Information technology, gadgets, social media, libraries, design, marketing, higher ed, data visualization, educational technology, mobility, innovation, strategy, trends and futures. . . 

Posts suspended for a bit while I settle into a new job. . . 

Entries in Future (33)



What? has been around for nearly 14 years, and I'm just hearing about it now. The company does what its name says:

250,000 subscribers and 1,200+ clients turn to for global consumer trend intelligence. We've been scanning the globe for consumer trends, insights and innovations since 2002. We report on our findings in our free Monthly Trend Briefings and Region-specific Trend Bulletins, while leading brands and agencies, small and big, also enjoy access to Premium, our full trend service."

See (below) the comprehensive, rich February 2014 briefing from -- that physical tech is now subject to the same, unrelenting pressure to change and update that digital tech (software, web services, etc.) has been for a while. 


UPGRADIA: Driven by consumers' thirst for quicker, more seamless access to the new (in ways that are cheaper, more sustainable and more participatory) and facilitated by emerging technologies, the constant stream of upgrades and iterations typical of the digital ecosystem is coming to the world of physical objects.

Some things cited in the report: 

  • People now expect the same rapid upgrading of physical objects that's been the case for digital services. 
  • Every object is connected. [See Internet of Things.] 
  • Endlessly updated "new" products are perceived to be inexpensive in the long run. 
  • "Upgradia" resonates with the hacker mindset (that people want to mess around with their technology). 

The report goes on to identify and describe many, many example: 

 See the report for many examples. 


Trends in 2014 Forward: NMC Horizon Report

I think this is one of highlights of the year: the release of the annual NMC Horizon Report, Higher Education Edition. It's an absolute must-read for anyone who works in higher education, libraries, IT, education. 

NMC = New Media Consortium, "an international community of experts in educational technology — from the practitioners who work with new technologies on campuses every day; to the visionaries who are shaping the future of learning at think tanks, labs, and research centers; to its staff and board of directors; to the advisory boards and others helping the NMC conduct cutting edge research." (See here.)

From the announcement

The NMC and EDUCAUSE [the association for higher education IT] Learning Initiative (ELI) jointly released the NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education Edition at a special session at the ELI Annual Meeting 2014. This eleventh edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The format of the report is new this year, providing these leaders with more in-depth insight into how the trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership and practice.

Both the full report (52 pages) and the preview (seven pages) are available here.

Here are the six trends, six challenges, and six emerging technologies: 

I. Key Trends Accelerating Ed Tech Adoption in Higher Education

  • Fast Moving Trends: Those likely to create substantive change (or burn out) in one to two years
    • ! Online, Hybrid, and Collaborative Learning 
    • ! Social Media Use in Learning
  • Mid-Range Trends: Those likely to take three to five years to create substantive change
    • ! The Creator Society 
    • ! Data-Driven Learning and Assessment 
  • Slow Trends: Those likely to take more than five years to create substantive change
    • ! Agile Approaches to Change
    • ! Making Online Learning Natural

II. Significant Challenges Impeding Ed Tech Adoption in Higher Education

  • Urgent Challenges: Those which we both understand and know how to solve
    • ! Low Digital Fluency of Faculty 
    • ! Relative Lack of Rewards for Teaching 
  • Difficult Challenges: Those we understand but for which solutions are elusive
    • ! Competition from New Models of Education
    • ! Scaling Teaching Innovations 
  • Wicked Challenges: Those that are complex to even define, much less address
    • ! Expanding Access 
    • ! Keeping Education Relevant

III. Important Developments in Educational Technology for Higher Education

  • Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less
    • ! Flipped Classroom
    • ! Learning Analytics 
  • Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years
    • ! 3D Printing
    • ! Games and Gamification
  • Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years
    • ! Quantified Self
    • ! Virtual Assistants 

Read the full report(s)!


Trends in 2014: Frog

Frog is probably one of the lesser-known design (innovation) firms: "Founded in 1969 by Hartmut Esslinger, frog is a global innovation firm with an interdisciplinary team of more than 600 designers, strategists, and technologists. Frog creates products and services across consumer electronics, telecommunications, healthcare, energy, automotive, media, entertainment, education, finance, retail and fashion."

In this brief survey in Fast Company's Co. DESIGN, folks from Frog opine about 2014's tech trends. 

15 Tech Trends That Will Define 2014, Selected By Frog



Through a pessimistic lens, 2013 looked like the dystopian future we’ve been warned about. We learned the NSA can spy on our every word, right as Google shared a breakthrough product that could put a camera and microphone on everyone’s face. Amazon wanted to replace UPS with autonomous drones, but the humans who weren’t downsized would soon be driven door to door by an emasculating robot chauffeur. So what will 2014 bring? Frog design expects that this is the year of technological kickback, when privacy goes mainstream and we take the reins on our own quantified self, when artists tame 3-D printers and we learn to unplug. And yes...when drones, driverless cars, and the digital dragon that is China rise to change our economy, and our lives, forever.

