OLI Director Candace Thille will be attending Asia Faculty Summit 2012, organized by Microsoft Research Asia in partnership with Nankai University and Tianjin University, in Tianjin, China, October 26-27, 2012.

Ms. Thille will participate in a panel discussion, The Edu-Tech Tsunami: Scaling from 100 to 100,000, alongside Andrew Ng, co-founder of Coursera, and Zongkai Yang, president of Central China Normal University.

From the agenda:

There has been immense recent interest around the transformational potential of online learning. The promise: quality education for everyone, everywhere, affordably. Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) offered by Stanford, MIT, and other major universities have had enrollments of 100,000 or more students with 10,000 or more completing the courses. Both for-profit and non-profit start-ups have emerged and are forging rapidly ahead, for example, Coursera from Stanford, Udacity from Stanford, EdX from MIT-Harvard, and Khan Academy.

Is this excitement just another hype bubble or is technology finally ready to transform education, just as it has transformed and disrupted numerous other aspects of our life? There is considerable optimism that, this time, it is for real. Factors include ubiquitous affordable devices and connectivity, a generation of digital natives, novel pedagogic insights that take advantage of technology for personalized and improved learning outcomes, technology enabling scale to reach students everywhere more affordably, rising costs of education, and associated social and economic pressures. As Thomas Friedman from The New York Times recently put it, “Big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary.”

We invite you to this panel to hear directly from the people who are leading this transformation as a highlight of this year’s tenth Asia Faculty Summit. The panel will be chaired by Anoop Gupta, distinguished scientist at Microsoft Research.