Gartner has released a report with predictions about the top tech trends for business in 2018. Gartner uses the term the intelligent digital mesh to describe “the entwining of people, devices, content and services” that will create the “foundation for the next generation of digital business models and ecosystems.” These trends are classified within three categories.

  • Intelligent: How AI is seeping into virtually every technology and with a defined, well-scoped focus can allow more dynamic, flexible and potentially autonomous systems.
  • Digital: Blending the virtual and real worlds to create an immersive digitally enhanced and connected environment.
  • Mesh: The connections between an expanding set of people, business, devices, content and services to deliver digital outcomes.

What are the implications of these trends for education?
Education often falls behind the business world in realizing the potential of new technologies. There are however a few bright spots where the timing might be right for the tech trends in the business world to have a positive impact in education sooner rather than later.

Artificial intelligence (the ability of machines to display “cognitive” functions like learning or problem solving) already impacts a lot of things we do outside of education.  This is the technology working behind the scenes to “learn” from patterns in the data and inform improvement as evidenced in such areas such as self-driving cars, facial recognition, fluent verbal language translation, and computers that can beat world champion humans at games like chess and Go.

AI can support teachers by serving as a guide to teachers to help inform practice, to manage the complexity of new student-centered and project-based models of teaching and learning, and to better inform day-to-day decision-making.

Read more on how the top tech trends will impact education by Jim Goodell, Liz Glowa and Brandt Redd at Getting Smart