the-ultimate-niche-social-networks
    This article describes a future in which each E-Book becomes its own social network where readers discuss favorite passages with other readers and even authors... - bryan.blakeley bryan.blakeley Feb 18, 2014 This looks like a fantastic idea. I think it would also be really helpful to establish links between books within the larger world of ebooks so one could reference other authors or look at the way an author appropriates another person's ideas. You know, like the web. ;) - lkoster lkoster Feb 18, 2014
    Amazon allows you to not only highlight your e-book, but see which passages others have highlighted and share it with your social media accounts.
  • Future Computers Will Emulate Human Brain
    http://www.neurope.eu/article/future-computers-will-emulate-human-brain
    Scientists from IBM unveiled on 8 August a software ecosystem designed for programming silicon chips that have an architecture inspired by the function, low power, and compact volume of the brain. The technology could enable a new generation of intelligent sensor networks that mimic the brain’s abilities for perception, action, and cognition.
  • The Future of Learning, Networked Society
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=quYDkuD4dMU
    Produced by Ericsson, this short documentary interviews leaders and visionaries in the field of educational technology, as well as technologists in developing countries, to paint a picture of what the future of learning can be.
  • Future Profile of Teachers - Jef Staes [VIDEO]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IbFQHz1K4Q
    In this 3 min. video, Jef Staes, a thought leader in learning and innovation management, describes what innovation looks like as he sees it in education -- a process called "3D smarting" -- which takes into account the passions of the students with the objectives of the teacher, resulting in a system where both parties learn from each other.
  • Going Beyond 'Learning to Code': Why 2014 is the Year of Web Literacy
    http://dmlcentral.net/blog/doug-belshaw/going-beyond-learning-code-why-2014-year-web-literacy
    Web literacy refers to skills and competencies required to read, write and participate effectively online. This includes ‘coding/scripting’ as just one part of a wider strand identified as 'Building' (i.e. writing) the web. Other competencies in this strand include 'remixing' and 'composing for the web'. - bryan.blakeley bryan.blakeley Feb 18, 2014 I second this idea. While learning to code is a great skill for students (and others) to develop, it seems like becoming a better digital citizen is a better place to start.
  • Google Chairman: 6 Predictions for Our Digital Future
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/23/tech/web/eric-schmidt-google-book/index.html
    Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has co-authored a book with Jared Cohen, a former U.S. State Department terrorism adviser who now heads up Google Ideas, the company's think tank. In it, the authors consider what our world will be like when everyone on Earth is connected digitally. This article six predictions from the book.
  • Google Glass Creator Says 'Fear-Based' Testing Regimes Block Technology
    http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/sep/05/google-glass-creator-testing-regimes-technology
    Sebastian Thrun, who led the Google research lab responsible for self-driving cars and Google Glass believes the main obstacle for technology is to overcome the belief that a teacher and group of students have to go through the same thing at the same time. He argues that the way the system administers tests is fundamentally wrong. [It is done] more in a summative way, and we ask the question 'has the student done the correct thing' and we do it more in a fear inspiring way, forcing a student to submit to a date irrespective of how long it takes them to learn.
  • Here’s What You Need to Know About the Future of Gesture-Based UI Design
    http://gigaom.com/2013/08/19/heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-future-of-gesture-based-ui-design/
    User interface designers, researchers and engineers have to take into account human flaws, as well as a host of other considerations, when they’re thinking up the gestures that they hope will become as commonplace as the pinch to zoom, or pull to refresh. GigaOm interviews several UI designers to reveal issue they face and what they think about the future of gesture design.
  • Internet is Future of Higher Education Says University of the People
    http://opensource.com/education/13/8/university-people-interview
    Reshef is the founder of University of the People(UoPeople), which bills itself as the world’s first tuition-free, degree-granting, non-profit online university. UoPeople uses collaborative peer-to-peer learning with the guidance of instructors and seeks to make sure that a student with any Internet connection, even the most rudimentary one, is able to access our courses and study at our university.
  • An Internet of Things
    http://postscapes.com/internet-of-things-examples/
    An Internet of Things. "In the next century, planet earth will don an electronic skin. It will use the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations."
  • Keen On… The Mobile Future: Why IT Might Not Happen
    http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/06/keen-on-the-future-why-it-might-not-happen/
    Ericsson CTO, Ulf Ewaldsson says there will be a thousand fold increase in mobile traffic over the next five years and today’s 4G networks aren’t sufficiently muscular to handle this explosion in bandwidth demand. Spectrum, he predicts, will be “more scarce than oil in the 21st century”.
  • A Map of Education Technology Through 2040 [#Infographic]
    http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2013/08/map-education-technology-through-2040-infographic
    This visualization designed by Michell Zappa of Envisioning Tech, attempts to organize a series of emerging technologies that are likely to influence education in the upcoming decades. An important point highlighted is that the future of technology in education is in the cloud, removing access barriers and making teaching and learning more social. - bryan.blakeley bryan.blakeley Feb 18, 2014 - lkoster lkoster Feb 18, 2014
  • MIT technology Trailblazer is a Critic of Computerized Learning http://hechingerreport.org/content/mit-technology-trailblazer-is-a-critic-of-computerized-learning_12697/ This is an interview with Mitchel Resnick, LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab. He discusses how technology is affecting education and why we shouldn’t be designing everything just on the data.
