Digital Learning in 21st-Century Universities

Online courses like MOOCs introduce challenging new paradigms regarding classical pedagogy, which include all aspects of public education. The worldwide collaborative learning experience not only builds new relationships in the world, but also leads to the emergence of very broad questions on the fate of this digital revolution. These questions have been discussed in a Franco-American perspective, with participants of the two countries coming from the academic world and from the technical and business ones.


This event addressed the issues relative to the impact of new digital technologies on learning and education and was organized in four different themes:

  • Learning: How is learning affected by digital environments? How do digital environments help shape learning?
  • Technologies: What is the role of technology, considering ways technology affects digital learning environments and ways digital learning environments affect technology?
  • Interactions: How do digital learning environments affect participant interactions? In what ways can participant interactions affect community in digital learning environments?
  • Certification/Policies: How can we acknowledge/certify learning that takes place in digital environments? How can individual, institutional, and business needs be addressed?

During the panels, a visual note-taker graphically captured the discussion.

This event was free and open to the public upon registration.


  Monday, 20 October 2014:

  08:45 a.m.


  09:05 a.m.

                  Academic introduction   Participants: Yves Epelboin and Richard DeMillo

  09:45 a.m.

                  Break / Setup of the panels

  10:00 a.m.

                  Learning session   Participants: Jean Heutte, Franck Pacard and Andy Frazee

                                                     Moderator: Rebecca Burnett

  11:15 a.m.


  11:30 a.m.

                  Technologies session   Participants: Pierre Dubuc, Richard DeMillo, Ralph Ankri and Mark Elliott

                                                              Moderator: Yves Epelboin

  01:00 p.m.


  02:00 p.m.

                  Interactions session   Participants: Wayne Whiteman, Alain Mille and Rebecca Burnett

                                                           Moderator: Catherine Mongenet

  03:30 p.m.


  03:45 p.m.

                  Small group discussions

  05:00 p.m.


  Tuesday, 21 October 2014:

  09:00 a.m.

                  Welcome, Review

  09:15 a.m.

                  Certification/Policies session   Participants: Jean-Luc Clément, Catherine Mongenet and Leo Mark

                                                                           Moderator: Richard DeMillo

  10:30 a.m.


  10:45 a.m.

                  Synthesis, Conclusion, Farewell   Participants: Franck Pacard, Nelson Baker and W. Michael McCracken

  12:00 p.m.


Participating institutions:

  • Georgia Tech, Professional Education
  • Georgia Tech, School of Literature, Media and communication
  • Georgia Tech, Center for 21st Century Universities
  • Georgia Tech, Lorraine
  • Embassy of France in Washington
  • French Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research
  • University Pierre and Marie Curie
  • University of Lille
  • CNRS, the French National Center for Scientific Research
  • Ecole Polytechnique
  • Open Classrooms
  • Orange Labs
Organized in partnership with UbiFrance, a delegation of French companies involved in digital learning also attended the symposium and met with US counterparts.

When: October 20-21, 2014

Where: Global Learning Center, Technology Square (84 5th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30308)

This France-Atlanta 2014 event was organized by: