SXSWedu | March 8, 2017
Lightning Talks: When Learning Goes Digital
I moderated this set of TED-style talks by higher education thought leaders. The theme: What’s next in digital learning—and what it means for the “new majority” of first generation, low income and adult learners. (Video available on EdSurge’s Facebook page.)
Reimagine Education Conference | December 6, 2016
Is the Classroom Dead?
The conference session was pitched as a debate on the question, “Is the Classroom Dead?” with two people making a case for the need for in-person gatherings of learners, and two others, arguing that the classroom has outlived its usefulness. (My article about the session ran on EdSurge.)
EdTechX Europe | June 16, 2016
How Education is Going Big: Top Trends and Innovations in Higher Education
What’s out: Using technology in small pilot projects at colleges. What’s in: Exploring how technology can transform an institution. Hear about top innovators thinking boldly and broadly to shape the new learning landscape, as well as some of the biggest shifts in the college sector.
SXSW Interactive | March 12, 2016
Professor You: Why Teaching Is a 21st Century Skill
The on-demand economy has come to education. Just as Uber is disrupting the taxi business by letting people moonlight as taxi drivers using their own cars, and Airbnb offers an alternative to hotels by helping people rent out their spare rooms, emerging platforms let people use the knowledge in their heads to teach occasional courses online, for a fee. Sites like Udemy and Skillshare are growing fast, letting people with no previous teaching experience make a living as a new kind of freelance faculty. Just as blogging changed who gets to be a writer, online learning is democratizing who gets to teach. That could disrupt and destabilize the time-tested college model of teaching.
SXSWedu | March 7, 2016
The Research University in the New Millennium
A conversation with Christine Ortiz, an MIT dean who is leaving to start a new kind of research university.
CES 2016 TransformingEDU Conference | January 8, 2016
College Degrees of the Future
Microcredentials? Nanodegrees? Just-in-time learning? We’ll take a peek at the state of MOOCs and how members of enormous learning communities are now completing a new generation of skills and credentials-based education. From content to campuses to credentials, we’re on it.
James Madison University Center for Instructional Technology Conference Keynote | October 26, 2015
Ed Tech Leaders Are From Mars, Faculty Are From Venus
An ongoing barrier to experimentation with new technology and teaching methods is one of communication and rhetoric. What an administrative means by “personalized learning,” for instance, might differ from what a professor or student imagines. And suspicions on all side can lead to an atmosphere of mistrust. A look at where different players are coming from and some thoughts on how to bridge the divides.
SXSWedu Solo Talk | March 10, 2015
Here Comes Professor Everybody
New platforms have emerged that let anyone offer a course or tutoring session online for a fee. A classics professor in Alabama charges $50 an hour to coach people on Great Books using Google Helpouts. An IT trainer in California made more than $200,000 teaching iPhone design online on Udemy. EdX has announced that it will create a “YouTube for courses” that will let anyone teach using its platform. A look at how teaching marketplaces could impact education and the nature of expertise.
Dartmouth College Nossiter Lecture | May 12, 2014
Pop-Up Learning: How Technology Is Changing and Challenging College
A string of recent technology trends – including big data, MOOCs, and flipped classrooms — promise to transform college teaching. What do early experiments in these approaches reveal, and what are the larger forces driving them? Is it time to rethink our notion of university education in a time when life and work have gone increasingly digital?
Georges Conference on College Journalism | April 4, 2014
Reporting on Higher Education
Today is one of the best times to be covering higher education. This overview offers an overview of pressing issues and tips and resources for college journalists.
Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society Lunch Talk Series | April 1, 2014
Pop-Up Learning: The Future of MOOCs and Online Education
After months of hype and hope about MOOCs, or massive open online courses, one thing is clear: they aren’t very good at teaching those most in need of education. Instead, they’re serving the education “haves”: About 80 percent of people taking MOOCs already have a college degree. But free online courses may still spark an education revolution, in ways that their biggest proponents hadn’t guessed. This talk will take a closer look at who is taking MOOCs and why, and examine how free courses fit into broader Internet trends.
