FAILURE TO DISRUPT.

BY JUSTIN REICH

RELEASED NOW!

Why Technology Alone Can’t Transform Education

A leader in educational technology separates truth from hype, explaining what technology can—and can’t—do to transform our classrooms.

Check out our Failure to Disrupt Book Club Podcast

Over the Fall of 2020 Justin Reich, guest presenters and students from MIT hosted a book club exploring themes in Failure to Disrupt and implications for remote learning. Now he has taken those discussions to a his TeachLab Podcast.

About The Book


Proponents of large-scale learning have boldly promised that technology can disrupt traditional approaches to schooling, radically accelerating learning and democratizing education. Much-publicized experiments, often underwritten by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, have been launched at elite universities and in elementary schools in the poorest neighborhoods. Such was the excitement that, in 2012, the New York Times declared the “year of the MOOC.” Less than a decade later, that pronouncement seems premature.

In Failure to Disrupt: Why Technology Alone Can’t Transform Education, Justin Reich delivers a sobering report card on the latest supposedly transformative educational technologies. Reich takes readers on a tour of MOOCs, autograders, computerized “intelligent tutors,” and other educational technologies whose problems and paradoxes have bedeviled educators. Learning technologies—even those that are free to access—often provide the greatest benefit to affluent students and do little to combat growing inequality in education. And institutions and investors often favor programs that scale up quickly, but at the expense of true innovation. It turns out that technology cannot by itself disrupt education or provide shortcuts past the hard road of institutional change.

Technology does have a crucial role to play in the future of education, Reich concludes. We still need new teaching tools, and classroom experimentation should be encouraged. But successful reform efforts will focus on incremental improvements, not the next killer app.

Key Themes in the Book Covered: Genres & Dilemmas of Learning at Scale

  1. Instructor-Guided Learning at Scale: Massive Open Online Courses
  2. Algorithm-Guided Learning at Scale: Adaptive Tutors and Computer-Assisted Instruction
  3. Peer-Guided Learning at Scale: Networked Learning Communities
  4. Testing the Genres of Learning at Scale: Learning GamesII. Dilemmas in Learning at Scale
  5. The Curse of the Familiar
  6. The Edtech Matthew Effect
  7. The Trap of Routine Assessment
  8. The Toxic Power of Data and Experiments

About the Author

JUSTIN REICH

Justin Reich is a learning scientist interested in learning at scale, practice-based teacher education, and the future of learning in a networked world. He is an Assistant Professor in the Comparative Media Studies/Writing department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the director of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab.

More about Justin

Join Justin at any upcoming event. Virtual events are open to the public.

What people are saying


In The Media


Watch or listen to recent interviews with Justin Reich…

Listen

February 25, 2021

For TeachLab’s eighth Failure to Disrupt Book Club we look back at Justin’s live conversation with regular Audrey Watters and special guest Courtney Bell

February 1, 2021

For TeachLab’s seventh Failure to Disrupt Book Club episode we look back at Justin’s live conversation with regular Audrey Watters and special guest Antero Garcia.

January 26, 2021

The Future of Education with Justin Reich

January 22, 2021

For TeachLab’s sixth Failure to Disrupt Book Club episode we look back at Justin’s live conversation with regular Audrey Watters and special guest Dan Meyer, the chief academic officer at Desmos. Together they discuss the work of Desmos and the section of Justin’s book on the “Curse of the Familiar.”

January 15, 2021

Disruptive tech alone won’t revolutionize education, says author.

January 8, 2021

For TeachLab’s fifth Failure to Disrupt Book Club episode, we look back at Justin’s live conversation with regular Audrey Watters and special guests Scot Osterweil, a game designer and creative director for the MIT Education Arcade, and the esteemed games researcher Constance Steinkuehler. They discuss the history of learning games, their current work, and Failure To Disrupt’s Chapter 4: Testing the Learning at Scale Genres: Learning Games.

January 5, 2021

Why technology is no replacement for in-person education

January 5, 2021

Across the United States millions of school aged kids are returning to school after their winter break but in the era of the pandemic, many are still connecting with teachers and classmates via remote digital platforms.

