Technology and Education: What Will the Future Bring?
Although a lens to view the future is clouded, and must be filtered through the past and present, the ability to stand back and think about the impact of technologies on student learning will undergird research in technology for the education of children, youth, and adults with disabilities in the 21st century. We must view the coming changes, and they will be massive, from the perspective that technology provides access to learning but does not control it; that technologies are not the content of educationãrather, they provide a cornucopia of tools for learning.
The technologies we know now will change and merge, at an increasingly rapid pace. In 1965 Gordon Moore, founder of Intel, predicted the exponential growth of technology. Moore’s law postulates that the processing power and speed of any electronic calculating device will double every 18 months. At the same time, the price for that technology will decline approximately 35% a year relative to the power. If this continues to be true, researchers will have an abundance of exciting new tools to use as they study the curriculum and children of the future. Those tools will not only be more powerful than we have now, they will cost less, making them affordable for research, for schools, and for families.
Educational research will undergo massive paradigm shifts we can only imagine. Because we live in a revolutionary time of astonishing advances in technologies, a world of constant and unrelenting change, new paradigms appear before the implications of their predecessors are digested. We know that schools must make changes to accommodate the technology revolution. Many are already making changes in curriculum, teaching, and learning.