This is Your Brain on the Internet: The Web and the Future of Education

Paul Hammond (Assistant Vice Chancellor, Undergraduate Academic Affairs)

The World Wide Web has changed the landscape in every sector of our economy and has laid to waste industries and institutions hitherto considered invulnerable, including newspaper and print publishing, the postal service, and the record and movie industries. Yet, higher education, which is supposed to train us to live and work in this new environment, has been remarkably slow in adapting to the realities of a digital world. What does the work of the academy look like—the material we use to prepare for classes and the research studies we compose in these classes—when the destination for thought is no longer the printed page but the liquid crystal display? In this class, we will explore the greatest library that humans have ever created—a library that you have helped to build—to change the way we learn. Field trips will include visits to lecture halls at universities around the globe, tours of the world’s greatest museums, and an underwater expedition along the Great Barrier Reef—all without leaving New Brunswick.