More Than Incremental Change

Recorded on Thursday, October 22 at 3:00 pm EDT for a webcast presentation and discussion with Allison Dulin Salisbury and Kristen Eshleman, two educational technology experts who will speak about how expanding development in the Ed Tech industry is impacting on higher education. Higher education is reaching an inflection point, and the change is being driven in part by trends in edtech that open the door for alternative, personalized pathways to learning. It is difficult to predict what Higher Ed will look like in the future, but as George Siemens recently wrote, “the best strategy in a time of uncertainty is not to seek or force the way forward, but to enter a cycle of experimentation.” Higher education does plenty of R&D on everything from anthropology to zoology but it lacks frameworks for incubating, testing and implementing ideas about teaching and learning within universities. To foment “more than incremental” change, some schools are creating safe-to-fail sandboxes where academics can run pilots with edtech entrepreneurs and measure the effects of those experiments. This session will provide an overview of the most significant trends in edtech, highlight responses in the form of emerging R&D models and pose two questions: How can we intentionally design universities to change fast–even as fast as the needs of students themselves are changing? And what is the role of edtech organizations–either for-profit or not–in these sandboxes?


Kristen Eshleman
As Director of Digital Learning Research & Design, Kristen coordinates the design and research of campus-wide experiments supported by digital learning. Digital Learning R&D functions as an independent research initiative in Academic Affairs, focused on the design and support of experimental curricular and co-curricular learning opportunities that inform Davidson’s academic digital strategy. She is also currently Director of Academic Technology at Davidson College. The anthropologist in her is drawn to the intersections between technology and culture. Her current interests include digital scholarship, inclusive pedagogy, mindfulness & contemplative learning, and experiments grounded in student agency, lifelong learning, and whole person formation.

Allison Dulin Salisbury
Allison is Director of Higher Education Strategy at EdSurge, where she explores the most promising applications, and most pressing uncertainties, for digital learning in postsecondary education. Her informing question: how might we creatively respond to the evolving — and increasingly differentiated — needs of modern learners?

Previously, she directed special projects for the President at Davidson College. Among her projects, Allison developed a unique framework for testing new digital learning tools, which included leading Davidson’s partnership with edX and product managing multiple MOOCs. She also founded Davidson’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, a model higher-ed program for teaching students design thinking and innovation first-hand.

Allison started her career as a social justice educator designing educational programs for undergraduates in the U.S. South and rural Thailand. In 2013, she was named one of the top 30 leaders under 30 in the City of Charlotte, and became a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.

Listen to the recording

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