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

December 13, 2012
Part 2 of my year-end look at the important trends in ed-tech. This one: The Maker Movement (and the trend that, quite frankly, makes me most hopeful for the future)
December 12, 2012
The first in my year-end review, examining the major trends in ed-tech this year. Up first: the business of ed-tech
November 14, 2012
I don't get it. I don't understand the lure of the educational tablet. I say this, of course, as someone who relies heavily on her laptop every day and who just couldn't make an iPad "work" the same way. What are we missing out by pushing tablets onto students? (Or, conversely, what am I missing out by being so skeptical about them?)
November 6, 2012
A few thoughts on how venture capital investment works -- and doesn't work -- to fund open education projects.
October 23, 2012
The killer apps for education, argued Stanford University professor John Willinsky at last week’s Open Education Conference, will be built when we apply our lessons to our communities “so that the learning I do in school contributes to the public library and to the public knowledge of my community” — so that open education remains open.
October 15, 2012
Some thoughts on the recent Gawker article "outing" the identity of "the biggest troll on the Web." Should we name names of the trolls in academia? To what end?
October 3, 2012
A new startup launches today to help make it easier for professors to create digital course packets for their students.
September 27, 2012
Degreed, a startup that promises to “jailbreak the transcript” launched into beta this week. Degreed asks users to list what formal and informal education they’ve pursued — what college did you attend, what major were you, what badges have you earned — and calculates an equivalency score in certain topics. That means that even if you never completed your bachelor’s or associate’s degree, Degreed will vouch for both your credit hours (ish) and your mastery skills (ish).
September 19, 2012
Everyone’s jumping on the MOOC bandwagon, it seems, with the announcement today of 17 more universities partnering with Coursera. But why the rush when it seems clear that these online experiments are just that -- experimental? Certainly universities see this as a marketing opportunity. I argue that it’s also “FOMO” -- the fear of missing out.
September 17, 2012
Google’s Summer of Code program gives college students hands-on experience (and a small stipend for) working on open source projects. I interviewed Eamon Ford, a junior at the University of Chicago, about his experiences with the program and why it offers a unique professional learning opportunity.

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February 21, 2012
Next week, InternMatch is offering what it's calling "the largest ever internship hangout" on Google+.  The startup, as its name suggests, helps match students with internship opportunities, challenging what it argues is a broken process on many campuses.  
February 18, 2012
A look at the 2012 Horizon Report and some thoughts about how the metaphor of "the horizon" -- always moving beyond reach -- works so well for ed-tech.
February 7, 2012
It's fairly clear that Silicon Valley has decided that education is a space ripe for "disruption."  But there's a lot of talk that "suddenly" technology and education are coming together.  This is a grossly a-historical way to think about ed-tech, one that ignores years of research, development, successes and failures.
January 25, 2012
Last week, I described the new iTunes U app as a "pseudo-LMS."  I've been thinking more about what that means -- about the implications of Apple's decision to re-present its educational content this way and how it contrasts to some of the education startups that are challenging what a LMS should look like.
January 20, 2012
Much of the attention over Apple's education announcements yesterday has focused on digital textbooks.  But that was just one of two initiatives the company unveiled.  The other was a revamped iTunes U. Here's a hands-on look at what's new in what Apple calls "the world's largest catalog of free educational content." 
January 12, 2012
A look at some of the responses to my post on Tuesday about requiring all college students, not just CS students, learn to code.  It's a good reminder of the ways in which we (or at least I) often fail to "make the case" for education technology issues when talking to non-educators and non-technologists.
January 10, 2012
Lots of people are making the New Year's resolution to learn to code. Is it time we make programming a requirement for college graduation for all majors, not just CS students?
January 5, 2012
Some thoughts on our ability to sustain open iniatives, particularly in light of the proposed Research Works Act, legislation that would end open access requirements for federally funded research.
December 20, 2011
Microsoft launched a new social network for students last week:  So.cl.  Is it time to declare "peak social"?  Or at least "peak social networks"?
December 14, 2011
Stanford's experiment this fall, offering 3 computer science courses online for free, appears to have been wildly successful, and the school plans to offer more courses next term.  Will this program change how we think about opencourseware?

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