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Personalization, Backpacks Full of Cash, and Rockstar Teachers: The Intersection of Technology, Free-Market Ideology, and Media Hype in U.S. Education Reform

Date & Time:
16:30:00 - 17:30:00,
Monday 29 October, 2012


After decades of focussing on distributing hardware and bandwidth, American education policymakers have begun to explore the potential of new technologies to transform teaching and learning. Americans are now not just discussing new hardware or new web tools, but discussing new ideas for reorganizing teaching and learning for a networked age.

Researchers are developing new methods to leverage big data for personalized learning systems. Free-market advocates are envisioning how online learning could let students use vouchers not only to buy whole school experiences, but to buy individual courses from multiple vendors. Most radical of all, technologists and policymakers are exploring ways of using technology to “unbundle teaching”, to create a suite of new roles in schools from rockstar teachers to full-time remote classroom observers, much as health care has shifted from the general practitioner to teams from surgeons to orderlies.

In this talk, Justin Reich will facilitate a discussion about how technology is transforming education policy in the U.S. and whether these ideas are resonating in Europe and beyond.

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  • Name: Justin Reich
  • Affiliation: Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet and Society
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