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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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Richard Miller Honors Student Workshop and Public Lecture

Miller is the author of As if Learning Mattered: Reforming Higher Education, Writing at the End of the World



Richard Miller, Professor at Rutgers University, is optimistic. For him, the learning opportunities that higher education might provide have never been greater. “For those who believe, as I do, that one of the university’s primary responsibilities is to promote the acquisition of knowledge in depth,” he states, “there has never been a more exciting time to be involved in higher education.” From his perspective, the Internet, in particular, has been a boon to education.

And yet, the Internet also brings challenges for teaching and learning.

Miller acknowledges that our “technologically saturated time” is plagued by “the punctuation of our movement from moment to moment by distractions that respect no boundaries: text messages, phone calls, and the chime of the inbox.” Restlessness and distraction seem to be symptoms of these, our “connected” times.

In his scholarship, Miller has examined the challenges and possibilities of teaching and learning in the digital age in provocatively titled texts like As if Learning Mattered, “The Coming Apocalypse,” and Writing at the End of the World.

On Tuesday, October 15th, Miller will be exploring these themes in a lecture on the Minnesota State University campus. Miller’s lecture is entitled “Cultivating Curiosity in These Our Distracted, Polarized, Irate, Ill-Informed Times” and will be held in Centennial Student Union 201 at 7:00pm.

Miller believes that higher education is at a turning point, even calling it an “apocalyptic” moment. Part of what will be involved in the transformation of higher education is for faculty to help students navigate, even capitalize on, the Internet, what he calls “the most powerful medium of our time.”

“Who would not want to be involved with that?” he asks. Campus-wide Lecture Tues. Oct. 15th, 7pm Centennial Student Union 201

"Cultivating Curiosity in These Our Distracted, Polarized, Irate, Ill-Informed Times."

Educators have always worked to unsettle confirmation bias--the tendency we all have to seek out information that confirms our biases. But what are educators to do now that the algorithms of the search engines, the online shopping sites, and the many forms of social media all generate bias-confirming information that seeks us out? This talk will discuss how the shift from a paper-based world to a screen-based world requires a redefinition of both the form and the function of public education.

Richard Miller has delivered over one hundred invited talks across the country and abroad on a range of topics related to literacy, technology, and higher education. As Professor of English at Rutgers University, Miller’s research focuses on “the end of privacy” and how education is being changed by the proliferation of hand-held devices that enable instant publication and global distribution of anything that can be seen or heard. Miller is the author of As if Learning Mattered: Reforming Higher Education, Writing at the End of the World, and is currently co-authoring Habits of the Creative Mind, a guide designed to help writers practice being curious in the Age of Information Overload.

For MSU events: individuals with a disability, who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event, are asked to contact the Office of Accessibility Resources at 507-389-2825 (V/TTD), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTD) at least five days prior to the event.

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