By Carolyn Gray Anderson
“Educational technology” often makes headlines when K-12 schools fail to implement computer learning in the classroom or when distance learning programs don’t deliver what they promise. That said, advances in technology have created a more global economy that needs a globally minded workforce. Lifelong learning is, increasingly, the key to adapting to career demands well after classroom instruction has ended for many professionals and it’s here that such technology is essential.
Impact@Anderson and the Easton Technology Management Center recently invited leaders in EdTech to discuss their efforts to bring the global education landscape into the 21st century. Dean Judy Olian moderated the panel, which included Michael King (’96), VP and general manager of global education industry at IBM; Deborah Quazzo, founder and partner of GSV Advisors and GSV Acceleration; Kirk Werner, director of content production and instructional design at LinkedIn and Lynda.com; and Kenny Berlin (’11), CEO and co-founder of the 12Twenty career services software platform.
Panel members were unanimous in their optimism about the future of technological innovations in learning, including in public schools. IBM’s King and GSV’s Quazzo named districts in the U.S. that are making strides — D.C., Atlanta, New Orleans. And Werner and Berlin cited the unprecedented access to information as the key to more effective teaching and learning. Werner, a veteran of popular online tutorial platform Lynda.com — which was acquired last year for $1.5 billion by LinkedIn, which was in its turn acquired by Microsoft for just over $26 billion — said this accelerated spread of information vastly expands the traditional classroom and the potential for both study and instruction.