Article continues at link. 

I like these three as interesting or likely, or both: 


San Francisco startup Uber has led the revolution of personal transportation: Click to order, and minutes later your personal, quality-checked driver arrives, with the payment taken care of behind the scenes. 2014 will see this “on-demand” model extend across other personal services, from home maintenance to dog walking. Appliance repair person? Your device says they’re only three minutes away. --Michael Robertson


How long you slept and how fast you ran won’t be the only quantified elements of your life. Quantifying your time at work will become the norm: How, when, and where you spend your time at work will be automatically captured and translated into timesheets, project management software, and analytics dashboards. Expect debates about privacy rights and coercive versus caring uses of the technology --Clint Rule


Technology has always helped us solve problems and extend our potential. Until now our technological tools were external add-ons, largely separate from our bodies. Today they are evolving on a new path integrating with our physiology; we are “hacking” the human body and the senses. Wearable technology, such as Google Glass, is an example of the first generation of consumer products that is changing the way we think about technology extending our potential. But it’s only the beginning: system-powered exoskeletons, and bionic arms, feet, and eyes, are the next phase. --Antonio De Pasquale


Trends in 2014: Higher Ed Tech

In Campus Technology, some sensible predictions by experts concerning the direction of higher education technology in 2014. For each of seven trends, several of five experts offer a perspective and a one-to-four-star "hotness" rating. 

The trends are 

  • Mobile platforms and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) (See also here.) 
  • Adaptive learning
  • Big data. (See also here.) 
  • Flipped classroom
  • Badges and gamification. (See also here.)
  • iPads and other tablets 
  • Learning management systems

What's Hot, What's Not 2014

5 IT thought leaders take the temperature of the biggest tech trends in higher education.

By David Raths; 01/23/14

The start of a new year has long been a catalyst for reflection and prognostication, and at Campus Technology it kicks off an annual tradition: taking the temperature of the top tech trends in higher ed. We asked five IT thought leaders to assess the "hotness" of everything from mobile devices and flipped classrooms to adaptive learning, badges and the LMS — and to explain the reasoning behind each rating.

Meet the panelists: Phil Hill (@PhilOnEdTech) is an educational technology consultant and analyst who has spent the last 10 years advising in the online education and educational technology markets. He is also an author, blogger at e-Literate and speaker, and he has become recognized in the ed tech community for his insights into the broader education market trends and issues. Rey Junco is an associate professor of library science at Purdue University (IN) and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. His research has focused on informing best practices in using social technologies to enhance learning outcomes. He blogs at Social Media in Higher Education. Malcolm Brown has been director of the Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) since 2009. Previously, he was the director of academic computing at Dartmouth College (NH). Adrian Sannier is a professor of practice in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Engineering at Arizona State University. Previously Sannier was senior vice president for product at Pearson. From 2005 to 2010, he served as CIO and a professor in the Division of Computing Studies at ASU. Ellen Wagner is executive director of WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies), a division of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. She is also a partner and founder of Sage Road Solutions, providing advisory oversight for industry intelligence and enablement services and solutions practices. Previously, she was senior director of worldwide e-learning at Adobe and senior director of worldwide education solutions for Macromedia.

See link for full article. 


Trends in 2014: Design

[January 19: for a funny story about a consequence from lack of attention to affordance, see here.]

Gannon Burgett in The Industry writes a very nice piece -- right depth, right length, (although very Apple-focused) -- on design trends he sees in the coming year. (Also reproduced in Gizmodo.)

14 Design Trends for 2014 

Just as I did a year ago, I’m kicking off 2014 – as well as our redesign – with a list of design trends I expect to gain ground over the next twelve months. The world of interactive design is an extreme fluid in terms of what’s determined as a staple of good design from year to year.

It should go without saying that these are my thoughts as to how design will play out over the course of the next year. I will certainly be wrong on a few of them, but I’m also extremely confident in all of these making some sort of appearance throughout the course of the year, as prominent or short-lived as they may be.

List continues at link. 

Three that stand out to me include 

  • Color as affordance. Affordance -- the intrinsic "property of an object, or an environment, which allows an individual to perform an action" -- seems, to me, to be an under-appreciated concept. Folks who are responsible for design -- of services, interfaces, applications, spaces, etc. -- should be familiar with the canon, and particular with Don Norman's book, The Design of Everyday Things
  • Blur. See this piece in the very good resource design shack, and the example of Square's Cash (to some degree). 
  • Single-use pages. A beautiful example is that one cited by Burgett, The New York Times's Snowfall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek