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C Varenhorst

xTalks: Thomas Kochan, Pavel Luksha and more

March 11, 2014

We are excited about upcoming xTalks this spring and hope you can join us at one or all of these events.

Thomas Kochan - A Conversation with the Next Generation: A New Social Compact
Tuesday March 18, 2-3pm, Bush Room (10-105)

What can the next generation of Americans do to reverse the declining standards of living they inherited from the baby boomers who benefited from the post-WWII Golden Era of American economy?  This talk will lay out the challenges and opportunities facing young Americans, with a particular emphasis on education and recent innovations in lifelong learning. All institutions of learning need to be active contributors to a new social contact. This includes affordable early childhood outreach educational opportunities, reforming elementary and secondary schools, building alliances with employers and labor groups to enhance professional development and lifelong learning, and transforming professional schools to ensure the next generation of leaders has the skills to build and sustain a social compact for the future. We will also discuss what is needed from business, government, and labor leaders to support this. Dr Kochan is professor at MIT/Sloan and Co-Director of the Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research. His most recent book is entitled Restoring the American Dream: A Working Families’ Agenda for America (MIT Press, 2005).

Pavel Luksha - Re-Engineering the Future
Wednesday April 2, 2:30 - 3:30 pm, Room 3-370

We are coming into the age of lifelong, technology-intense, game- and practice-based holistic education that will be highly personalized yet largely supported by horizontal forms of network & community-based learning. This coming transformation will challenge the status quo of national educational systems across the globe and will require the reorganization of a global education market architecture. This can be seen as a great threat or a great opportunity. Dr Luksha  will explore some of the beneficial focuses for existing and emerging players in the educational market. Luksha is an education futures architect and professor at the Higher School of Economics & Academy of National Economy, Moscow.

Jeremy Orloff & Jonathan Bloom - Flipping the Dice: An Active-Learning, Technology-Enhanced, up-to-date 18.05 (Intro to Probability & Statistics)
Monday April 7, 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm, Whitehead Auditorium

In Spring 2013, Drs Bloom and Orloff transformed 18.05 (Introduction to Probability and Statistics) into a flipped, active learning class in the TEAL classroom, using the MITx platform and a renovated curriculum. They are running a second iteration in Spring 2014. Jeremy Orloff is an instructor in the Math Department and Experimental Study Group. His main interests are in undergraduate education and teacher training. Together with Haynes Miller and Jonathan Bloom he is working to bring flipped, active learning classes to the Math Department. Jonathan Bloom is a Moore Instructor and NSF Post-doctoral fellow in the Mathematics Department where he does research on low-dimensional topology and geometry. He has taught a range of math courses at Harvard, Columbia, and MIT. This event is hosted by the HHMI Biology Education Group.

All xTalks events are free. Refreshments will be served. For more information, visit

Office of Educational Innovation and Technology
Building NE48-308, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
Phone: (617) 252-1981; Fax: (617) 452-4044