Book Club Member/Visitor Introduction Thread

Welcome to the discussion forums for the Failure to Disrupt virtual book club. While you are here, you can ask questions for the author, Justin Reich, and engage in discussion with other book club members and visitors about the book. Please click “Reply” to introduce yourself below, and share who you are and your interests in education technology, online learning, and learning at scale.

When you are finished, head over to the Prologue and Introduction Thread to join the substantive discussion of the first sections!


Welcome everyone! I’m Justin Reich and I’m the author of Failure to Disrupt: Why Technology Alone Can’t Transform Education. I’m a professor at MIT, and I run the MIT Teaching Systems Lab, where we aspire to design, implement and research the future of teacher learning. I also host the TeachLab podcast where we’ll be discuss the book, education technology, and online learning this fall .

In my past, I’ve taught wilderness medicine, lifeguarding, and high school history. I was the first full time researcher at HarvardX, a fellow at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society, and I co founded a school consultancy called EdTechTeacher.

These are incredibly challenging times for colleges and universities, and I’m excite to talk with everyone about how we should understand the role of education and online learning over the last few decades, and in this new moment.


Hi everyone! My name is Laura Larke and I’m a Postdoctoral Associate and Teaching Fellow in the MIT Teaching Systems Lab, as well as a 2020-2021 Affiliate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard. I co-teach CMS.595/.895 Learning, Media, & Technology Seminar with Justin and Chris, and will be at the Book Club each week.

In the past I’ve studied the development of the national computing curriculum in England, the use of digital technologies in teaching math to preschoolers, and how online freelancers develop their skills. Now I work with teacher educators across the U.S. to help them train new computer science teachers to behave more equitably.

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Hello! I am Michelle, a junior at MIT studying math and computer science, with a concentration in CMS. I am from NYC but am currently staying in an apartment in Boston right on Mass Ave with a few of my friends. I came into this course not knowing too much about the intricacies of education technology, and so I definitely want to learn more about it. I think that online learning and education technology is a powerful tool that is constantly going through changes and transformations (like how all the MIT undergraduates have iPads to work on now), and I find that incredibly interesting.

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Hi everyone! My name is AudreyRose, I’m a Senior at MIT studying CMS with a concentration in Linguistics. I’m from Providence and currently living in Boston. I’ve always had an interest in education, particularly how new trends and technologies have the potential to change the landscape of equity in education and how to ensure that change closes the gap rather than widen it.

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Hello all! My name is Ken and I’m working towards an MBA at MIT with a focus on energy and sustainability. I am curious about cognition and learning, especially as it pertains to adult learners.

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Hi everyone,

My name is Susana Beltran Grimm. I’m a doctoral student in learning technologies at Pepperdine. My research focuses on Latinx STEM family engagement. I work for public media supporting families and educators who have and serve younger children understanding media and technology. I look forward to reading the books and joining you all here.


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Hello, my name is Luisa canuto and I am a faculty member at the University of British Columbia. I teach Italian Language courses and am using some modules from a MOOC course for my own courses!

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Hi! My name is Suzanne Sannwald, and I’m a high school teacher librarian in the San Diego County area. I am involved with educational technology as an educator who supports students and collaborates with teachers. I am involved at a nuts-and-bolts level of supporting 1:1 Chromebook devices and helping students troubleshoot issues they have with hardware, our LMS, and other programs. At an intellectual level, I enjoy reading and learning about the impact of technology on our society and our relationship with information. I try to integrate these ideas into my instructional work with students whenever possible so that they may be more aware and critical of the tech environment that they’re so immersed in. The topics covered in this book sound really interesting, and I’m excited to follow the conversations!

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Hi all! My name is Oleg Lungu. I am an instructional designer primarily interested in learning design and how technology can be integrated in the curriculum to enrich learning, factors that impact adoption and effectiveness.

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Hola! Howdy!
My name is Gretchen. I teach people about teaching and technology. I share Suzanne’s interests in sociology of technology. Like others here, I work with students and teachers. In my case at public university in Arizona. Coincidentally, at just this moment I’ve asked a group of my students to take a look at an edX tutorial that Justin Reich designed and facilitates with Sam Wineburg. Good conversations about information and thinking:
MITx 0.504x
Sorting Truth From Fiction: Civic Online Reasoning
Looking forward to the reading!

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Hi all. My name is Cindy Ives. I am a Professor in Distance Education at Athabasca University in Canada.
I teach and supervise graduate students in education (distance education). Current research interests are in organizational change in higher education related to the adoption of online learning.