  • MOOCs and the Gartner Hype Cycle: A Very Slow Tsunami
    http://pandodaily.com/2013/09/13/moocs-and-the-gartner-hype-cycle-a-very-slow-tsunami/
    This article discusses where MOOCs may be according to the Gartner Hype Cycle, and how the cycle may unfold in the future.
  • The Nature of the Future in Education
    http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/edtechresearcher/2013/07/the_nature_of_the_future_in_education.html
    This article and video explains a vision of Marina Gorbis, author of "The Nature of the Future: Dispatches from the Socialstructed World." Part of Gorbis's vision of the future of learning relies on adaptive technologies to personalize learning experiences, clocks that understand your brain cycles, and optical devices that allow people to create informational overlays on the real world. But the heart of her vision is that technology will enable multigenerational learning communities, allowing for ad hoc learning groups, apprenticeships crossing geographic boundaries, and a personalization of learning that comes more from building relationships between experts and learners than from algorithms serving up learning objects.
  • Next-Generation Search: Software Bots Will Anticipate Your Needs
    http://go.nmc.org/sbot
    Contextual search and the Internet of Things are two key factors in how search is evolving from users actively searching for information to users receiving information as they need it. But there is another key component that must be added to the search equation: the rise of intelligent software agents that will not only anticipate the information you need, but also act on that information to help manage your life.
  • Rethink Higher Education to Exploit Digital Platforms
    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/comment/opinion/rethink-higher-education-to-exploit-digital-platforms/2006485.article
    The authors of this article describe a hypothetical "Cloud U" in which students define their own educational paths, choosing from a variety of different styles of online courses, some more social or interactive allowing students to co-create lessons even, and some geared to be a quick micro-tutorial.
  • Robots: The Droids We are Looking For
    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130620-building-a-better-robot
    Rethink Robotics chairman and CTO Rodney Brooks discusses how he sees robots affecting our lives in the future, especially for the elderly who will be able to control their own lives longer with the aid of an industrial robot.
  • Sebastian Thrun on the Future of Learning
    http://www.technologyreview.com/news/517181/sebastian-thrun-on-the-future-of-learning/
    In this interview with Sebastian Thrun, founder of Udacity, Thrun discusses how MOOCs have evolved thus far and how artificial intelligence will play a role in MOOCs in the future to personalize the online learning experience based on each student's personal learning profile.
  • Shelly Terrell: “It’s Not About the Technology; It’s About the Experiences”
    https://www.edsurge.com/n/2014-01-06-shelly-terrell-it-s-not-about-the-technology-it-s-about-the-experiences
    Teacher trainer and author Shelly Terrell discusses how integrated apps, online professional development, learning documentation through badges, and pedagogy that values student creation and critical thinking will be a major part of the 2014 educational landscape.
  • Smart cities: Sustainable Solutions for Urban Living
    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130502-how-to-make-our-cities-smarter
    The Media-TIC building in Barcelona, Spain has been designed with an inflatable plastic (ETFE) skin that is regulated by a solar-powered automatic digital light sensor. It reduces heat and glare during hotter parts of the day (reducing the need for air-conditioning), while allowing the maximum light through during other parts of the day (reducing the need for electric lighting). Sensors are also used to regulate energy and resources inside the building, operating lights when movement is detected. 160 cities in China with a population of over 1 million, according to China Today.
  • Super-Fast Quantum Computers? Scientists Find Asymmetry in Topological Insulators
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130813201428.htm
    New research shows that a class of materials being eyed for the next generation of computers behaves asymmetrically at the sub-atomic level. This research is a key step toward understanding the topological insulators that may have the potential to be the building blocks of a super-fast quantum computer that could run on almost no electricity.
  • 12 Tech Trends Higher Education Cannot Afford to Ignore
    http://www.educationdive.com/news/12-tech-trends-higher-education-cannot-afford-to-ignore/15618
    Lev Gonick, the VP for information technology services and CIO at Case Western Reserve University and CEO of OneCommunity lays out important points concerning the future of education and campus IT.
  • Wearable Technology Trends to Watch in 2014
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christian-defeo/wearable-technology-trend_b_4392343.html
    Wearables will only continue to grow in new markets and is expected to amass $50 billion in the next five years. The author of this Huffington Post article describes how they will affect driving and raise new privacy concerns.
  • What's Holding Up The Internet Of Things
    http://readwrite.com/2013/06/14/whats-holding-up-the-internet-of-things#awesm=~ofEKsXOv5BntE9
    Devices on the Internet of Things may have to handle a bunch of different tasks and there is very little consensus on which protocols to use. So there is no common standard by which all devices can communicate with one another.