The 100 Year EdTech Project

Education and technology changemakers across the globe strategically plan for the next 50 years.

The 100 Year EdTech Project believes education and technology are fundamental companions to shaping a thriving society.

We look 50 years back and 50 years forward so that our past experiences inform our future.

Our mission is to ignite collaboration among diverse stakeholders to envision and guide innovative approaches that will shape the next century of learning.

Photos by Mike Sanchez

100yearedtechproject.org

Inside the Publication

Foreword from Lev

Fifty years ago, the inventions of the internet and personal computers revolutionized the way we learn.

Early pioneers like Douglas Engelbart saw the opportunity to leverage emergent technologies to establish “network improvement communities” and augment our collective capabilities to tackle the growing set of global challenges from environmental catastrophe and nuclear proliferation to hunger and poverty alleviation.

Other pioneers, inspired by BF Skinner’s behaviorism and the teaching machine, introduced computer-based training programs as a way to harness machine capabilities to achieve more efficient and effective outcome measures.

A central theme of the past 50 years has been our human relationship with each other and the machines we invent. The same will be true in the next 50 years.

The last 50 years witnessed disruptive technologies aimed at democratizing education, redesigning pedagogies to align to the new technologically enabled art-of-the-possible, and removing geographical and socio-economic barriers to learning. Over the same time, the first two generations of learning engineering research, course management systems and data-informed decision technologies matured and significantly shaped the educational technology landscape.

Those who aim to augment and improve the human condition, alongside those guided by algorithms and the integration of humans and machines, have all played a part in creating transformative learning experiences. Compared to the long arc of human history, education has become more accessible, engaging and personalized.

As we look forward to the next 50 years, the “100 Year EdTech Project 2074 Guide” envisions an era where augmented and virtual realities, generative AI, and quantum computing are not just tools for learning but foundational elements of an education ecosystem that is immersive, inclusive, adaptive, outcomes-focused and rigorous.

Co-authored by educators, learners, policymakers, and technologists, this guide underscores the importance of equity, access, and learner-centric design, urging stakeholders across the spectrum to join forces in creating learning experiences that are not only technologically advanced but also deeply human.

This journey towards the future of education is underpinned by principles that prioritize universal access, understanding and honoring that place matters, and the notion that technology must serve as an enabler of principled innovation. It challenges us to rethink the role of education in society, to ensure that it not only adapts to but also anticipates the needs of future generations.

By doing so, this guide serves as a roadmap and a call to action, inviting us to imagine, innovate and invest in a future where education transcends traditional boundaries and embraces the digital age.

The Past 50 Years of Education and Technology: At a Glance

Executive Summary

100 Year EdTech Project Framework Summary

  1. Learners must be at the center.
  2. Universal access is a foregone conclusion.
  3. Technology must be an enabler of principled innovation.
  4. The past is a bridge to the future.
  5. We must make complex topics easier for all to engage in.
  6. Place matters.
  7. The future of education is multigenerational and multicultural.
  1. Policies: Guidelines to navigate complexities and ensure equitable access and outcomes.
  2. Resources: Funds to support educational initiatives and address disparities.
  3. Innovations: Technology advancements to enable positive transformation.
  4. Social Capital: Community engagement to cultivate support and action.
  1. Climate impact
  2. Culturally responsive AI curriculum
  3. Genetically modified humans
  4. Teaching in a post-truth era
  5. Interspecies communication
  6. Extended Reality and historical revisionism
  7. Mental wellbeing in the digital age
  8. Trauma-informed teaching

AI and new approaches to learning

  1. Spatial computing technologies, including immersive tools
  2. Automation as a disruptor, altering world economics and learning
  3. Identity shifts – evolving demographics, social and political dynamics
  4. Health technologies – impact on aging, chronic disease and altering genetics
  5. Disruptive science technologies – nano, quantum and space

Context

Why Do This?

Many studies and articles discuss present challenges and opportunities with education and technology. To our knowledge, no research in the current body of work specifically addresses or illuminates a 50-year view. However, if we’re only thinking about today and tomorrow, we may be planning for scenarios that are obsolete by the time the next generation is born. It takes a further leap to imagine aspirational futures unburdened by the past.

It is our ultimate goal to provoke the kind of thinking and collaboration now that we’ll need to face anything with resilience, empathy and strategy.

Looking at the previous 50 years of technology, how has society changed to accommodate the new ways we were interacting with each other? After reflecting on the leaps of development within learning technology, we recognized a pattern of values that evolved into our design principles for future approaches to learning:

  1. Students and learners must be at the center.
  2. Universal access is a foregone conclusion.
  3. Technology must be an enabler of principled innovation.
  4. The past is a bridge to the future.
  5. We must make complex topics easier for all to engage in.
  6. Place matters.
  7. The future of education is multigenerational and multicultural.

form of ~two minute videos featuring characters faced with pressing societal challenges. Those stories – our “Future Scenarios” – seeded working groups within which participants would address the 100 Year EdTech Project’s research questions and start to design solutions. As the future unfolds, we arrive at a place of group authorship: how will we respond, collectively, to new challenges brought by disruptors like artificial intelligence and climate change? What solutions will emerging technologies enable? How will our interactions with each other change?

Finding Our Foundation: Design Principles

Before we get to the future, we have to think about the present. The 100 Year EdTech Project was created to bring together the diversity of voices needed to actualize evolution – and revolution. The project was born in June 2023 in a retreat with 25 changemakers at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico.

Our premise was to “reflect meaningfully on the past 50 years in order to create a vibrant vision for the future of education, while considering who and what needs to be involved.” (View the initial report.)

