It’ll be all about the tablets. Portable computing for knowledge transfer and production. Online/distance learning. Massive supercomputers. Lots and lots of clouds, but of course there will be mounds of paper because if there’s one thing graduate students love to do, it’s print mounds of paper. The push to make graduate research accessible to the public will continue. As the professoriate ages downward, faculty will grow more comfortable using always-on methods (instant messaging, video messaging, location services) to stay in contact with students. Email will continue to be a major time suck. The physical library will not be replaced, but more materials will be made available online with 24/7 access for students, faculty, and staff. Collaborative work spaces won’t replace offices entirely, but they will continue to make inroads as on-campus space continues to be at a premium. Parking will always, always blow, so alternative forms of transportation will be encouraged. Increased promotion of wellness and sustainability (work/life balance, healthier and more sustainable food options for on-campus dining, access to fitness centers).
Hopefully there will still be time to plant trees and enjoy the outdoors as well.