Eric Hawkinson - Learning Futurist

Eric Hawkinson
Learning Futurist

Eric is a learning futurist, tinkering with and designing technologies that may better inform the future of teaching and learning.  Eric's projects have included augmented tourism rallies, AR community art exhibitions, mixed reality escape rooms, and other experiments in immersive technology.

Professor - Kyoto University of Foreign Studies
Research Coordinator - MAVR Research Group
Founder - Together Learning
Developer - Reality Labo
Community Leader - Team Teachers
Chair - World Learning Labs
Humble Supporter - TEDxKyoto
Interactive Media - Forever Kyoto
Author - The Augmented Learner

Eric Hawkinson

What I Stand For

Core Passion

To understand the factors and technologies reshaping how humans happily teach, learn, work, and grow.

Core Values

Open Knowledge - Free and open access to information is a foundation to a productive modern life, connected to ideas of the open web and platform agnosticism.
Privacy by Design - Business models are increasing moving toward supporting revenue by collecting, curating, and trading behavioral surplus through technology. These models should be tempered with safety, ethics, and privacy concerns and designed as such.
Digital Literacy for All - An informed public about the use of technology is key for a responsible and engaged digital society. 

Core Topics

• The Future of Teaching and Learning
Immersive Learning Design
• Augmented and Virtual Learning Development
• Designing Mixed Reality Learning Environments
• Digital Citizenship, Privacy, and Ethics
• Digital and Immersive Tourism
AR/VR/MR/XR Research
• Automation in Teaching and Learning

What I Do

Research and Development

Developing and implementing augmented and virtual learning environments.
Conducting research in immersive learning.


I work with districts, schools, and companies to best design and deploy technology for teaching and learning.  I have helped set up immersive learning labs, designed online courses, and consulted on technology initiatives in different contexts.

Public Outreach

I feel the need to do public outreach on issues in schools and society from immersive technology integration.  There are many initiatives going forward before important questions are asked.  I want to help guide the conversation so we can transition to this new era of our schools and learning in the best way possible.

About being a


The title of "learning futurist" refers to an individual who focuses on predicting and preparing for the future of education and learning. This role is important to higher education institutions because it helps them stay ahead of emerging technologies and changes in the way people learn. By anticipating and adapting to these shifts, institutions can ensure that they are providing relevant and effective education to their students.

One key aspect of the role of a learning futurist is to identify and analyze trends in emerging technologies, such as augmented reality and artificial intelligence, and to understand how they may impact education in the future. This may involve researching and staying up-to-date on the latest developments in these fields, as well as participating in professional development opportunities and networking with other experts.

In addition to staying informed about new technologies, learning futurists also work to understand the ways in which these technologies can be leveraged to enhance learning experiences and outcomes. This may involve designing and implementing educational programs or resources that incorporate these technologies, or working with faculty and staff to help them integrate these technologies into their teaching practices.

Another important aspect of the role of a learning futurist is to anticipate and prepare for potential disruptions in education that may result from emerging technologies. This may involve developing strategies for dealing with the challenges that these technologies may bring, such as the potential for increased automation and the need for new skills. It may also involve working with higher education institutions to adapt their curricula and programs to keep pace with these changes.

How my work is important in helping


The essential activities of a learning futurist generally involve staying informed about emerging technologies and trends in education, analyzing the potential impact of these technologies on learning and teaching, and developing strategies for leveraging and preparing for these changes. This may involve researching and staying up-to-date on the latest developments in fields such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and educational data analytics, as well as participating in professional development opportunities and networking with other experts in these areas.

On a day-to-day basis, a learning futurist may engage in a wide range of activities, depending on the specific needs and goals of the organization they are working for. Some common tasks might include:

- Designing and implementing educational programs or resources that incorporate emerging technologies
- Working with faculty and staff to help them integrate these technologies into their teaching practices
- Developing strategies for dealing with the challenges that emerging technologies may bring, such as the potential for increased automation and the need for new skills
- Adapting curricula and programs to keep pace with changes in education and learning
- Conducting experiments and pilot projects to test new ideas and technologies
- Collaborating with other experts and stakeholders to develop and implement innovative approaches to education


Looking for some help?

