We have been looking into the future to develop visions that represent shared targets for all of higher education (HE), further education (FE) and skills.
We hope that anyone working with technology in HE, FE and skills will find these visions useful in planning how they need to develop their services to meet the challenges we all face.
At Jisc, we will use them as a set of targets to help us prioritise what new services we should develop for Jisc members.
Predicting the future
Predicting the future of technology is easy. Just look at this prediction of the future of transport from sometime around the middle of the last century: a bus with a bridle path and a fleet of airplanes for side trips.
OK, so maybe predicting the future isn't quite so easy. Today's megabus is a less exciting proposition and planes turned out to be useful for more than just side trips.
But thinking about the future is a fundamentally useful exercise even though we will turn out to be wrong most of the time. By sketching out horizons we give ourselves targets to aim for, or to rebel against.
Developing visions for the future
It is in that spirit that we have spent time over the last couple of months trying to sketch out some visions for how technology may change research and education by 2020 and 2030.
Because of our role, we wanted to try and develop some visions that represented shared targets for all of HE, FE and skills. We did this by working with a set of core stakeholders - Association for Learning Technology (ALT), Association of Colleges (AoC), Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Research Councils UK (RCUK), Research Libraries UK (RLUK), Russell Universities Group of IT Directors (RUGIT), Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA), Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) - to develop some initial drafts before releasing those drafts for comment by anyone.
We gained a lot of valuable feedback throughout this consultation and learned a lot too, not least that the platform we chose was not the best choice. The overriding messages were to be more ambitious and focus on where Jisc can deliver value.
We also received a lot of very detailed comments, some of these did not make it into the revised visions because they discuss things at a high level, but we will be relying heavily on those comments as we start to explore the visions in more detail.
Explore the visions in detail
The revised visions are available now. We thought it was more useful to produce three separate visions, one for each area, rather than trying to combine everything into one document.
Each vision describes what changes could take place by 2020 or 2030, how this may affect key roles and how Jisc could try to help realise the visions.
FE and skills
HE learning and teaching
Based on the feedback, the visions have significantly altered in format and content, making these versions more ambitious and defined to reflect where we could help realise the visions.
Despite this, we know that the visions are likely to contain many "buses of the future" so we plan to regularly revise them.
To help with this, we have a feedback form that will be open alongside the visions so that anyone can submit any comments that they think need to be taken into account in the next update.
Our next step is to produce some roadmaps that show how existing Jisc activity is contributing to the visions and to start to explore new ideas that could help realise the visions. We will release more information about this soon via the R&D section of our website. Please keep your eye out for updates on how to get involved.