The original 25 changemakers agreed that our small group was hardly a representative subset of the field of education and technology, so our goal was to gather and capture more voices. Thus, the idea of expanding our original group at a Design Summit was born.

Stories: Setting the Scene for Consensus Building

Leading up to the Design Summit, the StoryCenter crafted eight “science fiction” scenarios in the 

Framework

As we look ahead to the next 50 years, our aim is to offer a descriptive perspective rather than a prescriptive plan. We intend to allow for improvisation while providing a solid foundation to guide our trajectory. By using design principles as guiding stars, we’ve crafted a framework for collaborative efforts. This structure aids in navigating complex challenges and opportunities, fostering the generation of potential solutions for our most profound future scenarios.

Design Principles as Research Questions

The foundational design principles crafted at the initial planning retreat in New Mexico seeded overarching research questions to align and inform group design sessions in Scottsdale:

1

Students and learners must be at the center.

Will we still have a meaningful distinction between the various segments and organizational constructs in education – and how will we accommodate?

2

Universal access is a foregone conclusion.

How will we advance access and equity so that every learner gets the education they need to thrive?

3

Place matters.

How can we leverage our place in the solutions we generate?

4

The past is a bridge to the future.

What about the past 50 years do we need to take into account for planning?

5

We must make complex topics easier for all to engage in.

How will we explain this to the public and get support/engagement?

6

Technology must be an enabler of principled innovation.

What role will technology play in catalyzing positive change?

7

The future of education is multigenerational and multicultural.

How are we integrating diverse communities?

Future Scenario Planning

Design Summit participants were asked to select which subjects and future scenarios they most wanted to personally address. Each noted their preferences based on professional expertise and passion. There were nearly 20 working groups at the Summit, tapping the collective intelligence of participants to develop 1) a shared understanding of each future scenario and 2) an approach to designing sustainable solutions.

1. Climate change and the role of education: When education institutions are the #1 trusted civic authorities and forces for community impact.

2. Culturally responsive AI curriculum: When new learning experiences reflect diverse communities, avoid bias and bolster inclusion.

3. Genetically modified humans: When we understand the impact of enhanced mental and physical capabilities on education and society.

4. Teaching in a post-truth era: When teaching critical thinking and the value of empirical evidence is vital in the face of people ignoring objective facts.

5. Interspecies communications: When we advance our space exploration and understand the needs and goals of extraterrestrial visitors to collaborate.

6. Extended reality and historical revisionism: When historical sites and moments are recreated in XR to align with personal and political agendas

6. Extended reality and historical revisionism: When historical sites and moments are recreated in XR to align with personal and political agendas.

7. Mental wellbeing in the digital age: When digital addiction and social media become the ultimate health threats

8. Trauma-informed teaching and learning: When the pandemic is winding down but the social and emotional consequences are still rippling across the world

Starting with Learner Voice

The Design Committee deemed it essential that the Design Summit open with an all-learner panel and moderated by an individual with close connections to the student perspective. We were able to curate a group of learners ranging in age from 19 to 75.

Both the youngest and eldest students are enrolled in undergraduate courses, looking to gain new knowledge and skills. The spectrum of ages in itself makes an important statement about the nature and identity of learners today and into the future. Suppose we are designing for a system where 18-21-year-olds are our target audience for higher learning. In that case, we are designing education models for a world that no longer exists given the continuous and lifelong nature of learning and learners that increasingly counter traditional notions of students. That is why the 100 Year EdTech Project is opting to use the term learners over students – a more inclusive position.

The learners collectively surfaced themes they hoped would guide Summit participants in addressing future scenarios, tackling everything from better integrating academic with real-world and career opportunities to ensuring all learners, regardless of background, have access to the same high-quality learning experiences. The notion that the “real world” is a separate entity from higher education, is a symptom of disconnect that exists today. If learners are vital collaborators in shaping the next 50 years, we better understand their evolving needs.

Learners also addressed how uncertainty about the future, along with a sense that society is disorganized, can create a sense of anomie or anxiety that seeps into one’s learning experiences. There was a call to consider how technologies can enable and extend human capacity rather than simply replace humans, and to harness tech, such as virtual and augmented reality, to immerse students in experiences that can prepare them not only for jobs, but inspire and excite them.

Mental wellbeing, particularly in an increasingly digital world, was emphasized as a key component of education regardless of program or scenario. Summit participants were encouraged to consider more comprehensive and holistic views of how learners can and should be supported throughout their lifetimes. This means acknowledging that demographics and societal needs are continually shifting under our feet like a conveyor belt.

The learner panel served as an important touch point for Summit participants throughout the event and provided a certain magnetism by which ideas were drawn together with learners at the center. This helped reinforce one of the key design principles for the Summit:

 

How will we advance access and equity so that every learner gets the education they need to thrive?

Considering Emergent Trends and Impacts

Before breaking into working groups, participants heard from a global panel of subject matter experts in areas poised to significantly shape our collective future. Each panelist posited the implications and effects of one or more of the below trends. This list was not meant to be exhaustive, but instead offered shared lenses for the groups.

  • AI and new approaches to learning and content creation
  • Spatial computing technologies, which include immersive tools and their integration into learning and working
  • Automation as a disruptor, altering world economics and learning
  • Identity shifts in the form of evolving demographics, social and political dynamics and overall wellbeing
  • Health technologies and their impact on aging, overcoming chronic disease and altering genetics
  • Disruptive science technologies such as nano, quantum and space

The panel celebrated our technological futures while cautioning about the risks and challenges tech brings. For example, patients having access to knowledge once reserved for medical practitioners coming prepared to appointments, shifting lower order knowledge tasks to patients and allowing the provider role to shift to one of empathy, connection, and communication. Or, a future – one that is already here in many ways – where humans can be co-creators, cohabitants, and companions with technology; and where degrees are not bounded by borders.

Immersive learning has opportunities to motivate, excite, and give access to experiences one might not have in everyday life, but it also requires time and energy to build these tools and environments, with budgets often beyond the reach of educational institutions. AI may someday solve this problem, allowing teachers to create a fully interactive experience using prompts in an AI engine.

Academic institutions can be slow to change. Yet, the COVID pandemic shows us that institutions can also pivot quickly when a need arises. Educators had to confront how much they didn’t know about their learners and quickly solve problems such as inequitable access to the internet, and adjust to geographic shifts with no distinct boundaries between classrooms and lived experiences. This discussion led participants to generate an icon, of sorts, meant to represent the academic institution: a turtle with cheetah spots. This spotted turtle (variations below created in AI by Summit participants) was meant to serve as a reminder that change –especially change for the better – is possible with the right people and motivations.

Solution Types

An active approach to understanding the world in new ways is imperative to developing a shared vision for the future. We organized our solutions into four categories but recognized the interconnected nature of the systems and constructs we engage.

Policies

Crafting regulations and guidelines to navigate complexities and ensure equitable access and outcomes in education.

Resources

Allocating and managing funds and investments effectively to support educational initiatives and address disparities.

Innovations

Fostering creativity and embracing technological advancements to enable positive transformation in education.

Social Capital

Building networks, partnerships and community engagement to cultivate support and enhance collaboration in educational initiatives.

Depending on your perspective, you might see more potential in one solution type over another. However, as we look towards the future of education, we understand the importance of reaching consensus across representative communities. Governments and organizations make policies to modulate resources; technology and other innovations interact with our systems’ environment and our social networks and partnerships develop our sense of community and collaboration.

Wherever you fall within this web of changemaking, your voice is necessary to build consensus.

Consensus exists in many names and forms – and is an age-old mechanism for decision-making. Consensus-based approaches empower a wider range of voices, creating greater impact in identifying challenges and applying solutions. Criticisms of consensus exist, usually surrounding the pace of change based on it.

Our intention in this design is to recognize and honor people’s authentic experiences. Sharing our stories and building consensus provides a communal sense of authority and a shared authorship of our stories’ future.

8 Scenarios for the Future

If we could redo the last 50 years, what would we do?

The 100 Year EdTech Project 2024 Design Summit future-casted potential scenarios for the year 2074. Guided by videos, participants explored eight distinct futures, applying their expertise to dissect and propose recommendations for the next five decades. This section offers a concise overview of each scenario, accompanied by its video prompt and initial findings from collaborative group work at the Summit. Concluding with actionable recommendations, these insights are categorized under themes of policy, innovation, resource needs, and social capital.

Scenario 1
Recommended Solutions

Policy
Parents, students, and educators must advocate for comprehensive climate education in school curricula, allocating resources for teacher training and curriculum development. School boards and governments will adopt policies that are demanded by their constituents.

Innovation
Virtual reality simulations and augmented reality tools should be invested in, tested for efficacy and expanded, to immerse learners in real-world climate scenarios, fostering experiential learning.

Resource Needs
Investment in renewable energy infrastructure and partnerships with environmental organizations can provide hands-on learning opportunities for students.

Social Capital
Collaboration with local communities and industry experts can enrich climate education initiatives, connecting learners with real-world solutions.

Scenario Summary

The Design Summit group envisioned a new role for schools, colleges, and universities that would serve as Community Connection Centers in the event of a climate disaster. Centers would serve as a place for people to find security and continuity, and contribute to the health of themselves and the systems around them. Unlike current day disaster centers, the group envisioned a place that would not only triage emergency care, but would be equipped to foster community, intake and evaluate the expertise of those using the center for the benefit of survivors. These places would also provide the education and training needed to sustain the community beyond the disaster.

Scenario 2
Recommended Solutions

Policy
Education boards should mandate the integration of culturally responsive AI modules in curriculum standards, ensuring representation and equity. These modules could also be age-appropriate and adaptive, seamlessly shifting at different parts of the lifelong learning journey.

Innovation
AI algorithms must undergo rigorous testing for bias and fairness, with oversight from diverse interdisciplinary teams. Additionally, AI literacy training will reduce misuse in the population.

Resource Needs
Funding for research on culturally inclusive AI technologies and partnerships with marginalized communities to co-create curriculum content. Identification of $30M to fund the first three years of startup operations of the AI Ethics and Learning Alliance.

Social Capital
Collaboration with cultural institutions and community leaders can provide valuable insights and resources for developing culturally responsive AI curriculum.

Scenario Summary

The group concluded that unless immediate changes are made in the development of AI and the LLM and algorithms that fuel them, historical biases and inequities would persist and extend well into the latter half of the 21st century. Because AI is a product of human ingenuity, it must be governed by people. The group envisioned the formation of the AI Ethics and Learning Alliance to advance culturally responsive AI. This governance organization would convene with a mission to “...foster development and community governance of accessible and ethical AI solutions that create equitable opportunities in learning that lasts for generations to come.” An example of the work of the Alliance that was shared was the creation of a labeling system similar to nutrition labels on food products. AELA labels could identify data sets used to develop the information being consumed, providing among other insights, transparency on those funding the information.

Scenario 3
Recommended Solutions

Policy
A global collaboration of public and private entities would orient AI and model developers towards ethical, unbiased and human approaches for evaluating and proposing learning pathways for each individual, which will establish parameters to give access to all.

Innovation
A universally accessible pluriversity would play a central societal role in human learning as diverse humans pursue purpose and meaning in a radically different world. By 2074, an open-access pluriversity as part of an ecosystem will provide equitable opportunity to fulfill human potential, for those modified and not.

Resource Needs
Global collaboration for investment in the pluriversity and access to cutting-edge research into the required technology.

Social Capital

Engagement with ethicists, religious leaders, and policymakers can inform ethical guidelines and foster public dialogue on biologically connected education.

Scenario Summary

The participants determined that the next 50 years could bring extensive use of genetic modification via technological advances that make the deletion, replacement and insertions of genes broadly available. These technologies will accelerate diversity in human capacity (e.g., cognitive, physical, wellness), requiring enhanced educational models that expand personalized learning. Though ideas varied, the group ultimately ideated on the concept of the “Pluriversity” – an open-access learning platform inspired by the introduction of "A World of Many Worlds" edited by Marisol de la Cadena and Mario Blaser. A Pluriversity would counter the notion of a dominant way of being, instead allowing wide-ranging ideas to exist in creative and productive tension. This model would tailor education to individuals, responding to their abilities and interests. It could even connect educational resources directly to human biology through biometric technology – for example, with a personalized, VR-powered educational experience where each person is their own living, breathing, individualized university.

Scenario 4
Recommended Solutions

Policy
Education should provide media literacy and critical thinking courses in school curricula, supported by public awareness campaigns.

Innovation

Online platforms can deploy algorithms to flag misinformation and promote fact-checking tools, empowering users to verify information. In addition, a repository of student achievement can authentically reflect the reality of their work.

Resource Needs
Funding for media literacy training for educators and the development of age-appropriate resources for teaching critical thinking skills. Prototyping of the Flexiversity to design a model for universities to create educational communities with minimal capital investment in order to reach learners in areas that are underserved by higher education.

Social Capital
Partnerships with journalism organizations and fact-checking initiatives can provide expertise and resources for combating misinformation

Scenario Summary

After reviewing this scenario, the Design Summit group reflected on the risks that AI is posing to social cohesion due to polarization and fracturing of shared truth via the algorithmic reinforcement of specific ideas and philosophies. They also considered the relationship between truth and assessment, with authenticity as an antidote to false narratives. To adapt to these headwinds, the group advocated for deepened commitment to, and investment in, education that promotes ethics, critical thinking, and logic, reminding us that some solutions for the future are centuries-old pursuits. The group also identified the need for educational institutions to adapt curricula to promote digital literacy and update general education requirements to reflect the need for critical thinking, media literacy and AI literacy. Additionally, the group advocated for the idea of the “Flexiversity” – a future vision for a university that is less reliant on permanent campuses and more responsive to educational needs of individuals who are placebound in “education deserts.”

Scenario 5
Recommended Solutions

Policy
Governments must establish protocols for interspecies communication and collaboration in animal-human relationships, informed by input from educators and scientists.

Innovation
Educational institutions can develop communication protocols and language translation software for effective communication with animals. Expansion of transdisciplinary programs in biology, environmental science, communication and AI should be invested in to produce the research and innovation needed to unlock interspecies communication.

Resource Needs
Funding for research on interspecies communication and investments in wildlife conservation efforts.

Social Capital
Collaboration with ethologists, veterinarians, and animal behavior experts can facilitate knowledge-sharing and collaboration in interspecies relationships.

Scenario Summary

The group envisioned a future where technology enabled the creation of a neural network bridging all forms of communication across species. In this reality, all species can understand and communicate with each other. While the concept seems outlandish at first glance, the implications are earth-shattering. Humans can no longer claim global supremacy as all species now have a voice.

The group concluded that such an advancement could be a net positive for global sustainability, unleashing ancient wisdom of species existing prior to humans. At interspecies summits, species could co-create policies and make decisions among species, with interspecies relations governed by a Code of Conduct. An immediate preparation for such a future included further investment in and expansion of innovations in foods, to help a global population shift from animal-based diets, as well as expansion of academic programs and research dedicated to interspecies communication.

Scenario 6
Recommended Solutions

Policy
Educational institutions should adhere to guidelines for historical accuracy and ethical representation in extended reality experiences, enforced through accreditation standards.

Innovation
XR platforms can incorporate peer-review mechanisms and fact-checking algorithms to ensure accuracy and authenticity.

Resource Needs
Investment in digital preservation efforts and partnerships with historians and cultural heritage organizations to verify historical content.

Social Capital

Collaboration with indigenous communities and historically marginalized groups can ensure diverse perspectives are represented in XR experiences.

Scenario Summary

After reviewing this scenario, the Design Summit group aimed to protect humanity from a future in which extended reality (XR) could be manipulated to advance bias, political agendas and revisions to factual history. Without appropriate safeguards, learners using XR could experience alternate histories designed to appear real and influence beliefs. To steer humanity toward a future where XR enhances education and is protected by bad actors, the group proposed the creation of a universally adopted International Code of Ethic for XR. This code would serve as a framework that encompasses digital provenance, tackles bias, defines educational objectives and intent of XR, and ensures reliability of the technology and safety for its users. Such actions would help ensure that the next generation of learners become informed, empathetic and engaged citizens, ready to navigate and shape a world where technology and truth work together.

Scenario 7
Recommended Solutions

Policy
Governments must allocate resources for comprehensive mental health education and support services in schools, prioritizing early intervention and destigmatization.

Innovation
Digital wellbeing tools and mindfulness apps can be integrated into educational platforms to promote self-care and stress management.

Resource Needs
IFunding for mental health training for educators and the hiring of school counselors and psychologists.

