In our world, people get excited about new technological products. Sure, the next iPhone will not draw the same lines that it used to, but surely the next company will. More people than it should care about Tesla model 3’s weekly output. The fact is, tech is exciting. Which in an education field eager to unleash higher rates of motivation and engagement, it’s only reasonable to ask: Can the excitement about technology be translated to the classroom? If Moodle were a gadget, what would make people line up to get a taste?

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Assuming it is both possible and desirable, the latest “Intel Next 50 Study” should make for a worthwhile piece of evidence. 1,000 tech consumers answered questions about technology, what they find exciting, and their general attitudes about innovation.

STEM and STEM-beyond lessons

In the classroom, it is straightforward to connect technological advancement with the basic and applied science that underlies it. But a key insight in the survey is what Intel’s Todd Garrigues calls the “eagerness.” A psychological and social process about what technology enables, both on the personal and peer level. The higher specs on the coming flagship phone are awesome as long as they can be part in a conversation.

Another “techno-anthropological” insight is the interesting mix of novelty and familiarity. Users do not care for cutting-edge R&D in a vacuum: After they pick up an interest, the real thrills are in the game of expectations about what will come next. Here we witness yet another instance of a familiar lesson: Stories matter.

Tech you can do, tech you can become

When students are introduced to storytelling techniques and devices to apply in how they envision and plan their lives, decisions about their careers and life paths shift meaningfully. Factors about their field of study, the industries they will be part of, and the kind of environment they will share all gain importance. The “Intel Next 50 Study” lists technologies, hinting at the reasons and personalities that would make them an interesting study subject, and possibly a career worth pursuing.

  • Generalists’ AI: Next-generation algorithms will take over every single industry, making it an irresistible proposition for those with world conquering ambitions.
  • Devoted Genomics: In contrast, for those who prefer a focus on reliable, slow-and-steady process with a hint of humanitarianism.
  • Artificial tissue bio engineering for the doers: Will cyborg become ordinary business? Replacing, if not upgrading one’s organs with artificial ones just might become the norm and not the exception.
  • Fossil fuels museum curators: Although less prominent in the study, the proposition of renewables should be.

Future technology is exciting. When embraced collectively it kindles optimism, a desire for collaboration, and a drive to increase personal skills in order to be a part of it.

Access the full report here. (PDF)

Read “Technology in the Years Ahead” by Garrigues at

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