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Digital Teaching Platform Customizing Classroom Learning for Each Student

Attendees at the Digital Platform Lecture

Dr. Chris Dede
Chris Dede at the Rockwell Pavilion on November 6, 2013.

21st Century technology holds enormous promise for improving public education, but it is teachers who must wield the technology and customize it responsibly so that all children can reach their potential. Dr. Sara McNeil and the COE Laboratory for Innovative Technology in Education (LITE) hosted Harvard professor Dr. Chris Dede, who presented a lecture entitled “Digital Teaching Platform: Customizing Classroom Learning for Each Student”. The lecture was held in the Elizabeth Rockwell Pavilion of the MD Anderson Library.

Approximately 150 students, faculty, and members of the area educational community attended the lecture. Following a noontime luncheon with the COE educational technology faculty, Dr. Dede met with HISD principals and instructional technology staff. The day's events were sponsored by McGraw-Hill Publishers.

Dr. Chris Dede with the College of Education Technology Faculty
From left, Holly De Leon (from McGraw Hill), Melissa Pierson, Chris Dede, Mimi Lee, Sara McNeil, and Bernard Robin at the Rockwell Pavilion on November 6, 2013.

“The College was proud to host Dr. Dede,” Dean Robert McPherson said. “Getting kids curious about learning does far more good than asking them memorizing facts. Dr. Dede shows how technology provides teachers with set of tools to really engage kids in a variety of ways.”

Dede, who is a Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, stressed the importance of customizing classroom learning for each student through the use of innovative technology.

"It's very stimulating to discuss innovations in education with experts like Dr. Chris Dede. I am inspired by his work at Harvard, and I'm looking forward to further collaboration with him as we continue to develop our research projects here at UH," said McNeil. "We also appreciate Holly De Leon and McGraw Hill Publishers reaching out to share their expertise in digital learning platforms with our learning community."

Dede’s scholarship includes emerging technologies, policy, and leadership. His funded research includes five grants from NSF and the Gates Foundation to design and study immersive simulations, transformed social interactions, and online professional development. In 2007, he was honored by Harvard University as an outstanding teacher, and in 2011 he was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.

Dede has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Foundations of Educational and Psychological Assessment and a member of the 2010 National Educational Technology Plan Technical Working Group. His co-edited book, Scaling Up Success: Lessons Learned from Technology-based Educational Improvement, was published by Jossey-Bass in 2005. A second volume he edited, Online Professional Development for Teachers: Emerging Models and Methods, was published by the Harvard Education Press in 2006. His latest book, Digital Teaching Platforms, was published by Teachers College Press in 2012.

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