NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ844044
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1527-6619
Apprehending the Future: Emerging Technologies, from Science Fiction to Campus Reality
Alexander, Bryan
EDUCAUSE Review, v44 n3 p12-29 May-Jun 2009
Deciding which technologies to support for teaching and learning--and how to support them--depends, first, on the ability to learn about each emerging development. Selecting a platform without knowing what is coming right behind it can be risky. Similarly, it is folly to grasp onto a technology without seeing the variety of ways that the technology can actually be used. But trying to grapple with what comes next is a deep problem. Doing so is partly a matter of science fiction, which consists, after all, of the stories people tell about the future. Doing so is also an issue of complexity, since each practice, or device, or network, or application comes embedded in a nest of other practices, or devices, or networks, or applications. Emerging technologies are a matter not only of qualitative challenge but also of sheer quantitative overload. Web 2.0, gaming, wireless and mobile devices, virtual worlds, even Web 3.0 in all its unrealized potential--each churns out new developments daily and connects with other domains to ramp up the problem still further. This article introduces and explores methods for apprehending the future as it applies to the world of higher education and information technology. These are not hypothetical approaches; they are realized, documented, and applied methods. There is no perfect method; nor has any one approach emerged to overshadow the others. This article thus explores each for its specific affordances, structures, and practical usage. Together, they represent an aggregate, sector-wide movement that tries to help academics understand the future as it hits the present. Put another way, these future-scanners seek to follow the translation of digital ideas from science fiction to campus reality. (Contains 2 figures and 27 notes.)
EDUCAUSE. 4772 Walnut Street Suite 206, Boulder, CO 80301-2538. Tel: 303-449-4430; Fax: 303-440-0461; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A