Five trends of education and technology in a sustainable future

Nicholas C. Burbules, Guorui Fan, Philip Repp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Quality education is one of the pillars in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. This overall goal can be connected to some general trends affecting education in the information age. We argue that education is key to the future quality of human life and the sustainability of the world. Generally, education is being transformed in both formal and informal learning contexts by new digital technologies. Overall, some of these major innovations and how they are changing education can be summarized into the following aspects: 1) our educational aims and objectives; 2) educational ecologies and contexts of learning; 3) the processes of learning; 4) the processes of teaching; and 5) educational governance and policy. Meanwhile, we note some of the potential risks and downsides of these technology trends. From the sustainable perspective, our review points to a great potential for educational reform, but it can only be achieved if we are willing to rethink and even abandon some of our traditional ways of doing things in education.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalGeography and Sustainability
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Education for sustainable development
  • Governmental policy
  • Learning and teaching
  • Educational transformation
  • Educational technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Ecology


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