Believe the hype cycle

A 2020 reading Gartner’s Hype Cycle article from 2016 gives us the opportunity to evaluate its predictions and assessment of breakthrough technology. Three technology spheres are highlighted, all seem to have lived up to their hype. The perceptual smart machine age has given us virtual personal assistants like Alexa, which seem to have creeped into more and more homes. The platform revolution has given us blockchain and bitcoin. Transparently immersive experiences have brought us the connected home with its smart fridge and remote security.

Whether or not the learning community is utilizing this technology is worthy of study. If not, why not? Why are older passive PC-based  technologies the norm in 2020? I am writing this on WordPress, connecting with my cohort via Moodle: older layered platforms on traditional technology. If we are to embrace the possibility and opportunity of technology in learning, what are we waiting for?  Mark Childs states “The experience of many people working in higher education now is that it’s not just venture capitalists and pundits who needed to predict the next new technology in 2009; it’s academics and support staff too (if they happen to be working in the field of the use of technology in education). (2019)” What do we, as the MALAT 2021 cohort need to do to break through this a technological morass? We are presented with the status quo. It’s up to us to change it.

Cormier, D., et al. (2019). Ten Years of the Postdigital in the 52group: Reflections and Developments 2009–2019. Postdigital Science and Education 1(2). Retrieved from

Gartner. (2016, August 16). Gartner’s 2016 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies Identifies Three Key Trends that Organizations Must Track to Gain Competitive Advantage. [Press Release]



2 thoughts on “Believe the hype cycle

  1. Hi, Jeff. You proposed some interesting questions regarding emerging technologies. Dron (2014) blames academia’s rigid hierarchical structure (p. 252) for its resistance to quickly and easily adopt innovations (p. 252). This may be part of the reason why blockchain-based applications in education are still in their infancy despite adoption in other fields such as cryptocurrencies.

    Alammary, Alhazmi, Almasri, and Gillani (2019) review 31 articles regarding blockchain-based applications in education. 4 of the articles (13%) describe applications that have been developed and are now in use. 16 articles (51%) describe a prototype of a proposed application which has been developed and evaluated but is not yet used by real users. At present, blockchain technology is used primarily for validating and sharing academic certificates and for sharing students’ competencies and learning achievements. This has been effective, however, its potential in education has yet to be fully exploited. Whether academia adopts blockchain sooner, later, or at all, will depend on its willingness to be adaptable to new innovations. Hopefully sufficient and timely research is conducted to provide enough evidence to persuade educational institutes to adopt useful innovative technologies and enjoy their benefits.

    Alammary, A., Alhazmi, S., Almasri, M., & Gillani, S. (2019). Blockchain-based applications in education: A systematic review. Applied Sciences, 9(12), 2400.

    Dron, J. (2014). Chapter 9: Innovation and Change: Changing how we Change. In Zawacki-Richter, O. & T. Anderson (Eds.), Online distance education: Towards a research agenda. Athabasca, AB: AU Press.

  2. Hi Jeff,
    It seems that you are proposing a shift to the current academic practices, which is long overdue. It does feel that it is a slow movement in the academic settings to join the bandwagon of innovative practices, which other industries are already practicing and enhancing. Provenzo’s (1986) book review of Teachers and Machines, asserted that there are several issues that could prevent teachers from assimilating innovative tools and practices in the classroom, and one of them, which resonated with me, is the readiness of the teachers. In our case, in this digital era, I wonder if it is the lack of digital skills and the appetite for change from the academic leaders that are causing the slow shift to be more innovative to serve the needs of this generation of learners.

    Provenzo, E. (1986, Winter). Reviewed works [Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology since 1920, by Larry Cuban]. History of Education Quarterly, 26(4), pp. 647-648. Cambridge University Press.

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