Daphne Koller

Daphne Koller recently made an excellent case for online learning in her New York Times article “Death Knell for the Lecture: Technology as a Passport to Personalized Education.” Her article brings logic to the shift toward increased classroom technology with a view back into history about the ways technology improved our lives over time.

Koller points out that our education system is in a state of crisis based upon our low rankings among other developed countries in the world. Our greatest downfall she eludes is the lack of technology uptake in education. We need to reduce costs while ramping up our efforts; technology is the answer.

While looking at agriculture, a historical example of the ways technology revolutionized an industry, Koller says that technology increased productivity and efficiency. Due to this, today we deliver more food with fewer farmers. The same can be true for education.

Koller references Kahn Academy to point out that online videos and other tools can help us track students’ progress, understanding, and growth by measuring immediate data in clicks, views, replays, etc. that are readily available with technology. This data can revolutionize the educators’ approach to teaching in the ways technology revolutionized the farmer’s approach to agriculture.

Online tools in a blended learning environment can equip educators with the tools to identify students’ needs based on activity and performance in order to tailor teaching time to weaker points in understanding. In the same respect, online tools can deliver equally quality learning at a cheaper budget. This, as Koller says, “can serve two goals.”

With the use of technology, education could become the agricultural revolution of our time. Koller says, “By using technology in the service of education, we can change the world in our lifetime.”

Read the full article, “Death Knell for the Lecture: Technology as a Passport to Personalized Education,” on the New York Times.

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