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 Feb 7, 2012. This will help us to sift through the articles and determine which ones resonate most strongly with the board as a whole.

Recommended Reading

  • Four Tech Terms to Forget in ’14
    Frank Catalano explains why these four edtech terms have been so overused, stretched, and contorted that they are now meaningless, including one you can probably guess... MOOC. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 23, 2014 Hey, let's not give up on MOOCs yet. I'm suspicious re: this aspect of The EdTech Backlash, because it seems this is more about traditional schools protecting their business than anything else. But this is also about the one-upmanship re: degrees. And educators are, ironically enough, the most guilty! Read this essay by John Persico on "educational arrogance":
  • Going Beyond 'Learning to Code': Why 2014 is the Year of 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'. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 23, 2014 We did the Hour of Code this year and it was somewhat of a success. My Computer Workshop is a classic example of the problem: 25 kids, 6 of whom are hardcore geeks who love programming, the rest won't care no matter what. We need to move the nerds to a separate track. The IB has come out with the Career Certificate as an alternative to the usual high school education:
  • Google Chairman: 6 Predictions for Our Digital Future
    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. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Jan 23, 2014 It almost does not occur to me that you can do things off line. Online is the equalizer, can work on different platforms. I see more things going online.
  • E-Books Could Be The Future Of Social Media
    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... - mrskeeler mrskeeler Jan 23, 2014If we want kids reading, particularly digitally, it needs to integrate social features - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 24, 2014 The problem of iPad eye strain came up while we were planning for our rollout. I hope to see a solution by 2015.
  • The Future of Tablets in Education: Potential Vs. Reality of Consuming Media
    This is the first of a four-part series investigating and explaining how to overcome the challenge of integrating technology in an impactful way. Using the iPad as an example, this will explain how teachers can take students on a journey from consumption of media to curation, creation, and connection.
  • In Predicting Ed Tech's Future, SEDTA Marks Safe Bets and Wildcards
    Executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association weighs in on what Obama's second term will mean for the future of edtech. He believes that federal funding will support technology-based assessments, which will require that each state must improve its infrastructure and device distribution to keep up.
  • The Learning Revolution: It’s Not About Education
    There is a revolution going on, but it is not about education systems. It is about learning. It is people taking learning into their own hands. A new trend is initiated by a whole new breed of learning technology start-ups whose goal is not to alter elementary education or university teaching. They do not deal with governments; their customers are not countries and states. They are focused solely on their users — people who want to learn something. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 23, 2014 Dare I mention the Do-It-Yourself phenomenon again? For this to work, though, we need a "recognition system" for nontraditional learning. Maybe this is where badges come in. Employers need to stop insisting on traditional degrees/diplomas, and it must start with educational institutions. I'm not holding my breath. Here's the Self-Guided Learning Manifesto:
  • The Nature of the Future in Education
    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
    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...
  • 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. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 23, 2014 I've been insisting for years that we need to train teachers in the methodologies first, mechanics later. All too often I get requests like this: "Teach me Software/Hardware X/Y." Not a different way of teaching, but just punching buttons. I'm putting together a program for the next school that leads with the methodologies...the actual tools will be covered later. Here's an interesting ISTE PDF:
  • Steve Hargadon: Escaping the Education Matrix
    The Internet has ushered in an era of “digital democracy” and increased people’s capacity to question the status quo. Widespread access to unlimited information has also opened many doors. But “the process of becoming a self-directed, independent learner is a very human process,” Hargadon says. “Recognizing the different needs of every student, and the desire to help each one become personally competent as a learner and find productive things to do in life—that won’t happen online.”
  • Technology Predictions for 2014: Smarter Cities, Bigger Games
    This author proposes that this is the year cities become even smarter. Local authorities and councils the world over have invested in social capital and connected infrastructure with the aim of better understanding the needs of their citizens. n 2014, more cities will iterate and experiment.
  • 10 App Trends for 2014: Privacy, Wearables, Education and More
    What will be the big trends around apps and the developers, startups and brands that are making and releasing them? Here are a few thoughts for 2014. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 23, 2014 I was disappointed to read about app success being solely a matter of how much money they make. I attended the Serious Play Conference ( last year and we educators were appalled at the cluelessness of commerical developers re: education games. We need a Teacher Making Apps movement. Hey, maybe this is something I can get going via Kickstarter! We need to decide on a common tool, though. Seems every week there's an "apps for making apps" announcement. We need ONE, that we can collaborate around, much the same way Scratch does for kids:

  • The 10 Best Technology Advances of 2013
    According to Paste magazine, this year had no shortage of technology advances. Their 10 best technology advances of 2013 range from the bionic eye to helium hard drives. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 23, 2014 You mean I'm finally going to get my iWatch?? Love that the Oculus Rift made the list. I want to put in a plug for the software that's got me excited: FPS Creator Reloaded ( We tried Unity at the last school, but for kids who can barely speak English, it was too complex. Tried it here in Mexico too, but with just 2.5 hours of class time per week, it was again too much. Watch just the video on how terrain is created with FPS Creator and I think you'll be excited too.
  • 38 Predictions About the Future
    This infographic displays 38 predictions about the future of tech, science, and humanity in general. Looking at both what is most likely, and some of the overly-hyped ideas that are actually least likely. Very Interesting.
  • Wearable Technology Trends to Watch in 2014
    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.
  • Noam Chomsky on Technology and Learning