Passion Projects

Projects come and go, but these are the ones that have stuck around.

Together Learning
Together Learning

A community of technology minded learners.  Exploring human potential... together.

Reality Labo
Reality Labo

Augmented reality enhanced learning environments and mixed reality rapid prototyping.

Team Teachers
Team Teachers

Supporting educators with technology and digital literacy development.

Portfolio Samples

Some smaller projects (Click for More)

Eric Hawkinson VR
WebVR for Model United Nations
Training Future Leaders in Virtual Reality
TEDx Augmented Reality Eric Hawkinson
AR at TEDxKyoto
Designed an AR experience for participants of this event
Forever Kyoto Eric Hawkinson
Immersive Media in Japan is a media project for Japanese travel promotion
Library AR Scavenger Hunt Eric Hawkinson
Library AR Scavenger Hunt
Student Project of Gamified Tour using AR
Eric Hawkinson Shared VR Space
Shared VR Space
Designed a space for groups to experience VR Together for a university

Educational Game Design

Failing for fun is sometimes the best way to learn
American Citizenship: The Game - Eric Hawkinson
Educational Board Game
American Citizenship

The main goal of this project is to help applicants prepare for the civics portion of the interview required to become a naturalized citizen of the United States.

Educational RPG - Eric Hawkinson
Educational RPG

An adventure game designed to illustrate how humans have adapted new ways of communication from new technologies.

AR Escape Room
Team Building Game
AR Escape Room

A puzzle game that utilized the augmented reality app I developed used for team building activities for volunteer groups.


Project updates and Research Notes


Helping to Lead

Engaging in different communities of practice, research, and business to gain insight to the issues from as many viewpoints as possible.

Adobe Education Leader

Adobe Education Leaders are dedicated to enhancing creativity and collaboration and improving the teaching and learning experience. They share their expertise through workshops and conferences and help develop standards-based curriculums that are used worldwide.

Certified Google Innovator

The Google for Education Certified Innovator Program recognizes and supports top educators who are excited to grow professionally, advocate for impactful technology, and innovate to improve classrooms, schools and local communities.

Microsoft Innovative Expert

The Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert program is a premier program created to recognize global educator visionaries.


Seeking to contribute to the advancement of immersive technology in learning


Books, Research Papers, and other Publications from board games to science fiction short stories


Public talks, presentations, workshops, and other public appearances from blogs and newspapers to TV and radio.


Competitive awards such as public and private research grants, development competitions, and leadership recognition

Available talks online (Click to Watch)


Eric Hawkinson BETT Asia
LEARNTECH Asia Eric Hawkinson
IEEE Research Eric Hawkinson
TEDSummit Eric Hawkinson
Eric Hawkinson TEDx
Campus Party Eric Hawkinson
Bunkacho Eric Hawkinson

Public Speaking Inquires

Passionate about an informed global digital community

Learning opportunities for your students and community

Global Collaborative Learning Projects

Consider joining one of my ongoing international learning initiatives either with your students or by yourself

Global Collaborative Learning Projects

Why Me Project

Why Me?

6-8 Weeks

15-20 Hours

Leadership Communication
Explore the 'why' in each of us to better communicate with teams and engage with communities

BIG Project

Before I Graduate

3-5 Weeks

10-15 Hours

Goal Setting
Finding a north star to guide us into the future and supporting each other in moving toward it.

Hometown Project

My Hometown

6-8 Weeks

25-30 Hours

Cultural Exchange
Travel the world without leaving home, exploring communities alive with stories and experiences in virtual reality.


Let me know how I can be helpful


The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.
- Albert Einstein