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

April 14, 2012
A course evaluation on Udacity's CS101. Of course, typically if you drop a class, you don't get to complete course evaluations, and I didn't actually finish the class. But in the case of these free online classes, I'd argue that my thoughts still do count -- after all, how can we help make sure that even if there's no credit offered and no tuition fees assessed, that we're supporting learners all the way through the material.
April 12, 2012
Microryza launches its official beta today. It's a crowdfunding platform for scientific research with an emphasis on social learning and the scientific process -- not just on outcomes or "a product."
April 5, 2012
OER textbook startup Boundless Learning is being sued for copyright infringement by Pearson, Cengage, and Macmillan.  While the startup says that it's using openly licensed content to build its free textbooks, the publishers contend that the startup is copying topics, sub-topics, layouts and the like.
April 3, 2012
The Minerva Project announced $25 million in seed funding today from Benchmark Capital, promising to found the first "elite university" in the U.S. in over a century.  The university -- online and for-profit -- has some big names on its advisory board.  But can it actually live up to this big vision and promise (and investment)?
March 29, 2012
Some thoughts on the new LMS market, which as Blackboard's pivot might show, might not be about the LMS product itself any longer.  So where's the money to be made for companies like Blackboard?  Where's the value for universities?  It's in the data.
March 27, 2012
A look at another education startup, GoodSemester, that's build a learning and collaboration platform. It's not an LMS, the founder Jason Rappaport insists. Even so, I opted to hold this story until today since we were all a-twitter yesterday about the Blackboard news. After all, GoodSemester is another indication that many education entrepreneurs are trying to reimagine the LMS.
March 23, 2012
Stephen Downes made a comment in passing yesterday, calling Khan Academy's online video library a MacGuffin, "something [that] provokes learning, but isn't." I've been stewing about the analogy ever since.  
March 15, 2012
"Flipping the classroom" has become one of the most popular catch phrases of the year. The idea:  watch the video as homework and use the time in class -- the face-to-face time -- to hold discussions, work together, build and solve problems. Let's extend that to the conference. Why do we sit and listen to lectures and panels when what we want most out of our time together is, well, time together?
March 14, 2012
MOOCs seem to be gathering a lot of media attention lately, particularly on the heels of the popularity of Stanford's AI class. But how do these new computer-science focused classes, several of which are being offered now by for-profit startups rather than non-profit educational institutions, differ from earlier MOOCs? Are these new manifestations centered on the learner and the learning? Or something else?
March 1, 2012
Late Nite Labs is a startup that offers schools Web-based science labs. Can this type of virtual lab replace the offline version? And can a more accessible, and perhaps even more imaginative, lab help keep students engaged in science classes and STEM majors?


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