Higher Education is a Waste of Time and Money and EdTech Won’t Fix That
Join this panel for a lively discussion of one of this year’s OEB themes, "Will there be a new golden age for higher education? In his book “The Case Against Education,” Bryan Caplan argues that the added value of higher education to society is so small that it does not represent a sufficient Return On Investment to justify its current existence. His proposed solution is a radical one: we need less (spending on) higher education and more vocational education. Both sceptics and supporters of the view that learning technologies can successfully address the problems of higher education will consider if and how learning technologies can be used to address the shortcomings of higher education both from within and outside the system, as well as the relative merits of higher education versus vocational education. You are invited to contribute to our exchange on this controversial subject!
Head of Online Learning Innovation, Institute of Technology Sligo, Ireland
Brian Mulligan is a Civil Engineer who originally worked in mathematical modelling and simulation and the application of information technology in engineering. He is currently on secondment as a Programme Manager responsible for online learning development and research, to the Centre for Online Learning at the Institute of Technology Sligo where he has lectured since 1984. He has been the key driver in the rapid growth in online distance learning in IT Sligo since 2002 and significantly involved in the growth of e-learning in Ireland since 1999, organising the EdTech series of conferences since 2000 and as a founding member of the Irish Learning Technology Association in 2002. His main areas of expertise are now in web-casting, webinar management, synchronous online training, instructor-led online training, lecture capture, open education (MOOCs and OER) and the rapid development of online content. He led the Erasmus+ funded LoCoMoTion project on low-cost MOOC development (moocs4all.eu).
eLearning Expert and Strategist, PlanBLearning, UK
Donald is an entrepreneur, CEO, Professor, speaker and blogger. He was CEO and one of the original founders of Epic Group plc, which established itself as the leading company in the UK e-learning market, floated on the Stock Market in 1996 and sold in 2005. Describing himself as ‘free from the tyranny of employment’, he now the CEO of an AI learning company WildFire, investor and Board member of PlanB learning, LearningPool and Cogbooks. He has been involved in consulting and implementing online learning in schools, FE, HE, corporate and government.
Donald has been involved in film, games, web, mobile, MOOCs, Oculus Rift and won many awards for the design and implementation of online learning. He is a regular speaker at national and international conferences, having delivered talks in the US, Europe, Far East, Middle East and Africa, and won several ‘Best speaker’ awards … also a regular (and controversial) blogger on online learning!
Willem van Valkenburg
Manager Teaching & Learning Services, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Willem van Valkenburg is Director of TU Delft OpenCourseWare, project manager of the EU-project OpenCourseWare (OCW) in the European Higher Education context and assistant to the President of the OpenCourseWare Consortium.
Willem graduated in the field of implementing e-learning systems at Delft University of Technology. From 2005 he was the product manager of Digital Learning Environment of Delft. Since 2010 he has been working as the director of TU Delft OpenCourseWare. Since last year he is the project manager of the European project on OpenCourseWare.
Regularly he is asked as an expert in field of e-learning, Blackboard, Open Educational Resources (OER), OpenCourseWare and Social Media.
Director of Academics and Research, edX, USA
Nina Huntemann, Ph.D. is Head of Academics and Research at edX. In this role, Nina develops the academic policies for the edX platform, sets the teaching and learning vision that guides product development, provides online teaching and learning expertise to 130 edX partner institutions, manages educational policy projects, and facilitates research across edX university partners. Nina has over 15 years of college-level teaching, program administration, and faculty development experience. Prior to joining edX, she was an associate professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism at Suffolk University. Nina received her Ph.D. in communication from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.