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Hello, my name is JooYoung Jang and I’m a senior studying Computer Science at Northwestern University. I want to do research in the field of education & data science the after I graduate. I hope I can get a better grasp on different technology that’s being used and get a better understanding of different contexts in the field of education and technology!

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Hi everyone! Excited to meet you all!

I am Kat Schrier. I was an MIT/CMS masters graduate way back when. I then went on to Columbia/TC for my doctorate in education.

I have been a faculty member for the past decade–but prior to that, I was a game/media designer for many years at places like Nickelodeon, Scholastic, and BrainPOP.

I am now an Associate Professor and I also direct the Games program at Marist College, a university two hours north of NYC.
My research focuses on games, learning, empathy, connection, and inclusion.

I have also written/edited a few books on using games for learning, including Knowledge Games (JHU Press, 2016) and the Learning, Education, & Games series (ETC Press/CMU).
I have another book on games and education coming out next year with Oxford U Press.

In addition, I was a Belfer Fellow last year with the ADL’s Center for Technology & Society. I wrote a whitepaper on using games and game design for empathy and bias reduction. I am also creating a series of cards to use to create more inclusive games–this will launch soon!

Finally, I am working with colleagues in Nigeria on a Templeton grant about VR, games, empathy, and bias reduction.

I am also at:

Looking forward to connecting with everyone!!

Hi everyone! I’m Brian Douglas and I’m a self-employed control systems engineer. My background is at Boeing and Planetary Resources designing satellite guidance, navigation, and control systems. I am by no means a professional educator, but I try to pass on some of my experience and knowledge through short videos in the style of Kahn Academy. The goal of my videos is mostly to introduce students to topics, relate what they’re learning to practical applications, and hopefully, get them excited and motivated to go to class, read the textbook, research more on their own, ask questions and all of that. I’m really excited to read and discuss @JustinReich’s book with you because I’m hoping to learn some lessons for my own videos and projects and avoid unknowingly going down the same paths that have failed in the past.

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Aloha! My name is Jen and I currently mentor graduate education students at WGU. I joined this book club to get more context on scaling and appropriate uses on technology in education as WGU’s enrollment continues to expand. I completed the Equity course last spring and learned so much- this book club is very timely!


Hi all - I’m looking forward to spending the next several months in this conversation. It has vibes of mid-2000s when people had deep conversations, often about hard topics, without ending up raging at one another. So this is me putting on bell bottoms and heading out to relive civil, deep, engaging conversations. Thanks for hosting this Justin and getting the conversation going. I hope it will be a critical and honest conversation (you know, the ones we can’t have on twitter anymore because we all assume ill intent and get more views if we rage to our community than engage in a conversation with people who have different opinions)

The world of learning has changed dramatically over the past 15 years. Some of the changes have been amazing - a student in a remote region of USA/Canada/South Africa/India/Colombia can get support in learning to program, develop data science skills, or join a global community on human rights and equity. This scale is amazing. But these changes also comes with a cost. While content and even teaching can be scaled, the development of learner’s values, ethics, and morals is a different challenge.

There are legitimate criticisms of edx/coursera/khan academy and they need to be explored in light of questions like “is our education system becoming the system that we want it to be”? Commercial edtech companies are not all equal. Coursera has a different impact on learners and society than Proctorio. Both warrant criticism. One has a role in a modern digital education system. The other does not. Navigating why that is the case is the heart, for me at least, of Justin’s book. How do we evaluate technology that reflects the best possible future of education and what can we learn from systems that diminish learner agency?


Hello! I joined this book club hoping to figure out why I am not (yet) finding excellent, credit-earning MOOC courses aimed at high schoolers, covering every core and elective subject.

Hello Everyone! I am Tamara Jorquiera, a general practitioner working at the school of medicine of University of San Martin de Porres (USMP), in Lima - Peru, as teacher and director at the outreach and extension office, as well as International Affairs. I am Secretariat of the School and part of the Curriculum Committee and the Academic Committee. I regularly teach undergraduate Public Health (1st year) and Biostatistics (3rd year), but sometimes collaborate in research courses for the master programs. I am Lima Site Director for Harvard´s TH Chang School of Public Health Diploma in Principles and Practice in Clinical Research (PPCR), at USMP, and a 2012 alumni. I also direct an online Master Program in Medical Research, where PPCR is validated as year 1, and we give year 2, with most teachers from Boston who are affiliated to PPCR. I have an MSc in Basic Medical Sciences and a Ph.D. in Medicine, Thesis in Medical Education. I have recently taken a Medical Teaching Learning and Innovation Diploma. My current research interest in Medical Education.
I am a avid EdX student, current doing a verified Business Fundamentals MicroMasters from UBCx.

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