EdSurge Guide

Thought Leaders Discuss The College (And Classroom) Of the Future

Thought Leaders Discuss The College (And Classroom) Of the Future

Education isn’t a product—it’s a complicated process that can change people’s lives. So experimenting with education takes special care, and often raises thorny issues.

To get past the noise around new approaches and models in higher education, EdSurge recently sat down with 15 leading thinkers from colleges and edtech companies. Some represented corporate giants (including LinkedIn and Blackboard), while others led small startups (we had never heard of Sqore before). Some do research at world-famous universities (including Harvard and Stanford), and one spoke for a new kind of college that hopes to become world-famous (that would be Minerva).

We sought out a couple of figures who had recently made news. Donald Graham, chairman of Graham Holdings Company, for instance, had just sold Kaplan University to Purdue University for $1, and we pressed him about why. And since 2U had just made its first acquisition, we asked its co-founder, Chip Paucek, about whether it plans to build a larger empire.

Some of the folks we talked to have concerns about how new technology is making its way into college classrooms. Stanford University researcher Candace Thille, for instance, shared her worries that adaptive-learning tools made by companies are a “black box” that make decisions about learning that professors aren’t even aware of. Others urge colleges to do more instruction online to increase access to students who can’t make it to a campus.

These interviews, which will continue to be added over the coming weeks, were originally streamed online live from the ASU+GSV Summit in Salt Lake City. Thanks to a partnership with Shindig, we used that company’s interactive platform to let viewers chime in with their own questions as well. After all, the best parts of attending a conference often come in hallway conversations with attendees, so we tried to bring that kind of encounter to a broader audience beyond the conference. With these brief interview highlights, this is an event you can now attend anytime, at your own pace. (And if you really want to dig in, you can watch videos of all the half-hour interviews—more than seven hours total.) Enjoy!

– Jeff Young, senior editor at EdSurge

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