Listen: Cathy Davidson: Now You See It

Cathy Davidson, the Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English at Duke University, discusses how our interconnectedness impacts the future of higher education. Introduction by President Rebecca Chopp.

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Audio: [1 hour 5 min] | Download

In April 1993, the Mosaic 1.0 browser was made available to the general public, ushering in the contemporary Information Age where anyone with access to an Internet connection has the ability to communicate ideas to anyone else in the world with Internet access. In one generation, we have undergone tremendous changes in how we communicate, socialize, learn, do business, and engage in civic life. We rely on non-experts for information on sites such as Wikipedia and take the advice of strangers on everything from restaurant recommendations to health care. Interactive digital technologies have changed how we learn in everyday life far faster than they've changed the structures, motives, and metrics of our educational systems. Until now. We are on the threshold of a monumental transformation in higher education, one aimed at the needs and expectations of the next generation of resilient, connected, self-paced, peer-inspired, creative, multidisciplinary, and multicultural global learners. Will learning all be online? Will technology be the cornerstone? Or now, more than ever, do we need a liberal arts education to help us understand the demands, challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities of living together online.

Cathy Davidson is an American scholar and university professor. She has served as the Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English at Duke University since 1996 and has held a second distinguished chair as the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies since 2006. She has served in leadership roles at Duke and a variety of organizations and has authored or edited 18 books. Her work for the last decade has focused on technology, collaboration, cognition, learning, and the digital age.