Photo credit: Drew Beamer (2019). Sunrise Lensball. Retrieved from https://unsplash.com/photos/xU5Mqq0Chck
Gartner Inc.’s (2016) hype cycle identified three overarching technology trends that organizations need to be aware of in order to compete in the rapidly advancing digital world. The first identified trend of “transparently immersive experiences” (Gartner Inc., 2016, para. 6), considers the emerging trend of the interwoven relationships occurring between home, workplace, and other contexts, as the advancement of technology becomes more fluid in our worlds. The report was constructed to inform business leaders in strategic planning; nevertheless, the first trend is applicable to the configuration of many higher educational institutions as well, which are prioritizing the incorporation of technology to support pedagogical approaches, and embracing innovative practices to prepare graduates for a rapidly changing world (Dron, 2014; Garrison, 2011).
Critical technologies that demand consideration are outlined in Gartner Inc.’s (2016) hype cycle, and the connected home as an innovation that provides “connected, real-time, smart and contextual experiences” (Gartner’s Glossary, para.1) is an emerging mega-trend. Smart home technologies are interconnected, user-controlled, can be accessed remotely, and are integrated to support a wide range of practical and extracurricular functions. These technological advancements are seeping into home and office, so, how will this impact the learning ecosystem? What changes are need now to prepare immersive experiences that meet the expectations and the needs of our future learners?
Dron, J. (2014). Chapter 9: Innovation and Change: Changing how we Change. In Zawacki-Richter, O. & Anderson, T. (Eds.), Online distance education: Towards a research agenda. Athabasca, AB: AU Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.15215/aupress/9781927356623.01
Garrison, D. (2011). E-learning in the 21st century: A framework for research and practice (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.
Gartner Inc. (2016). Gartner’s 2016 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies Identifies Three Key Trends That Organizations Must Track to Gain Competitive Advantage. Retrieved from https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2016-08-16-gartners-2016-hype-cycle-for-emerging-technologies-identifies-three-key-trends-that-organizations-must-track-to-gain-competitive-advantage
Gartner Glossary (2016). Connected Home. Retrieved from https://www.gartner.com/en/information-technology/glossary/connected-home