Deliberating on Digital: The Curious Case of the Mountain School

Part of the Mountain School in Vermont, from the school's website.

The Mountain School in Vershire, Vermont has been living in a time warp. It lies far enough out in the woods so as to be relatively cut off from digital technology. Cell phones get a weak signal at best. If you want the Internet, you have to settle for dial up. Such literal distance from [Read More...]

Today’s Online Education: The Massive and the Intimate

Sanders Theater at Harvard University, filled to the brim with students for Michael Sandel's "Justice" course. In some years, this course included more than 1,000 students. I was a teaching fellow for this course when it began in the early 1980s. I led a couple of sections for discussion and graded my students' work.

The New York Times has christened 2012 as “The Year of the MOOC.” No, “MOOC” has nothing to do with the presidential election or with Hurricane Sandy. “MOOC” means “Massive Open Online Course.” It is the name for a new mode of online education. MOOCs are exploding in popularity. According to Laura Pappano, writing for [Read More...]

Digital Technology and Education: A Mixed Bag

http://www.flickr.com/photos/56155476@N08/6660001925/

Is digital technology the savior of education? Or is it the destroyer of education? Or is it both . . . and neither? For quite a while now, we’ve been told that one of the big secrets for improving education is the Internet. If we want all students to learn, then we need to get [Read More...]

Living in the Brave New World of Social Media: Posting a Death on Facebook

The pervasiveness of social media forces us to ask new questions about how we live together in healthy, just ways. Sometimes the social media questions have to do with global questions of free speech and oppression. Sometimes, however, they have to do with how we live rightly as friends, families, colleagues, and neighbors. A recent [Read More...]