Disrupting Higher Education with Technological Innovation

Presentation Date: 

Thursday, March 20, 2014


HEASPA Brown Bag, The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX)

Presentation Slides: 

Charles Eliot’s elective system initiated at Harvard University in the 1890s radically transformed the field of higher education. It is one of only a few truly disruptive innovations to catalyze universal change in how people learn on American college and university campuses. The only other innovation in learning that approaches this scale is another Harvard pedagogy – the Case Study Method, also developed in the late 19th century. Around the same time, one of the world’s most enduring technological innovations was born: the automobile. With thousands of advances since that time, today’s car is dramatically more efficient, faster, safer, and cheaper than the Model T. However, today’s campuses cannot claim the same rate of progress. With the exception of access, since the late 1800s higher education has been stubbornly resistant to changes facilitated by technology. This is true in nearly all areas including campus infrastructure, productivity, curriculum, teaching and learning, and the student experience. In this millennium, however, new technologies have brought us to the precipice of the next sea change. This is a very exciting time to be in our field. Join me on March 20, 2014 to explore the role of technology in disrupting higher education, both inside and outside of the classroom. This talk highlights topics to be discussed in greater depth in a new course entitled Technology in Higher Education, offered through the Program in Higher Education Leadership in Fall 2014.