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LINC Conference to address how technology can minimize the education gap

Three-day conference aims to help bridge the global education divide through the power of technology.
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The 2016 LINC Conference is a global event where digital learning professionals will meet to exchange experiences, ideas, and opinions to advance knowledge in education and technology.
The 2016 LINC Conference is a global event where digital learning professionals will meet to exchange experiences, ideas, and opinions to advance knowledge in education and technology.

Can technology help minimize the education gap between the world’s "haves" and "have-nots?" It’s a question the global digital learning community confronts every day — and a challenge the 2016 LINC Conference aims to meet head on.

Hosted by MIT’s Office of Digital Learning, LINC will bring the world’s leading educators, technology entrepreneurs, and digital learning experts to Cambridge, Massachusetts, from May 23 to 25, to discuss the theme of Digital Inclusion: Transforming Education through Technology. This will be the seventh LINC Conference since 2003, and looks to be the largest yet.

“LINC has become a vibrant connective tissue for the world education community,” says Sanjay Sarma, vice president for open learning at MIT. “We are delighted to host it at MIT once again, and to celebrate the latest advances in digital learning. This year’s theme aligns perfectly with our mission of transforming teaching and learning at MIT as well as around the globe through the innovative use of digital technologies.”

LINC 2016 focuses on how digital learning technologies can play the role of providing quality education at scale, particularly in developing nations and emerging markets. The conference is soliciting papers that address the challenges facing these technologies, report on real applications with concrete results, examine the widely expanding reach of digital learning, and explore the implications for adoption and application by teachers and learners.

“We are inviting educators and researchers from around the world to share their work with the LINC community of scholars,” explains Claudia Urrea, who chairs the conference paper submission committee. “The organization of the conference enables you to both listen to the invited speakers and network with peers doing similar work in the U.S. and other countries.”

The LINC 2016 program is designed to meet multiple desired learning outcomes — whether you’re honing skills during pre-conference workshops, seeking a new perspective on the field, or simply looking for inspiration from speakers such as Maysa Jalbout, CEO of the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education. The three-day conference will encourage open dialogue between participants while emphasizing learning, networking and socializing. Session topics include:

  • providing quality education at scale;
  • bridging the education divide;
  • understanding learning engineering and incorporating key fundamentals;
  • developing tools for the digital learning experience; and
  • recognizing the role of digital learning for students of all ages.

Since its inaugural conference, LINC has been guided by a powerful credo: "With today's computer and telecommunications technologies, every young person can have a quality education regardless of his or her place of birth or wealth of parents." It’s a credo that feels more relevant than ever to Dick Larson, LINC founder emeritus and member of this year’s organizing committee.

“Children everywhere should have the opportunity to achieve their full potential, and access to an excellent education is a fundamental requirement,” says Larson, the Mitsui Professor at MIT's Institute for Data, Systems, and Society. “Every child deserves this right, but until recently, being born in an impoverished area sharply limited what a child could accomplish. Now world-class educational content and opportunities are available virtually everywhere. But mere availability is not enough. We must tailor and transform local institutions to take full advantage of digital learning technologies. LINC 2016 aims to move the vision of the credo towards reality.”

To learn more and register, visit the 2016 LINC Conference website.

Press Mentions


Vijee Venkatraman writes for Al-Fanar about MIT’s Learning International Networks Consortium, which brought together more than 200 practitioners in the field to explore how digital technology can help people in the developing world. 

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