MIT Sloan Technology Conference: Disrupting Life | Feb 22, 2014
Panel Discussion-Disrupting Education
Is education actually being disrupted? What do we mean by disruption? Cost structure? Performance or outcomes? Access and availability? Disruption to what end? How is technology playing a role in that disruption?
Harvard Berkman Center Festival of Ideas | Nov 13, 2013
There’s growing talk of the problem of distraction of the digital world. A look at some extreme solutions, and a suggestion to create a guide to more balanced approaches.
World Knowledge Forum (Seoul) | Oct 15-16, 2013
Bye, Bye Classrooms
Ever since modern education started, education within “classrooms” has been an impenetrable tradition. However, the once firm class-based education is now weakening due to the development of IT and the internet. Despite the rapid expansion of online education, there are doubts on whether it could completely replace the traditional education system. Education entrepreneurs, economists and more will gather as to figure out ways to combine both on and offline education to maximize the educational effects.
Minnesota eLearning Summit | June 29, 2013
Keynote: Education’s Jetpack Moment
There’s more excitement than ever on campuses about ways to reboot college teaching with technology — with talk of MOOCs, “flipped” classrooms, learning analytics, and more. A look at some of the latest trends and the tough questions they raise about what it means to teach.
SXSW Interactive 2013 | Mar 8, 2013
What Can We Learn from the Unabomber?
Ted Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, continues to write anti-technology essays from prison, and his fans believe he makes some good points about the unforseen consequences of technology in modern society. In this session, we’ll explore whether that’s true, in a debate between two philosophers, one of whom is pen-pals with Kaczynski.
Educause 2012 Annual Meeting | Nov 7, 2012
Chronicle Tech Trends: After a Year of Ed-Tech Disruption, What Now?
There’s talk of big change. Colleges reached into the cloud. Classrooms “flipped.” Administrators hacked their workflow with digital tools. Technology is more important than ever to the future of higher education. Writers and editors for The Chronicle of Higher Education will look ahead to trends for the year ahead and highlight experiments to watch.
Education Writers Association Seminar, Degrees vs. Debt: Making College More Affordable | Nov 3, 2012
Turning the Page on Textbooks: More Affordable Options
Plummeting prices for e-readers and tablet computers mean big changes for the textbook industry, as more students and professors clamor for digital versions of traditional paper editions. What does this shift in the publishing world mean for college costs, and how are universities getting e-textbooks into the hands of students?
Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning | Oct 10, 2012
Evolution or Revolution? What’s Happening with Traditional Online Learning?
Conversations about online learning are changing. Once on the margins, virtual classrooms are truly mainstream, and all types of institutions are involved. This panel of distinguished leaders in education will look at trends and issues facing online learning – including the cost and value of online delivery, the role of mobile technologies, and what free alternatives such as MOOC’s mean for what has become “traditional online learning.”
Rutgers University Center for Global Advancement and International Affairs | Oct 4, 2012
Radical Skepticism about the Merits of Technology: What if Anything, Can We Learn from the Writings of the Unabomber?
Ted Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, continues to write anti-technology essays from prison, and his fans believe he makes some good points about the unforeseen consequences of technology in modern society. Is there enough critical analysis of how technology impacts society?; is it ethical to take seriously the work of a man who waged a terrorist bombing campaign to bring attention to his ideas?; and is technology making our lives richer or poorer?
Education Writers Association National Seminar | May 17, 2012
Will Open Source College Courses Roil the Waters?
The University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University are joining schools such as MIT, Stanford and Carnegie Mellon in making some of their courses available free online, sans credit for now. What questions should reporters be asking about this move to give everyone everywhere access to a college education?
SXSW Interactive 2012 | March 13, 2012
How Technology Is Killing (or Saving) the Lecture
PowerPoint is boring. Today, professors are letting students pass virtual notes in class on Twitter. They’re trying “clickers” that turn classrooms into game shows. They’re videotaping classes to let students watch lecture reruns to cram for the test, or to share the knowledge with the world on YouTube. They’re monitoring how many minutes students spend reading online textbooks to see who needs help.This session will explore some surprising ways tech is changing classroom dynamics and leading to the end of the lecture as we know it.
NASPA Student Affairs Technology Conference | Keynote | October, 2011
Westminster College Symposium | September 20, 2011