Social Capital
Collaboration with mental health organizations and community-based support networks can provide additional resources and expertise for addressing mental health needs.

Scenario Summary

The group recognized that while current efforts involving policy changes and technology regulation are important tools to curb digital addiction, societal and cultural changes are more powerful mechanisms to shape human relationships with technology. These should stem from local community involvement and support, building to a national scale from the ground up.

One example, the What Works Clearinghouse, would use digital platforms to foster trust and create safe spaces with meaningful human connections. This clearinghouse would be a collaboration between tech industry leaders, local advocacy groups, grassroots organizations, philanthropists, and education leaders. Another example, “World Wise,” is a global coalition on culture, balance, and connection. The group would recruit local mentors and create communities of practice that are responsive to the place's special needs while advocating for new approaches to educating discerning digital citizens.

Scenario 8
Recommended Solutions

Policy
Education ministries should mandate trauma-informed training for educators and incorporate trauma-sensitive practices into school policies and curricula.

Innovation
Online platforms can provide resources and support for trauma-informed teaching strategies, including trauma-sensitive lesson plans and professional development courses. The platforms can also give teachers time in the teaching day to engage in new or increased roles as advisors, counselors or “mental health first aid” providers.

Resource Needs
Funding for trauma-informed training programs and the hiring of trauma specialists to support students and staff. Professional development and lifelong learning opportunities educated on trauma-informed care and teaching should be expanded.

Social Capital
Collaboration with mental health organizations and community-based support networks can provide additional resources and expertise for addressing mental health needs.

Scenario Summary

After reviewing this scenario, the Design Summit group began with a reflection of their own educational experiences, as students, as teachers, as administrators, and as parents. They noted that incidents of trauma impacting learners have accelerated in recent years and will only continue during a century marked with global instability and technological revolution. The group advocated for investment in training for educators and administrators in trauma-informed care and social-emotional learning (SEL) methodologies. The proposed that trauma-informed teaching be deployed locally to address the contextualized needs of learners within each community. Additionally, health and wellness should be seen as core components of cognitive development. Thus, health support systems should be built into traditional models of education as well as into education technologies like apps, wearables, etc. that provide personalized education.

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The Next 50 Years

Where to start, and how to keep going

The 50 year itch

Over the course of the next 50 years, participants in the 100 Year EdTech Project envision a consequential period of human history in which technology provides us the tools to transform education into a fully accessible, inclusive and transformative force for all of humanity.

The scenarios we reflected clearly illustrated the challenges ahead of us, but left us wondering where we should start so that we successfully arrive in the future we want.

Regardless of what the next 50 years throws at us, how can we stay motivated to keep going?

We’ll stay motivated by adopting a unifying statement of purpose – a manifesto, if you will – that will serve as our guiding framework for how we organize our next steps.

Next, to achieve the ideals set forth by the 100 Year EdTech Project Manifesto, we need to foster deeper futures thinking among educators, policymakers, and learners so that more perspectives join us in imagining future scenarios and planning for them. Our manifesto is a promise realized through bold policymaking, equitable resource allocation and community collaboration.

 

Manifesto

We commit to creating a future where education and technology unleash the potential of every learner to change their lives and the world.

In this pursuit, we embrace innovations that elevate our collective humanity while safeguarding our environment.

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Strategies to instill deeper futures thinking in education

We must prepare learners to navigate the future with creativity, resilience and foresight, equipping them with the mindset and skills to shape a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient world.

1. Futures Literacy

As part of curricula, teach students to anticipate, imagine, and navigate future possibilities. This involves exploring scenarios, analyzing trends, and considering alternative futures to develop critical foresight skills.

2. Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Promote collaboration among educators, researchers, and practitioners to tackle future challenges holistically.

3. Long-Term Focus

Prioritize long-term thinking in education, emphasizing sustainability and resilience in decision-making.

4. Scenario Planning

Integrate scenario planning exercises to develop strategic thinking and adaptability in learners.

5. Experiential Learning

Provide real-world immersion through field trips, simulations, and projects to deepen understanding of future concepts.

6. Technology Integration

Use emerging tech like VR, AI, and data analytics to enhance futures thinking, ensuring ethical considerations are addressed.

7. Global Contexts

Expose students to diverse perspectives to foster empathy and understanding of global challenges.

8. Lifelong Learning

Foster a culture of continuous learning to adapt and thrive in an evolving world.

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Future Scenarios: Influential Work

Get inspired by these projects addressing the 100 Year EdTech Project’s 2024 Future Scenarios and Provocations. Several were contributed by our very own design summit participants.

1. Climate change and the role of education

Facility for Action for Climate Empowerment (FACE-NDC)
Copperbelt University, University of Zambia, United Nations

FADE-NDC is a seven-year climate education project supported by a EUR 17 million contribution from Germany’s International Climate Initiative (IKI).

Climate Change Education for Zambians

With the support of universities and government, this project will provide tailored climate change education and build the capacity of Zambians to reduce the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.

An estimated 2 million students, educators, professionals, government, private sector stakeholders, and community members will be empowered to support sustainable practices. If successful, this effort may be replicated in other countries.

Email: reuben.sessa@fao.org

2. Culturally responsive AI curriculum

AI Innovation Challenge
Arizona State University

University is challenging the campus community to leverage AI in innovative ways. The goal is to use principled innovation to find solutions and uses for AI that generate positive societal impact. Idea submissions should aim to shape the future of learning, research and work environments for the better.

Contact: #ai Slack channel (ASU affiliates only)

AI Innovation Challenge
Opened Culture Collaboratory

Opened Culture aims to facilitate stronger, interconnected communities, widespread adoption of open educational practices, and improvements in educational access and sustainability. It leverages AI as an ethea to promote culturally responsive innovations in curriculum development, increasing representation, collaboration, and connection.

