T&L News and Updates: Futurism
Futurism and Technological Forecasting


Published: June 19, 2013 by Sue Alman

 This summer I’ve been researching technology trends, and I’ve discovered some fascinating organizations, publications, and researchers who are involved in this area. Futurism is not about predicting the future, but making informed decisions today that may influence future developments.

The World Future Society and the Association of Professional Futurists are two organizations that have a place for information professionals. We need to be concerned and informed about societal and technological trends as we take the lead on how information is consumed by individuals and organizations around the globe.

As educators we need to keep up with trends and to prepare our students for the current and future environments in which they will live and work. There are tools we can use to keep informed and to update the courses we teach. Below are some resources and articles that focus on futurism. We can incorporate many of these ideas into our teaching and research.

New Medium Consortium (NMC) “…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.”

In addition to the Horizon Report series published by NMC, they have three (3) current core initiatives that focus on:

  • Dynamic knowledge: “How can technology drive the formation of new knowledge, expand dialog, and fuel the exchange of ideas?”
  • Emerging technology: “How can the NMC and its members keep abreast of emerging technologies that may be important to our collective work?”
  • New Collaborations: “How can we leverage the work of learning organizations outside our usual spheres to inform and enhance our own work and reach new audiences?”

Mapping the Future with Big Data: “Disaster management, in particular, is an area where maps updated with live, streaming data can make a big difference. “

10 Future-Changing Inventions Ready to Launch: Read about Online prediction markets; virtual reality for first-responder training; manipulating video playback on smartphones; financial compensation for bloggers.


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