The Promise of Education - Kentaro Toyama

Kentaro Toyama

October 19, 2017 | 7 p.m. | 2452 Knauss Hall, WMU

"The Kindling of a Flame: Analogies to Light the Way for Technology in Education"

College graduates today are digital natives fluent in technology, but have they learned more than their parents? Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have made learning materials free to anyone with Internet access, but have they bridged educational disparities? If technology is so good for learning, why do well-educated parents set limits on their children's screen time? These questions can be readily answered with the right analogies for what education really is and what technology actually does. Good analogies can help to grasp the complicated mass of evidence about technology in education; to guard against tech-zealot rhetoric that preys on parents' fears of children being "left behind"; and to light the way toward the appropriate use -- and non-use -- of technology for meaningful learning.

Kentaro Toyama is the W.K. Kellogg Associate Professor of Community Information at the University of Michigan School of Information and a fellow of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT. Until 2009, Toyama was assistant managing director of Microsoft Research India, which he co-founded in 2005. He is the author of Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology and writes The ICT4D Jester, a blog critiquing technology for development. In Geek Heresy, he debunks the claims of tech zealots and reveals why global problems cannot be solved with gadgets alone.