Toward a Promising Future for Online Learning in the Second Machine Age


The 21st Century has seen some remarkable technological developments. From Google’s self-driving cars to intelligent machines like IBM’s Watson we have suddenly arrived at what seems to be
a science-fiction inspired present. What challenges will we need to confront in online higher education in an era of machine learning and rapidly advancing information technology?
How should we design online and blended learning environments that reflect and preserve our core values?

The keynote address will provide a guided tour of recent developments, review research for foundational principles, and sketch a model for human-centered, technology-mediated, teaching and learning
in an age of advancing artificial intelligence.


Dr. Peter Shea 

Dr. Peter Shea

Associate Provost for Online Education
Associate Professor, Educational Theory & Practice
Associate Professor, Informatics, 
College of Engineering and Applied Science

University at Albany, SUNY





Dr. Peter Shea is an Associate Professor in the department of Educational Theory and Practice with a joint appointment with the Department of Informatics in the College of Engineering and Applied Science University at Albany, State University of New York. His research focuses on technology-mediated teaching and learning in higher education and the development of communities of online learners. He is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters on the topic of online learning and co-author of "The Successful Distance Learning Student". He is a co-recipient of several national awards including the EDUCAUSE Award for Systemic Progress in Teaching and Learning for the State University of New York, and Sloan Consortium Awards for Excellence in Faculty Development and Asynchronous Learning Networks Programs, and was named a Sloan-C Research Fellow in 2011.

Peter has also been the recipient of significant external funding for his recent work. This includes three grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to research faculty and student experiences in complete online learning environments and support for the development of effective hybrid learning environments. He was also recently a principal investigator on a US Department of Education grant to research and develop an online system to support the teaching of Chinese to children in K-12 public schools.

As Associate Provost for Online Learning, Peter is provides leadership and strategy for online teaching and learning in collaboration with academic, administrative, and support units across the University at Albany. Previously Peter was the Director of the SUNY Learning Network, the online education system for the 64 colleges of the State University of New York. He has also served as manager of the SUNY Teaching, Learning, and Technology Program and Project Director for SUNY's participation in the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT), an international collaboration for peer review of discipline specific online learning resources. He is a member of the USNY Technology Policy and Practices Council and the boards of the Online Learning Consortium (Sloan-C) and Predictive Analytics Reporting Framework (PAR).