Thursday, June 29, 2017

Using History to Inform our Understanding of the Future...

Audrey Watters' Hack Education: the History of the Future of Education Technology website is a good source for analysis of current issues in higher education, along with links to her presentations and other projects.  

It is often difficult to track mergers and acquisitions of education technology and for-profit education firms or the ideas that drive their work.  As a result, I enjoy scanning Watters' regular posts and appreciate her efforts to place topics within historical context by reminding readers that what is marketed as "new" or "innovative" may no be as impressive as it sounds.

Watters recently posted a useful timeline as a project, "The History of Pearson: How Pearson grew from a construction company in Yorkshire, England to the world's largest education company."  You might also enjoy another fascinating example of how history informs her work, "Draw Me: A History of MOOCs: Correspondence Courses and the Pre-History of MOOCs."
Columbia University Journalism School recently recognized Watters as a Spencer Education Journalism Fellow for the 2017-2018 academic year.