December 18, 2020

For TeachLab’s fourth Failure to Disrupt Book Club episode, we look back at Justin’s live conversation with Natalie Rusk and Mitch Resnick from MIT’s Lifelong Kindergarten Lab and who are the developers of the Computer Clubhouse program and the Scratch programming language. They discuss the founding of these programs as well as Failure To Disrupt’s Chapter 3: Peer-Guided Learning at Scale: Networked Learning Environments.

November 27, 2020

For TeachLab’s third Failure to Disrupt Book Club episode, Justin Reich reflects on a live conversation with special guests Cristina and Neil Heffernan. They discuss Failure To Disrupt’s Chapter 2: Algorithm-Guided Learning at Scale: Adaptive Tutors, and discuss the success of their tool ASSISTments.

Watch

November 10, 2020

CEL Joint-School PD Day 2020

September 22, 2020

Webinar for IIM-Ahmedabad

September 17, 2020

Webinar for D2L

Read

February 25, 2021

Featured in Inside Higher Ed

Written by Joshua Kim

October 13, 2020

Featured in Les Echos

Written by Julien Damon

September 25, 2020

Featured in New York Times

Written by Abby Goodnough

September 25, 2020

Featured in KQED Mindshift

Written by Ki Sung

September 15, 2020

Featured in Ed-Tech Mania Is Back

Written by Justin Reich

September 11, 2020

Featured in NY Times Magazine

Written by Emily Bazelon

September 9, 2020

Featured in Science Magazine

Written by

Resources from the Author


For TeachLab’s eighth Failure to Disrupt Book Club we look back at Justin’s live conversation with regular Audrey Watters and special guest Courtney Bell

For TeachLab’s seventh Failure to Disrupt Book Club episode we look back at Justin’s live conversation with regular Audrey Watters and special guest Antero Garcia.

For TeachLab’s sixth Failure to Disrupt Book Club episode we look back at Justin’s live conversation with regular Audrey Watters and special guest Dan Meyer, the chief academic officer at Desmos. Together they discuss the work of Desmos and the section of Justin’s book on the “Curse of the Familiar.”

For TeachLab’s fifth Failure to Disrupt Book Club episode, we look back at Justin’s live conversation with regular Audrey Watters and special guests Scot Osterweil, a game designer and creative director for the MIT Education Arcade, and the esteemed games researcher Constance Steinkuehler. They discuss the history of learning games, their current work, and Failure To Disrupt’s Chapter 4: Testing the Learning at Scale Genres: Learning Games.

For TeachLab’s fourth Failure to Disrupt Book Club episode, we look back at Justin’s live conversation with Natalie Rusk and Mitch Resnick from MIT’s Lifelong Kindergarten Lab and who are the developers of the Computer Clubhouse program and the Scratch programming language. They discuss the founding of these programs as well as Failure To Disrupt’s Chapter 3: Peer-Guided Learning at Scale: Networked Learning Environments.

For TeachLab’s third Failure to Disrupt Book Club episode, Justin Reich reflects on a live conversation with special guests Cristina and Neil Heffernan. They discuss Failure To Disrupt’s Chapter 2: Algorithm-Guided Learning at Scale: Adaptive Tutors, and discuss the success of their tool ASSISTments.

For TeachLab’s second Failure to Disrupt Book Club episode, Justin Reich is joined again by friend and colleague Audrey Watters to reflect on their conversation with special guests George Siemens and Elizabeth Losh. They discuss Failure To Disrupt’s Chapter 1: Instructor-Guided Learning at Scale and Massive Open Online Courses, looking at “three big bets of MOOCs,” and exploring why MOOCs failed to achieve their most ambitious goals.

For TeachLab’s first Failure to Disrupt Book Club episode, Justin Reich is joined by friend and colleague Audrey Watters for her insight on Justin’s new book as a well respected writer on educational technology.

The discussion does not have to begin and end with our Virtual Book Club sessions. Add to the discourse of the chapters, pose questions for the author, or share your own experiences in our forum.

Virtual Book Club Guests