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Max’s Minute: The Age of Software (Part 4 of 5)

Max Davis-Johnson, CIO Boise State University, discusses the future of technology in higher education in this multipart video series.

In Part 4, Max presents the idea that we’re at the beginning of what he is calling “The Age of Software.”

Because of the processing power of our mobile devices, he believes the Internet will drive the Age of Software and become more embedded into everything we do. Max also discusses the continued emergence of mixed reality, augmented reality and virtual reality and the impact these will have on higher education.

Finally, Max discusses the ways we’re already leveraging data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics to help retain and graduate students at Boise State.

Transcript: Max's Minute: The Age of Software (Part 4 in a Series)

MAX: Today I’m going to talk about the future of technology in higher education.

TITLE: Max’s Minute: The Future of Technology in Higher Ed: Part 4: The Age of Software

MAX: Hi, this is Max-Davis Johnson, Boise State University Office of Information Technology. Today is part 4 of a series of Max’s Minutes about the Future of Technology in Higher Ed.

And today I’m going to talk about what I consider that we’re at what I call the beginning of the age of software. A good example I got from Tim Anderson, a computer science faculty here, is a Ford F150. A 1972 Ford F150 had zero lines of software code. A 2019 F150 Ford pickup literally has millions of lines of software in it.

Software is driving everything we do as we move forward. Another thing that I think is driving this age of software is that the Internet will become like electricity, less visible, but more embedded into everything we do.

The power of our devices is becoming huge. I’m an old guy, I worked on mainframes that literally filled rooms. There’s more processing power in this thing I hold in my hand than any of the largest mainframes I worked on many years ago.

We’re also seeing the emergence of what’s called mixed reality, augmented reality, virtual reality is becoming more common. And Pokemon Go is an excellent example of augmented reality.

What you’re starting to see too, and I’m going to be a winner in this, in that voice and gestures, will become the interfaces of the future.

Data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, predictive analytics, will all drive the personalization of our daily lives and of our educational experiences. The merging of data and machines will also become easier. We’ll see these rich experiences in the entertainment, business, and education. And certainly this information sharing will become effortless making us smarter, safer, and hopefully more efficient.

Then from a society standpoint, there’s a big potential for an even bigger gap between the haves and the have nots. The people that understand technology, that use technology, that have digital skills, and those that do not.

But this really creates some real opportunities for higher ed. We’ll be developing training and education programs to train for these jobs of the future. And not only education in the technical areas, but also in helping humans and organizations to adapt and move forward in this new complex world interactions between data and software, machines, data, and software.

We’re already starting to do this as part of our technology curriculums here on campus. We obviously have a lot of courses in software development, machine learning, hardware design, networking, big data is becoming an even bigger part of our curriculum as we move forward.

But at the same time though, it’s going to create these opportunities for, on the societal impacts too, we need to study and learn and research so again we can help facilitate society.

Also in the future too, we’ll be leveraging more of the predictive analytics and understanding when somebody is potentially, we are doing that now, but it will become even more so, that we’ll understand when somebody is struggling in a class, that we can intervene and help their whole experience and enhance their learning.

And with the addition of the mixed reality, the ability to be immersed in an environment, and learn from that, and that whole educational experience will only be enhanced as we move forward.

Really, the future of technology is so bright, that I’m going to have to wear shades. Until next time, thank you.

TITLE: Max’s Minute is produced by the Office of Information Technology at Boise State Univeristy.

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