7 Awesome Teachers of Technology

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Gearing up to go back to school? So are some of our amazing rdigitaLIFE contributors. These innovators are also teachers of technology, professors and leaders of research and they are sharing their wisdom with the next generation.

Here is our list of rdigitaLIFE’s awesome teachers:

Clay Shirky

Shirky is not just an internet guru and eternal optimist, he also opts to share that wisdom with future generations. He has a joint appointment at New York University (NYU) as a Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and Assistant Arts Professor in the New Media focused graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP).

We’re not yet at a place where citizens can do long, boring, work. And the boring stuff is really what’s at risk right now. If there’s a car crash and you have a camera, that’ll make the evening news, fine. That is done. But going down to city hall again, today, to see if the water board is corrupt or not? That’s super boring. And the only way we’ve really been able to find, in a market economy, to get people to do boring work is to pay them.

Sherry Turkle

Turkle specializes in the art and science of connection, and shares her thoughts on the evolving sense of community as the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT.

“When you connect with a robot, you haven’t connected, because there’s nobody home to connect to. So you connect to something that’s not there to really forge a relationship with, so you don’t really have any practice in forging a mutual relationship.”

Valerie Fox

Fox shares her spirit of collaboration and entrepreneurship as the director of the Digital Media Zone, a startup incubator at Ryerson University in downtown Toronto.

“The [Digital Media] Zone is filled with various companies, and they all interact, they all collaborate, they help each other to be better companies. And so eventually, they’re going to be able to make it on their own.”

Tony Burman

Burman is a news legend. After working at CBC, he went on to head up Al Jazeera English before moving to Toronto to share his journalism experience with the next generation of reporters. Burman is currently the Velma Rogers Graham Research Chair at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.

“…the last couple of years at Al Jazeera were far more groundbreaking than, for example, my years at the CBC were, simply because of the development in social media, and also the unique eruption of the revolutions in the Arab world, which I think came together in a very unique way. 

Mary Donohue

Dr. Mary Donohue is CEO of the Donohue Mentoring System, which pairs CEOs with students. She is also a professor at Ryerson University and Dalhousie University.

“We spend a lot of time investing in technology, and maybe we’ll train people how to use technology, but technology is nothing without somebody using it, without that person using it.”

Matt Gray

Gray teaches his students how to do the robot. More specifically, what theatre lessons can be learned from robots and technology. He is an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University’s Department of Theatre.

“…for me the pinnacle of theatrical writers is William Shakespeare, rightly described as a writer who actually helped invent what the definition of human meant. And, yet he was a writer that wrote in iambic pentameter, which is code. It is a black verse, soft followed by a strong beat; it’s literally zeros and ones. So, though actors are ask to “be human,” they are accessing that humanity through a very carefully constructed code.”

AND….Ramona Pringle!

Last but certainly not least is the host and producer of rdigitaLIFE Ramona Pringle. This September, Pringle will head back to the classroom as an Assistant Professor at Ryerson’s RTA School of Media, and part of the faculty in Ryerson’s new Masters in Digital Media.

“We need to have conversations about technology that have less to do with gadgets and apps, and more to do with people. To create a future that we want to be a part of, we have to talk about our relationship with technology, with each other, and with the world around us.”



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