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Future Scenarios: Influential Work
3. Genetically engineered humans

Duke iGEM
Duke University

The Duke International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) team is an initiative designed to engage students in synthetic biology and biotechnology.

Genetic engineering for health outcomes

The project involves students in the complete engineering cycle of designing, building, testing, and refining a research project that aims to improve health outcomes using novel synthetic biology tools. The team will also evaluate ethical practices and the impact of their research on key stakeholders, particularly in the field of cancer immunotherapy.

Preparing for future careers
Through this project, students gain hands-on experience in molecular biology techniques, participate in literature reviews, and present their findings at the iGEM International Jamboree, preparing them for future leadership roles in science and engineering.

Email: cameron.kim@duke.edu

4. Teaching in a post-truth era

Socratic Tutor for Biology
University of Colorado Boulder, Front Range Community College

Professor Michael Klymkowsky, an expert in biology education research, and Dr. Ann Riedl, head of biology instruction at Front Range Community College, are developing AI tools to enhance biology education with the Socratic method.

AI-driven critical thinking
They aim to use generative AI to create a supportive and productive learning environment. “Rita,” a Socratic tutor chatbot, and “Dewey,” an analysis bot, will help students and instructors by evaluating interactions, identifying misconceptions, and providing feedback that stimulates critical thinking. The goal is to engage students in scientific discussions that build confidence and understanding. These tools will be implemented in introductory biology courses at the University of Colorado Boulder and Front Range Community College, as well as in a course for practicing K-12 teachers.

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Future Scenarios: Influential Work
5. Interspecies communications

Earth Species Project
Various universities and partners

The Earth Species Project leverages advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing to decode communication systems in non-human species.

Unlocking animal language

By building on decades of bioacoustics and behavioral ecology research, the project develops machine learning models to support and deepen understanding of animal behavior. The developers are looking to make these tools publicly accessible to help researchers focus on new insights rather than reinventing existing methodologies.

Supporting conservation through understanding

This approach not only addresses current challenges in conservation biology but also aims to ethically apply AI advancements to better understand and protect various species. So far, the team has created a foundation model for animal vocalizations and a benchmark dataset.

Email: info@earthspecies.org

6. XR and historical revisionism

Museum XR Project
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Google Public Sector

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) is working with Google Public Sector to create accessible, engaging, and interactive experiences for visitors through AI, extended reality (XR), and augmented reality (AR).

Bringing history to life
The use of these technologies has created new pathways of storytelling that are revolutionizing the museum experience. Visitors can delve deeper into artifacts and primary source material, accessing historical context and immersive narratives.

Inclusive, real-time storytelling

By infusing the museum space with these technologies coupled with diverse historical content focused on traditionally underrepresented communities, the ALPLM is fostering greater accessibility, inclusivity, and appreciation for diverse histories and traditions.

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Future Scenarios: Influential Work
7. Mental wellbeing in the digital age

Digital Wellness Program
University of Michigan

The University of Michigan launched a digital wellness program that partners university students with sixth graders to address the mental health impacts of digital addiction.

Educating for healthy technology use

The program is an interdisciplinary effort that focuses on teaching both middle school and university students about the benefits and harms of digital technology use through hands-on activities and scientific discussions. With a peer-to-peer approach, students learn about the effects of screen time on mental and physical health, as well as healthy digital habits.

Collaborative support for wellbeing

This initiative aims to provide students with practical tools to manage their digital consumption and understand the broader implications of technology use on their wellbeing. So far, it’s shown promise in fostering an engaging, supportive environment where students can openly discuss their digital experiences and work toward balanced technology use.

8. Trauma-informed teaching & learning

The DEI Collaborative
68 institutions

DEI experts, instructional designers, and online faculty from over 60 institutions, including SUNY, Cal State LA CETL, and California Community Colleges, have created a freely available framework to integrate DEI practices into online course quality rubrics. The aim of this project is to help institutions, faculty, and instructional designers create equitable, diverse, and inclusive online teaching and learning environments.

Design Justice Network
Global community of practice

The Design Justice Network aims to ensure a more equitable distribution of design’s benefits and burdens, meaningful participation in design decisions, and recognition of community-based, Indigenous, and diasporic design traditions, knowledge, and practice. The community’s design principles have been translated into Tagalog to emphasize surfacing and amplifying indigenous and marginalized communities’ innovations.

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8

Provocations

It is incumbent upon us to remember that we are responsible for the future we create. We are the ones shaping the technology and education systems we introduce to the world. Now and over the next 50 years, we must return to these provocations often and demand from ourselves answers to those hard questions – and find positive examples that light the path forward.

1

Is the technology of the next 50 years opening access to knowledge and learning for all, or is it exacerbating unequal access to education?

2

Is the technology of the next 50 years helping us develop critical thinking or is it contributing to misinformation and alternate truths?

3

Is the technology of the next 50 years fostering empathy and understanding among individuals and communities – or is it a source of friction and division?

4

Is the technology of the next 50 years supporting equity, inclusion, and fairness, or is it perpetuating biases and disparities?

5

Is technology of the next 50 years creating community and fostering connection, or is it contributing to social alienation?

6

Is the technology of the next 50 years promoting positive physical and mental health outcomes, or is it bolstering the prevalence of disease and poor personal wellbeing?

7

Is the technology of the next 50 years sustaining our natural resources and influencing us to be better cohabitants of the globe, or is it perpetuating human supremacy?

8

Is the technology of the next 50 accelerating human agency and innovation, or is it keeping us stuck in outdated models for working and living?

