The Future of Learning: How will people learn the skills they need for academe, work, and life?

Thursday, January 26th, 2017. 11 AM ET
Q?rius Theater
National Museum of Natural History, Ground Floor
10th Street and Constitution Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20560

**This event has reached capacity for in-person attendance. We invite you to join us via the live webcast: **

What does it means to be literate in the age of Google? At a time when you can search billions of texts in milliseconds, we need to rethink what it means to be literate, and to be a learner. Although you might think that "literacy" is one of the great constants that transcends the ages, the skills of a literate person have changed substantially over time as texts and technology allow for new kinds of reading and understanding. Knowing how to read is just the beginning of it - knowing how to frame a question, pose a query, interpret the texts that you find, organize (and use) the information you discover, and understand your metacognition - these are all critical parts of being literate as well. In his talk Dan reviews what literacy means today and shows how some very surprising and unexpected skills will turn out to be critical in the years ahead.

The advent of the networked world changes our expectations from traditional learning behaviors to ways of learning that leverage the networked world and networked people. From his perspective as a MOOC instructor of more than 3M students (and as someone who spends considerable time teaching in K12 and public libraries), Dan will describe the changes in literacies that are taking place, how we are becoming perpetual students, and what this means for the future of learning.

Daniel Russell is Google's Űber Tech Lead for Search Quality and User Happiness in Mountain View. He earned his PhD in computer science at the University of Rochester (1985), specializing in Artificial Intelligence until he realized that magnifying human intelligence was his real passion. Twenty years ago he foreswore AI in favor of HI, and enjoys teaching, learning, running and music, preferably all in one day. His MOOC ( has had over 3 million students, which suggests that there is a large interest and appetite for learning how to do research more effectively.

This lecture is part of the Information Matters series, which is made possible through a collaboration between the Smithsonian Libraries, Smithsonian Institution Archives and the Smithsonian Office of the Chief Information Officer. For access services, please contact us at or 202.633.2241, preferably two weeks prior to the program.

The event will be webcast as well as recorded for later viewing. The live webcast will be available here: