The woman who thinks time has rendered Western education obsolete — from unlimited.world with thanks to Maree Conway for her tweet on this

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

For years, Finland has loitered in the upper echelons of global literacy and numeracy tables, leading politicians from other Western nations to see its education system as a model of inspiration. Why, then, is the Finnish government submitting it to a radical overhaul?

Dr. Marjo Kyllonen is the Education Manager for Helsinki. Having devised the blueprint for the future of Finland’s school system, she is playing a pivotal role in driving these changes through. She is doing so because she sees the structure and aims of current education systems in the West as increasingly irrelevant and obsolete, relics of an Industrial Age that we started to leave behind a long time ago. She argues that we need to rethink our entire relationship to education to equip future generations with the tools they need to face the challenges to come –challenges such as climate collapse, automated workforces, urbanisation and social division. The key to her blueprint is an emphasis on collaborative, holistic, “phenomenon” teaching – a routine that is less beholden to traditional subject-based learning and instead teaches pupils to work together to deal with problems they will face in their everyday lives, including those they encounter online and in the digital world.

Other:

  • If schools were invented today, what would they be like?
  • Instead of studying different subjects in isolation, learning should be anchored to real-life phenomena, things that kids see around them, so they see the connection between what they’re learning and real life. The traditional way of teaching isolated subjects with a teacher as the sole oracle of knowledge is widening the gap between the lives kids are living today and what they do at school.
  • So we have to think, what skills will people need in 60 years? Life is not split into subjects, so why is learning? What is more crucial for future society is cross-disciplinary thinking; all the experts say that the big problems of tomorrow won’t be solved if you only have one approach.

 

From DSC:
Whether one agrees with Marjo or not, her assertions are very thought provoking.  I really enjoyed reading this piece.

 

 

Summer 2017 Human++ — fromcambridge.nuvustudio.com
Human-Machine Intelligence, Hacking Drones, Bio Fashion, Augmented Video Games, Aerial Filmmaking, Smart Tools, Soft Robotics and more!

Excerpt:

NuVu is a place where young students grow their spirit of innovation. They use their curiosity and creativity to explore new ideas, and make their concepts come to life through our design process. Our model is based on the architecture studio model, and every Summer we use imaginative themes to frame two-week long Studios in which students dive into hands-on design, engineering, science, technology, art and more!

 

 

Can Virtual Reality “teach” empathy? — from hechingerreport.org by Chris Berdik
Immersive VR in the classroom is spreading fast, as teachers take students into other worlds

Excerpt:

In November 2015, middle-school students from Westchester County, New York, found themselves on a windswept field in South Sudan mingling with a crowd of refugees fleeing civil war. Suddenly, they heard the deafening roar of low-flying military cargo planes overhead, followed by large bags of grain thudding to the ground all around them.

“The kids were jumping back from those bags dropping at their feet,” recalled Cayne Letizia, the teacher who used immersive virtual reality (VR) to transport his class into this emergency food drop featured in the New York Times 360-degree video series about refugees. Count Letizia among VR’s burgeoning fan base in education, where the spread of high-quality content and more-affordable hardware (especially Google’s $15 Cardboard Viewer) gives students myriad ways to briefly inhabit what they’re learning—from wandering the streets of ancient Rome to touring the International Space Station.

 

From DSC:
I read the other day where someone asserted that you can’t make someone be more empathetic. That may be so, but VR can sure put you in someone else’s shoes — big time!  And that seems like in many cases, that can be a good thing in terms of understanding what someone else might be going through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equipping people to stay ahead of technological change — from economist.com by
It is easy to say that people need to keep learning throughout their careers. The practicalities are daunting.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

WHEN education fails to keep pace with technology, the result is inequality. Without the skills to stay useful as innovations arrive, workers suffer—and if enough of them fall behind, society starts to fall apart. That fundamental insight seized reformers in the Industrial Revolution, heralding state-funded universal schooling. Later, automation in factories and offices called forth a surge in college graduates. The combination of education and innovation, spread over decades, led to a remarkable flowering of prosperity.

Today robotics and artificial intelligence call for another education revolution. This time, however, working lives are so lengthy and so fast-changing that simply cramming more schooling in at the start is not enough. People must also be able to acquire new skills throughout their careers.

Unfortunately, as our special report in this issue sets out, the lifelong learning that exists today mainly benefits high achievers—and is therefore more likely to exacerbate inequality than diminish it. If 21st-century economies are not to create a massive underclass, policymakers urgently need to work out how to help all their citizens learn while they earn. So far, their ambition has fallen pitifully short.

At the same time on-the-job training is shrinking. In America and Britain it has fallen by roughly half in the past two decades. Self-employment is spreading, leaving more people to take responsibility for their own skills. Taking time out later in life to pursue a formal qualification is an option, but it costs money and most colleges are geared towards youngsters.

 

The classic model of education—a burst at the start and top-ups through company training—is breaking down. One reason is the need for new, and constantly updated, skills.