Your Turn

Futures Thinking & Strategic Planning at Your Organization

The eight stories functioned as prompts for discussions on the topics, and led to the eventual proposed solutions. How can you use our framework and materials to hold a future-minded strategic planning session for your organization?

The Scenario Design Process: Postcards from the Future

First, how did we script and design the eight stories?

We started with the simple conceit that the many learners will be late in their careers in the 2070s. An often used creative writing prompt is to invite a person to write a postcard to their younger self. This invites compassion and understanding for the experiences we had, and our choices, but also suggesting what might have been useful, “if we had only known.”

Another science fiction trope is the time traveler from the future coming back to assist the present, concerned about decisions that could be made to shape a more positive future. We used these two concepts to invent our characters, and why

they might be writing to us in the 2020s. The characters addressed a particular part of a dilemma, speaking in active voices, aware that their postcard has real stakes on their own lives and future generations.

StoryCenter team members scripted and edited the movies, using Midjourney images to illustrate the concepts in “futuristic” ways. The movies were shared with all participants prior to the Summit, and they could submit their scenario preferences to designate which design group they’d join at the Design Summit.

“Re-story:” Facilitating Innovation from the Scenarios

The future scenario videos were meant to spark conversation, but having a group of well-prepared facilitators was critical to the working process. The Summit organizers selected and met with facilitators six weeks in advance of the event, providing virtual training sessions to orient them to our facilitation guide – and get their feedback.

The emphasis in the training was how to take the three 60-100 minute design sessions and have the participants move from general reactions to the future scenarios, to focus areas for solutions and to completing a proposal to be shared with the larger group.

With ~190 participants expected, we assigned facilitators to each design group of 15-20 participants. Some scenarios broke into two to three smaller groups, while others maintained one larger group.

Creating Intentional Spaces

The Design Summit was presented as an invitation to invent an ideal future for education. From the beginning, where we invited participants to call in the mentors who inspired them, on our Tribute Wall, to our closing ritual of sharing commitment to change in the coming year on a seed paper slip of paper, then hung from our Promise Tree (now planted in Santa Fe, New Mexico), we wanted people to treat the event as a transformational experience.

Inspired by the learner and subject matter expert panels, the design groups were meant to extend that sense of purpose and possibility. Participants were reminded of basic ground rules for a respectful and productive process, and the facilitators mediated between the inevitable differing visions and ideas that emerged.

The facilitators were asked to make participation as inclusive and safe as possible, steering discussions toward the final actionable proposal, while allowing for as much creative exploration as possible. In some groups, that meant a two- or three-person pairing to give people a chance to dig into a solution and present it back to the full group; in others it was moving the larger, full group discussion toward a close-to-consensus proposal.

17

All participants had access to documents that covered the design process, and google documents and workspaces for ideas and notes to be recorded throughout each part of the process.

Hosting a Design Summit: Finessing Facilities

Skysong – The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center gave participants many opportunities for organizing the event, from a flexible main conference room to ample additional venues indoors and outdoors for the small design groups sessions.

Get to know the facilities, and consider the ways you can contextualize the discussions with the full group. For example, this would include holding opening and closing plenary sessions.

If hosting strategic planning sessions in person, there needs to be ample spaces for the small design groups, with sound separation and ways for facilitators to create pairs or subgroups to work as well. You may even consider what virtual spaces could look like to extend the work and outcomes across geographic boundaries.

Acknowledgements

It has taken a collective effort from individuals across the country to bring this publication into existence. We are grateful for the creativity and ideas from every individual who personally contributed to the 100 Year EdTech Project. Our authors, participants, sponsors, facilitators and panelists are listed below.

Core Planning Committee:

Samantha Becker, SAB Creative & Consulting

Fiore Bran-Gorvetzian, University of New Mexico

Georgia Davis, University of Arizona

Lev Gonick, Arizona State University

Allison Hall, Arizona State University

John Janezic, Arizona State University

Joe Lambert, StoryCenter

Stephanie Pierotti, Digital Equity Institute

Peggy Snyder, CirkledIn

Jocelyn Widmer, Los Alamos National Lab

Kiara Williams, Braven Accelerator

Authors:

Samantha Becker, SAB Creative & Consulting

Georgia Davis, University of Arizona

Lev Gonick, Arizona State University

Allison Hall, Arizona State University

John Janezic, Arizona State University

Kevin Kovaleski, Arizona State University

Joe Lambert, StoryCenter

Working Group Facilitators:

Nori Barajas-Murphy, CDW Education

Ibtissem Belmihoub, Researcher

Leigh Bennett, Bunker Hill Community College

Fiore Bran-Gorvetzian, University of New Mexico

Kyle Bowen, Arizona State University

Melody Buckner, University of Arizona

Georgia Davis, University of Arizona

Kyle Dickson, Abilene Christian University

Annissa Furr, Digital Equity Institute

Lev Gonick, Arizona State University

Andrew Gorvetzian, University of New Mexico

Tom Green, Salesforce

Allison Hall, Arizona State University

Brooke Hessler, StoryCenter

John Janezic, Arizona State University

Dan Munnerley, Arizona State University

Warick Pond, Arizona State University

Patrice Prusko, Harvard University

Bea Rodriguez-Fransen, Arizona State University

Peggy Snyder, CirkledIn

Jocelyn Widmer, Los Alamos National Lab

Christine Whitney Sanchez, Arizona State University

Kiara Williams, Braven Accelerator

Student Panel:

