The Future Of Education Technology

I wanted to take a stab at answering this question posted on ISTE group in Linkedin by Mr. Thomas Johanson (a Teacher at Houston ISD):

What is your most exciting vision of technology in the classroom?
Everything I read seems to be tethered to available technology already designed or adaptable for classroom use. Please, I’d like to hear if anyone has a more far reaching view. It doesn’t have to be science fiction, just look around at off the shelf software and hardware!

(here is the link to ISTE group Linkedin)

I decided to answer this using my first blog.

First, I took the liberty to go sci-fi on this one as Mr. Thomas Johanson did not specify a timeline in his question. And what we deemed as sci-fi 10 years ago has become reality today! Plus, most of what I have written as my vision already exists today in some form!

Let us start with what we know today:

  1. Web content will continue to get mapped better to specific learning objectives and learning frameworks (Common Core, Open University, MOOCs)
  2. FOSS technologies will continue to evolve and be adopted more widely (As more cost-conscious devoloping nations / economies evolve, FOSS will be on their agenda for tech adoption. India is already seeing this today, Africa as well to some extent)
  3. Free content will surpass paid content in availability, reliability, accuracy and quality (MOOCs)
  4. Technology will continue to shrink and get closer to the skin (giant monitors to Google Glass)
  5. Open Source Hardware will gain popularity and lead to more DIY or experential approach to learning
  6. World economy will continue to evolve to a more flat and open economy. I am not an economist, but if Europe could pull off with Euro – why not an APAC currency for Asia Pacific or Gulf currency for Middle East? How about a Kickstartr for the world?)

Now to my vision of future (classrooms er.. not really) Education Technology:

    1. Traditional classrooms from the industrial revolution era will fade into more virtual classrooms, thanks to internet becoming more common place, connected devices and concepts like webinars, video conferencing, augmented reality and holographic projections.
      CNN used this technology during 2008 US elections

      Indian politician Narendra Modi used this for simulcast of his election campaign
    2. Technology will continue to shrink and move into the human body as implants. Bone conduction instead of headphones (Google Glass apparently already has this!) Retinal implants will allow for augmented reality projections into our line of sight (
    3. Computing will also become ubiquitous – all surfaces (walls, glass doors, restroom mirrors, dinner tables, walkways, etc. will compute and will allow for user interaction) I don’t have to give examples for this one! But you can read more about this here –
    4. Students will build more complex systems at younger ages. Proliferation of open source software and hardware will help these students. Learning to code at school will also gain popularity.

    5. Factual knowledge and foundational learning objectives will be directly uploaded to students DNA. Teaching will become more of facilitating the student to selectively retrieve data and correlate them, to arrive at human logic (or what their brains will understand)


    6. Given the complexity of the above process, more integral or inner learning will be needed to prevent brain exhaustion. Something like Qi or the Force from Star Wars? Yoga perhaps?? Why not, we already fight physical obesity by dieting and exercise, what will you do for mental obesity?
    7. With any prediction, you must have a buffer for the unexpected. My picks for the unexpected would be light-speed travel and eternal memory persistence (like Vox 114 in the movie Time Machine or a prolongated version of Dr. Lanning’s Hologram from the movie I, Robot)


And on the lighter side (or darker?) if the machines take control of our lives at any time during this transition – ta da! Welcome to The Matrix!

What do you think?


12 thoughts on “The Future Of Education Technology

  1. Susan Johanson

    Thomas Johanson here,
    Thank you for really thinking this out. I’ve begun to call it the “SciFi” classroom as I strive to attract those who’ll make it happen. I’ve got my own set of doable now, off the shelf tech choices to embed in the Montessori classroom.
    If Montessori is new to you, spend a day in a good properly run classroom and see if you can imprint the future on it.
    I know you will.
    As you progress please keep the ISTE discussion updated, and me too.
    Awesome, as is often said, and thanks for your vision.

    1. Varadu Sridharan Post author

      “SciFi” classroom 🙂

      Thank you for your kind words! Will definitely keep ISTE discussion updated.

      I do work with Montessori schools, but primarily at an advisory level.


  2. Joseph K Antony

    What can happen earlier is probably memory implants. initially to increase capacity. We can also expect the processing capability to be boosted by stimulants. There is progress being made in understanding the brain. One aspect is reading the images formed in the brain are beginning to be read / visualised. The predictin is that we may be able to do thought transfer sooner than later !!

  3. Padmanav

    Hello Sir!
    Aptly summed up the future of education. Changes need to come for real at the earliest. More importantly, the current education system must mature to realize these

    1. Varadu Sridharan Post author

      Thanks Padmanav. Don’t think current education system will mature in time for this. This will be a disruptive innovation coming from outside in to education. Just like how Nokia put Kodak out of camera film business, or Uber is threatening car dealership business!


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