Join NCFL in learning about the impact of converging exponential technologies on families

Amidst the backdrop of a global pandemic, the world evolves faster than ever before. Though humankind has always tended toward progress, our modern-day developments have fast-tracked this rate of change, promising accelerated evolution as we venture further into the future. 

As a new decade unfolds, experts predict that we will continue to see a greater degree of technological convergence; our new and recent technologies will come together to form networks of higher function like never before. Just look at a “smart home”: thermostats, home security systems, and cameras are synced together and controlled via smartphone. This Internet of Things (IoT) will evolve and connect in ways we can only presently imagine.

These evolutions are not limited to the household, of course; every industry on the globe will be affected by converging technology in the years to come. At the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), we know this applies to education, too. That’s why we are seeking out new partners and experts with knowledge and skillsets to help our network of families and partners be positioned to thrive well into the future. We are working with a strategic advisor—Marcus Shingles—who specializes in innovation and exponential digital transformation, organizational change, and emerging and disruptive technology; he also formerly served as CEO of the XPRIZE Foundation. Additionally, we are working with development companies like Talespin and Spatial to advocate for families to ensure that their technology offerings are relevant, accessible, safe, and scalable to families living in poverty.

During COVID-19, we’ve all experienced firsthand what research backs up: it taxes the brain to learn and collaborate via video platforms (Sklar, 2020). It has even found a name in “Zoom Fatigue.” It is clear that families will need more and better tools to effectively learn in the age of COVID-19 and likely, beyond the pandemic’s lifecycle. Fortunately, studies show that fully immersive learning that utilizes Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) demonstrate superior and more efficient learning retention by users (PwC, 2020). This is one area in which we are seeking to test and evaluate new learning methods, among others.

As we have done for the past three decades, we intend to continue innovating within our field as the future takes shape. Over the next six months, we will be publishing a series of blog posts about our own findings so that we can all learn together. We will also publish posts authored by leading technology, education, and research experts across the country on important topics as they relate to our network regarding artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, and digital equity, to name a few.

The intersections at which technologies merge are multiplying faster than ever before, giving rise to limitless possibilities in the days to come. We hope you’ll join us as we learn more about the technological frontiers that await us.



PwC (2020). The effectiveness of virtual reality soft skills training in the enterprise. Retrieved October 5, 2020 from

Sklar, J. (2020, April 24). ‘Zoom fatigue’ is taxing the brain. Here’s why that happens. National Geographic.