Sigrid Benitez, Arizona State University

Vanny DaFonseca, Arizona State University

James Driscoll, Arizona State University

Amanda Federico, ASU NextLab

Elizabeth Louthain, Arizona State University

Kelly O’Keefe, Mirabella at ASU

Patricia O’Keefe, Mirabella at ASU

Aaron Price, Duke University

Jose Rivas, Arizona State University

Manmeet Singh, Arizona State University

Kiara Williams, Braven Accelerator

Subject Matter Expert Panel

Bryan Alexander, Bryan Alexander Consulting

Kiran Budhrani, UNC Charlotte

Jessica Cole, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science

Angela Gunder, Online Learning Consortium

Dane Lancaster, PacificXR

Javier No, Universidad Loyola AndalucÍa

Ruben Puentedurra, Hippasus

Melissa Vito, UTSA

Jeff Abbott

Bryan Alexander

Tom Andriola

Mario Arreola Moraga

T. Adam Baldry

Nori Barajas

Lynn Barnett

Randy Bass

Samantha Becker

Ibtissem Belmihoub

Sigrid Benitez

Leigh Bennett

Alejtin Berisha

Kyle Bowen

Fiore Bran-Aragon

Melody Buckner

Kiran Budhrani

Laurie Burruss

Linda Calvin

Sonia Chaidez

Karen Cipolla

Lilian Clemente

Jessica Cole

Katherine Collins

Celia Coochwytewa

Jason Cooke

Christina Cummings

Shawn Daley

Alejandra Dashe

Beth Davis

Georgia Davis

Angelia Dickens

Kyle Dickson

Reed Dickson

Elizabeth DiRenzo

Julie Duty

Robert Duvall

Rene Eborn

Jess Evans

Julia Fallon

Robert Farid Karimi

Amanda Federico

Linda Feng

Kelly Ferguson

Tracy Ferrell

Colleen Flannery

Cristi Ford

Randall Fullington

Annissa Furr

Santiago Gea

Lance Gharavi

Gretchen Gibbs

Lev Gonick

Andrew Gorvetzian

Tom Green

Daniel Gulchak

Angela Gunder

Daniel Gutwein

Chuck Haberle

Allison Hall

Kate Hall

Amy Hamman

Leah Hanes

Elazar Harel

Tom Haymes

Brooke Hessler

Kathleen Hicks

Nicole Hinshaw

Ryan Hobbs

Brenda Holder

Susan Holechek

Bill Hughes

Walt Jacobs

John Janezic

Promise Jensen

Dale Johnson

Steven Johnson

Kemi Jona

 

Tanya Joosten

Ted Kahn

Wolfgang Kassa

Anne Keehn

Keilen Kelly

Donna Kidwell

Robert Kilman

Stephanie King

Phil Komarny

Kellie Kreiser

Christa Krohn

Keith Krueger

Joe Lambert

Dane Lancaster

Hana Larkins

Gisele Larosa

James Larson

LeeAnn Lindsey

Brooke Lipsitz

Jodi Lis

Mary Loder

Phillip Long

Elizabeth Louthain

Shea Lovato

Mark Luetzelschwab

Ryan Lufkin

Scott Mahler

Janice Mak

Adam Maksl

Anca Matcovschi

Michael Mathews

Hugh McGuire

John McKnight

Danielle McNamara

Susan Metros

Keri Miller

Josie Milliken

Maggie Mills

Chris Morett

 

Erin Mote

Dan Munnerley

Joseph M. Murphy

Nori Murphy

Emma Nelson

Rob Nelson

Javier No

Jill Nunokawa

Lisa Overholser

Shalana Palermo

Yushi Pan 

Sunay Palsole

Gordon Pelosse

Zach Pendleton 

Stephanie Pierotti

J. Garvey Pyke

Warick Pond

Beth Powers

Aaron Price

Katherine Prince

Patrice Prusko 

Ruben Puentedura

Madelyn Rahn

Megan Raymond

Marcil Roanhorse

Bea Rodriguez-Fransen

Elizabeth Romero Fuerte

Aniah Sanders

Ainur Satekova

Philippos Savvides

Jesse Schattin

Josh Schacter

Stephanie Serrano

Rick Shangraw

Steve Shapiro

Jeremy Shorr

Christina Shutt

Manmeet Singh

RaShaan Skrine

 

Paul Slater

Peggy Snyder

Stephanie Soscia

Ben Sparks

Michael Stewart

Kevin Stoller

Dawn Straw

Timothy Summers

Aaron Thibault

Patrice Torcivia Prusko

Meredith Toth

Joe Traino

Tacy Trowbridge

George Veletsianos

Alayna Villanueva 

Melissa Vito

Ellen Wagner

Daniel Weinshenker

Kate Wexell

Christine Whitney Sanchez

Jocelyn Widmer

Bonnie Wilde

Kiara Williams

Mark Corbett Wilson

Megan Workmon

Tammy Wyatt

Patrina Yang

Mike Yates

Keith Young

Meg Young

Jessica Zeitler

Bianca Zietal

Tracy Zimmerman

Simmy Ziv-el

 

Sponsors

Thank you to our sponsors, who made this event and work possible.

Interested in sponsoring the 100 Year EdTech Project? Contact samantha@sabconsulting.org

The 100 Year EdTech Project 2074 Guide is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommerical 4.0 license to encourage free and open use, adaptation, and remixing.

Official citation for attribution:

The 100 Year EdTech Project 2074 Guide: Adams Becker, S.; Gonick, L.; Davis, G.; Hall, A.; Janezic, J.; Kovaleski, K.; and Lambert, J. 2024. CC BY-NC 4.0

“We must prepare learners to navigate the future with creativity, resilience and foresight, equipping them with the mindset and skills to shape a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient world.”

100yearedtechproject.org