Although predictions are not always accurate, tech analyst Tim Bajarin has done his research and forecast technology trends for the last 30 years, so we must give credit where credit is due. What does he believe 2017 has in store for us? And how might these predictions impact engagement in higher education?
President Trump’s Impact
As Bajarin points out, regardless of whether they see eye-to-eye with their new president-elect, some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley will be (and have likely already started) working with Trump’s administration to ensure that the tech industry’s needs are met and agendas are fulfilled. A similar approach is going to be necessary in higher education as well.
Augmented/Mixed Reality Will Be More Important Than Virtual Reality
Although both augmented and virtual reality have gained a lot of traction in recent years as game-changers in tech, it is undeniable that augmented reality (AR) has taken the world by storm as of late. Lookin’ at you, Pokemon Go. Post-secondary institutions have already introduced their students to AR as a tool for campus navigation as well as extra-curricular engagement, through activities such as scavenger hunts. Perhaps 2017 will give way to new and inventive applications of AR on campus.
2-in-1 Computers Takeoff
Tablet, meet Keyboard. PCs are going to be getting a whole lot more portable, as the top names in tech are coming out with their own versions of “convertibles”, which allow users the option to work and play on their devices via touch-screen or attachable keyboard. The ability to do so from a single, easy to transport, device allows students to transition seamlessly from academic to social and recreational content, regardless of location. This is a prime example of “meeting students where they are.”
Car Buyers Will Increasingly Demand Smarter Automobiles
While this prediction does not directly influence higher education, there is a clear demand for apps aimed at centralizing tasks and tools- such as on the dashboard of a car. Of course, the ongoing debate of whether such apps are only leading to increased distraction among drivers will likely forge on in the New Year.
Hackers and Criminals Will Get Smarter
The statistics speak for themselves. Not to mention the potential for Artificial Intelligence to help hackers accomplish their tasks more efficiently. As higher ed campuses strive to provide safe spaces to work, learn, and live, they must consider the increasingly likely possibility for technology-related emergencies to occur. Post-secondary institutions must develop plans and protocol for prevention and recovery, in the event of a security breach. Beyond storage of personal and financial information, many students utilize secure campus networks to connect with one another, and they certainly want to feel safe while doing so.
Bajarin, T. (2016). 5 tech predictions for 2017. Retrieved from http://time.com/4609004/tech-predictions-2017/