Session II: Lecture - New Technologies: What Are the Risks and Rewards of Online Education?

Once defined by their spires, universities are increasingly shaped by their wires. Online technologies have changed the way we shop, how we socialize, and our access to public services. They’re now transforming the classroom. In the past year and a half, with the inauguration of Massive Open Online Courses, a debate has developed: is this a threat to core values of higher education or a solution to the obstacles presented by cost and access? One platform alone, Coursera, had over five million students and 107 partner institutions by October of 2013. The effects are hard to measure. While the data are still inconclusive—the landscape has changed, as a recent survey from the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education has indicated. What are the hazards of going digital? What do we gain? In the polarized debate, what voices or issues are being lost? Will digital learning eclipse or embellish the classroom? Moderator: Tamar Lewin, Domestic Correspondent, The New York Times Featuring: Daphne Koller, the Rajeev Motwani Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University; Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Coursera Respondents: Bruno Latour, Scientific Director, Sciences Po Médialab, Paris William Lawton, Director, Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, London Gideon Rosen, the Stuart Professor of Philosophy; Chair, Council of the Humanities; and Director, Program in Humanistic Studies, Princeton University