Harvard’s Chris Dede to present at ILRN 2018. Virtual Reality and Unlearning: Empowering Transformation

Professor Chris Dede

Harvard’s Graduate School of Education

Virtual Reality and Unlearning: Empowering Transformation

Educational transformation requires that people volitionally change from a set of behavioral practices buttressed by organizational supports, policies, and incentives to a markedly different set of practices that requires an altered organizational context accompanied by a shift in assumptions, beliefs, and values at both the individual and institutional levels.

Some research in immersive learning, particularly in virtual reality, shows promise of accomplishing the unlearning of deeply held beliefs, values, and attitudes by influencing the mind/brain on cognitively and affectively, intrapersonally and interpersonally. This talk describes where we stand on using VR for unlearning and what likely next steps seem promising.


Chris Dede is the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education (HGSE).  His fields of scholarship include emerging technologies, policy, and leadership.  From 2001-2004, he was Chair of the HGSE department of Teaching and Learning.  In 2007, he was honored by Harvard University as an outstanding teacher, and in 2011 he was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.  From 2014-2015, he was a Visiting Expert at NSF, Directorate of Education and Human Resources.

Chris has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Foundations of Educational and Psychological Assessment, a member of the U.S. Department of Education’s Expert Panel on Technology, and a member of the 2010 National Educational Technology Plan Technical Working Group.  Chris also was an International Steering Committee member for the Second International Technology in Education Study, and he has participated in technology-based learning initiatives for various Global South countries.

In 2013, he co-convened a NSF workshop on new technology-based models of postsecondary learning; and in 2015 he led two NSF workshops on data-intensive research in the sciences, engineering, and education.

His edited books include: Scaling Up Success: Lessons Learned from Technology-based Educational Improvement, Digital Teaching Platforms: Customizing Classroom Learning for Each Student, Teacher Learning in the Digital Age: Online Professional Development in STEM Education, and Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Realities in Education.