University of Pittsburgh
October 11, 2009

Education Expert Offers Glimpse Into Future of America's Education System

Oct. 22 Pitt event will launch the 2009-10 Learning Policy Center's Colloquium Series-Preparing Students for Life Beyond K-12: Linking Research, Policy, and Action
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Technological innovations such as the laptop computer and wireless Internet have revolutionized the way students learn, taking education out of the classroom and into our homes, libraries, and Internet cafes.

Finding seamless methods to integrate these innovations into America's educational system will be the topic of discussion as the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Policy Center (LPC) presents a lecture by Allan Collins, professor emeritus of education and social policy at Northwestern University, at 3 p.m. Oct. 22 in the Glaser Auditorium of the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC), 3939 O'Hara St., Oakland. The event will launch the 2009-10 LPC Colloquium Series-Preparing Students for Life Beyond K-12: Linking Research, Policy, and Action.

The subject matter of the lecture will be based on Collins' newly released book, "Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America" (Teachers College Press, 2009). In the book, Collins questions whether the U.S. education system has taken full advantage of modern technology. He makes the argument that in order to keep pace with the rest of the world, the nation must rethink the methodology by which it educates future generations. Collins' vision of the future of education includes a remodeling of America's public school system that will include such applications as online social networks, distance learning, and digital home schooling.

Collins has worked in the field of educational instruction for more than 30 years. He has served as the codirector of the U.S. Department of Education's Center for Technology in Education as well as taught at Northwestern, Harvard University, and Boston College. He is a member of the National Academy of Education and has held fellowships with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, and the Cognitive Science Society. The author of four books on educational advancements, Collins sits on the editorial board of numerous scholarly journals and has received wide acclaim for his research in the areas of psychology, artificial intelligence, and education.

The event also will feature discussants Kevin Ashley, a professor in Pitt's School of Law; Diane Litman, a professor in Pitt's Department of Computer Science; and Kenneth R. Koedinger, a professor in Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science.

The purpose of the LPC Colloquium Series is to create an informed dialogue between researchers, policy makers, practioners, and university students around timely national and local education policy questions. The mission of Pitt's LPC is to advance ideas that encompass both education policy and research on teaching and learning. The LPC utilizes Pitt's School of Education, LRDC, Institute for Learning, and other regional assets to connect high-quality learning research with education policy decision makers.

The lecture will be followed by a reception at 4:30 p.m. on the 9th floor of LRDC. The event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required and can be made at the LPC Web site: For more information, contact Julia Kaufman at