Bridge the digital divide through personalized learning

Chris Dede is the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard University. His fields of scholarship include emerging technologies, policy, and leadership; and his funded research includes grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences, and the Gates Foundation. He has also recently convened NSF workshops on new technology-based models of postsecondary learning and on big data in the sciences, engineering, and education. This coming November, Dede will present at Spark 2016, OETC’s single-day event for leaders in education.

In anticipation of this event, we conducted a brief personal interview with Christopher Dede. Read the full interview below!

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am the Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. I teach about emerging technologies, policy, and leadership. My research centers on online and blended learning, mobile learning, immersive learning (virtual reality, multi-user virtual environments, mixed and augmented realities), personalized learning, and scaling up educational improvements. I enjoy sharing ideas across the world to learn what practitioners, policymakers, and scholars are doing.

What are your technology “must-haves”—the technology (hardware, software—whatever falls into your definition of the category) that you could not get through the day without?

Laptop, cellphone, productivity tools, social media, web.

How did technology affect your own education? Is there anything you miss about technology at that time?

I grew up before digital technologies. In college, I took a programming course on punch-cards, and hated every second. The Apple-1 changed my thinking about technology and learning.

What is your hope for the future of technology in education?

Eliminating the digital divide and achieving social justice through personalized learning.

If you could go out for coffee with anyone—historical or contemporary, real or fictional, celebrity or unknown—who would it be?

Maria Montessori.

To hear more of Christopher Dede’s thoughts on personalized learning, the digital divide, and the revelation of the Apple-1, register for Spark 2016, our single-day event for educational leaders.

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