Skip Navigation

Allan Collins, Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology

February 11, 2010 - February 12, 2010

Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology
Lecture & discussion. Refreshments provided.

When: Thursday February 11, 2010, 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Where: Bahen Centre for IT, Room 7256 (Webcast available), 40 George Street, University of Toronto St. George Campus

Abstract: All around us, people are learning with the aid of new technologies: children are playing complex video games, workers are taking online courses to get an advanced degree, students are taking courses at commercial learning centres to prepare for tests, adults are consulting Wikipedia, etc. New technologies create learning opportunities that challenge traditional schools and colleges. These new learning niches enable people of all ages to pursue learning on their own terms. People around the world are taking their education out of school into homes, libraries, Internet cafes, and workplaces, where they can decide what, when, and how they want to learn.

The developments described above are changing how people think about education. This rethinking will take many years to fully penetrate our understanding of the world and the society around us. We are beginning to rethink the nature of learning, motivation, and what is important to learn. These changes demand a new kind of educational leadership and changing roles for government. New leaders will need to understand the affordances of the new technologies, and have a vision for education that will bring the new resources to everyone.


Speaker: Allan Collins is a Professor Emeritus of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. He is a member of the National Academy of Education, and a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the Cognitive Science Society, the American Educational Research Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He served as a founding editor of the journal Cognitive Science and as first chair of the Cognitive Science Society. He has studied teaching and learning for over 30 years, and written extensively on related topics. He is best known in psychology for his work on how people answer questions, in artificial intelligence for his work on reasoning and intelligent tutoring systems, and in education for his work on situated learning, inquiry teaching, design research, and cognitive apprenticeship. From 1991 to 1994 he was Co-Director of the US Department of Education’s Center for Technology in Education.


Webcast: The talk will be webcast live and an archive will be available. To view the webcast, all you need is a fast internet connection (1mb/sec), a screen resolution of 1024x768 or higher and Flash Player v.9+

1) If you haven’t registered an ePresence account, go to and click “Join” at the top-right of the interface. Fill in the form and submit.

2) On the day of the event navigate to and look for your event in the Live Event schedule.

3) Click on the event link. You will be asked to login with your username and password. If the event hasn’t started yet you will be placed in a waiting room. When the webcast begins a “Join Event” button will be available. Press it to enter the webcast.

For more information please feel free to visit our website at