The Emerging Future: Technology Issues And Trends MOOCs


Although the Emerging Future: Technology Issues and Trends MOOC ended in November 2014, due to popularity, the content is available on the Canvas Network. You are invited to visit the course site and access the video recordings and supporting materials. The course will not be updated or monitored after December 2, 2014. Access course site:

Learn to think like a futurist! Futurism is not about predicting the future, but making informed decisions today that will impact future developments. The Emerging Future: Technology Issues and Trends MOOC offered by the School of Information at San José State University (SJSU) provides the planning skills and technology trends needed to create your personal and organization’s future. Knowing who and what to watch will keep you informed on the latest technology issues and trends that will impact the future.

The Emerging Future MOOC is a professional development opportunity designed for information professionals and those interested in the topic. The MOOC is not offered for academic credit. Students enrolled in the graduate programs at the SJSU information school who choose to participate in the MOOC will not receive credit toward their master’s degrees.

Course Description

The technology landscape changes rapidly, and these changes have economic, social, and ethical significance for individuals, organizations, and the entire world. The Emerging Future: Technology Issues and Trends MOOC brings focus to the planning skills that are needed, the issues that are involved, and the current trends as we explore the potential impact of technological innovations. 

Participants will experience an interactive online learning environment via a wide range of tools and diverse materials (e.g., freely accessible readings, recorded presentations, and online videos), and they will have an opportunity to:

  • Explore the current technological environment.
  • Become immersed in the literature and practices of current futurists.
  • Select appropriate resources to use in planning for new technologies.
  • Discuss key impact factors and trends affecting our personal and global existence.
  • Engage with peers and instructors, heightening their learning and taking full advantage of this professional development opportunity.
  • Earn badges and MOOC certification on completion of activities related to each of the modules.


MOOC students expand their learning by completing assignments, such as:

  • Think Like a Futurist – An overview of the history and trends in futurism, including forecasting, backcasting, scenario development.
  • Technology Trends – Knowing who and what to watch for the latest technology issues and trends.
  • Considerations – Understanding the ethical issues of technology trends and the ways that Big Data and Cybersecurity/Privacy impact the Emerging Future.
  • Imaginarium – Developing a “What if?” scenario based on future technologies.


Lecturers Sue Alman, PhD, and Jennifer Jumba, MLIS, along with course assistants, are the instructors for the Emerging Future: Technology Issues and Trends MOOC. Alman also teaches graduate-level courses in the fully online Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at the SJSU School of Information.

Alman was appointed to the full-time faculty at the SJSU iSchool in 2012, after serving as a part-time faculty member since 1999. Her career highlights include teaching at the University of Michigan and the University of Pittsburgh where she was director of distance education and outreach for the School of Information Sciences. She has been professionally active in the Sloan-C Asynchronous Learning Network and Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning, and she is the co-recipient of three IMLS grants totaling nearly $3 million for online educational programs. Asynchronous learning and futurism are among her areas of interest.

Jumba earned a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science after a successful career in sales and marketing. She works at the Cuyahoga County Public Library, where she specializes in adult services.


The Emerging Future: Technology Issues and Trends MOOC is a not-for-credit professional development learning experience. This course emphasizes student involvement and fosters an open and welcoming environment of thoughtful interactions. MOOC participants are encouraged to engage in online discussions, collaborate with other students on assignments, and provide commentary on each other’s work.

Instructors provide informal assessment of course assignments, and students earn badges as they move through the course. MOOC participants receive a certificate upon successful completion of required components of the course.

Course Schedule

The Emerging Future: Technology Issues and Trends MOOC began on Monday, September 22, 2014, and ended on Sunday, November 2, 2014. This experience included six (6) weekly modules that addressed topics including:

  1. Emerging Technologies
  2. Think like a Futurist
  3. Future of Connectivity
  4. Cybersecurity and Big Data
  5. TechnologyTrending
  6. Imaginarium

Participant Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Interpret the ways in which factors such as environmental scanning, forecasting, backcasting, big data, and cyber security impact the planning and implementation of future technologies.
  • Plan strategically for the changing technological landscape.
  • Identify and track the various publications, organizations, and trade shows that highlight new technologies.
  • Select the appropriate resources to use in planning for new technologies.
  • Develop a scenario for the future of technology.

Online Learning Platform

The Emerging Future: Technology Issues and Trends MOOC will be hosted on the Canvas Network. For more information about the Canvas Network, please visit: