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The Distributed Classroom

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The Distributed Classroom

MIT Press,

15 min read
8 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Georgia Tech’s David Joyner and Charles Isbell believe remote and hybrid learning offer bold new possibilities.

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With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the classroom experience changed dramatically. Georgia Tech’s David Joyner and Charles Isbell see crisis-driven developments in education as harbingers, signals of a vast potential to create new educational possibilities for broader communities of global students without sacrificing quality of education. Here, Joyner and Isbell discuss how technology and student-centric teaching could transform the future of education into one of lifelong learning. Their book will help educators, instructional designers and administrators understand new educational paradigms – and avoid the dystopian pitfalls of moving education online.


The distributed classroom model radically expands learning possibilities.

In the fast, unprecedented shift in how students access their education that’s taken place since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many academic institutions and schools have begun to employ remote and online approaches. But students have protested – some even launched lawsuits – because they perceive online education as inferior to in-person instruction.

Distance learning is nothing new for universities and colleges – Georgia Tech’s College of Computing, for example, has offered a Master’s of Science in Computer Science entirely online since 2014. Many institutions employ remote or hybrid approaches. Yet schools need a more complex and nuanced model to overcome the perceived disparity between in-person and remote experiences. 

The distributed classroom model, a student-centric approach, retains the benefits of a classroom environment while offering education across familiar boundaries of time and space. It offers a blueprint for the future of education, incorporating new trends and developments while suggesting creative solutions to remaining obstacles. The distributed...

About the Authors

David A. Joyner is the executive director of online education and the Online Master of Science in Computer Science program at Georgia Tech. Charles Isbell is Georgia Tech’s John P. Imlay Jr. Dean of the College of Computing.

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