Audrey Watters

Audrey Watters is a journalist specializing in education technology news and analysis. She has worked in the education field for the past 15 years: as a graduate student, college instructor, program manager for an ed-tech non-profit. Although she was two chapters into a dissertation in comparative literature, she decided to eschew the professor track for a different path, and she now happily fulfills the one job recommended to her by a junior high aptitude test: freelance writer. She has written for Edutopia, MindShift, O'Reilly Radar, ReadWriteWeb, and The Huffington Post, in addition to her own blog Hack Education.

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Most Recent Articles

May 17, 2012
A new crowdfunding site, Unglue.it launches today. It hopes to raise money for e-books, not to have them written but so that the funding goes towards paying authors or publishers for existing works, giving them a one-time licensing fee in exchange for their releasing their e-books for free, under a Creative Commons license and without DRM.  
May 15, 2012
In the last few weeks there have been several big announcements about digital textbooks: Microsoft's investment in Barnes & Noble's spinout of its NOOK and college bookstore divisions, for example, and news today that Inkling is partnering with Follett, which runs some 900 college bookstores. Will we see a "format war" between publishers and hardware makers over control of the higher ed textbook market?
May 13, 2012
With the proliferation of free educational resources, why pay for school?  Why pay to learn?  Sure, there's the argument about college credits and certification. There's the argument too that "you get what you pay for."  I'm particularly interested in the question of free learn-to-program resources (along with what works and what doesn't work -- paid or free -- for learners) in part due to the pivot that the folks at the startup Bloc have made. 
May 9, 2012
Ideally, I suppose, I should headline this post "5 Things I've Learned from MOOCs." That's likely what a course -- massive or online or open or not -- is supposed to have a student tout: what I learned. If I were being really forthright with my readers, I would headline this story "5 Things I've Learned from MOOCs as a Serial MOOC Dropout." That's certainly a warning that when I speak about my recent experiences with MOOCs, it's as a lurker and a dropout. But here are five things I definitely recognize that matter to me in terms of my success and completion in these courses.
May 2, 2012
It's big news, but it's not really that surprising -- Harvard is getting in to the MOOC scene.  What is interesting to me about today's edX news is the universities' commitment to a research component, thinking about how these new initiatives work for learners both online and on campus.
April 29, 2012
My son graduated from high school almost one year ago. He opted not to go to college. Of course, the economy makes this a particularly challenging time for a young kid with no work experience and no college degree.  
April 28, 2012
About a month ago, I decided I'd had my fill of the Silicon Valley tech blogs.  I can't even remember what triggered it -- a thousand different blog posts, all saying the same thing about the latest iPad probably.  So I unsubscribed to all the tech blogs in my feeds.  And one month later...?
April 25, 2012
The day before the "Pineapple-gate" story broke -- that is, the nonsensical questions on the New York state eighth grade reading assessment -- The New York Times' David Brooks called for more standardized testing in colleges. Some thoughts on a future of pineapples and robot-graders.
April 24, 2012
News broke this weekend about the University of Florida's plans to restructure its computer science department.  What are the ramifications -- on the department, on the discipline -- of this decision?
April 21, 2012
Some thoughts on MOOCs, community, college composition and robot essay graders.

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