 

 

 

Lifelong learning is becoming an economic imperative — from economist.com
Technological change demands stronger and more continuous connections between education and employment, says Andrew Palmer. The faint outlines of such a system are now emerging

Excerpt:

A college degree at the start of a working career does not answer the need for the continuous acquisition of new skills, especially as career spans are lengthening. Vocational training is good at giving people job-specific skills, but those, too, will need to be updated over and over again during a career lasting decades. “Germany is often lauded for its apprenticeships, but the economy has failed to adapt to the knowledge economy,” says Andreas Schleicher, head of the education directorate of the OECD, a club of mostly rich countries. “Vocational training has a role, but training someone early to do one thing all their lives is not the answer to lifelong learning.”

To remain competitive, and to give low- and high-skilled workers alike the best chance of success, economies need to offer training and career-focused education throughout people’s working lives. This special report will chart some of the efforts being made to connect education and employment in new ways, both by smoothing entry into the labour force and by enabling people to learn new skills throughout their careers. Many of these initiatives are still embryonic, but they offer a glimpse into the future and a guide to the problems raised by lifelong reskilling.

 

 

Individuals, too, increasingly seem to accept the need for continuous rebooting.

 

 

 

calvincollege-janseries2017-2

 

The speakers — and the topics that they’ll be discussing — for the 2017 January Series have been announced.  As you can see, very knowledgeable, talented speakers are planning on covering a variety of meaningful topics such as:

  • 500 Years Later: Why the Reformation Still Matters
  • Poverty and Profit in the American City
  • Race, Trauma, and the Doctrine of Discovery
  • Closing the Gender Gap in Technology
  • Tinkering in Today’s Healthcare Factories: Pursuing the Renewal of Medicine
  • Until All Are Free: A Look at Slavery Today and the Church’s Invitation to End It
  • I’ll Push You: A Story of Radical Friendship, Overcoming Challenges and the Power of Community
  • The EU and Global Governance
  • The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right
  • How Did We Get Here? A Historical Perspective on Our Wild 2016 Election
  • How to Find and Live Your Calling: Lessons from the Psychology of Vocation
  • The World is a Scary Place, Love Anyway
  • The Royal Revolution: Fresh Perspectives on the Cross
  • American Violinist in Concert
  • Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World than Actually Changing the World?

You don’t have to physically attend these presentations in order to benefit from them, as the majority of these presentations will be streamed live over the Internet (audio only).  So plan now to attend (physically or virtually) one or more of these excellent talks.

 

 

 

For makerspaces out there, check out the Shaper Origin product! — with thanks to Mr. Joe Byerwalter for this excellent resource/find!

Excerpt:

We fuse computers with handheld tools to simplify the process of making. Shaper Origin is the world’s first smart handheld cutting tool. From intricate design work to dining room tables, Origin tackles projects of every size and complexity.

 

ShaperOrigin-August2016

 

 

 

From DSC:
How much longer before the functionalities that are found in tools like Bluescape & Mural are available via tvOS-based devices? Entrepreneurs and VCs out there, take note. Given:

  • the growth of freelancing and people working from home and/or out on the road
  • the need for people to collaborate over a distance
  • the growth of online learning
  • the growth of active/collaborative learning spaces in K-12 and higher ed
  • the need for lifelong learning

…this could be a lucrative market. Also, it would be meaningful work…knowing that you are helping people learn and earn.

 


 

Mural-Aug-2016

 

 

Bluescape-Aug2016

 

 

 

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 

 

 
 

From DSC:
Though the jigsaw technique has been around for decades, it came to my mind the other day as we recently built a highly-collaborative, experimental learning space at our college — some would call it an active learning-based classroom.  There are 7 large displays throughout the space, with each display being backed up by Crestron-related hardware and software that allows the faculty member to control what’s appearing on each display.  For example, the professor can take what is on Group #1’s display and send the content from that display throughout the classroom. Or they can display something from a document camera or something from their own laptop, iPad, or smartphone. Students can plug in their devices (BYOD) and connect to the displays via HDMI cables (Phase I) and wirelessly (Phase II).

I like this type of setup because it allows for students to quickly and efficiently contribute their own content and the results of their own research to a discussion.  Groups can present their content throughout the space.

With that in mind, here are some resources re: the jigsaw classroom/technique.


 

From Wikipedia:

The jigsaw technique is a method of organizing classroom activity that makes students dependent on each other to succeed. It breaks classes into groups and breaks assignments into pieces that the group assembles to complete the (jigsaw) puzzle. It was designed by social psychologist Elliot Aronson to help weaken racial cliques in forcibly integrated schools.

The technique splits classes into mixed groups to work on small problems that the group collates into a final outcome. For example, an in-class assignment is divided into topics. Students are then split into groups with one member assigned to each topic. Working individually, each student learns about his or her topic and presents it to their group. Next, students gather into groups divided by topic. Each member presents again to the topic group. In same-topic groups, students reconcile points of view and synthesize information. They create a final report. Finally, the original groups reconvene and listen to presentations from each member. The final presentations provide all group members with an understanding of their own material, as well as the findings that have emerged from topic-specific group discussion.

 

From jigsaw.org

 

jigsaw-method

 

jigsaw-method-steps

 

From DSC:
Some of the items that I see at Singularity Hub — and the perspectives held and lifted up by some of the authors therein — are over the top…at least for me they are. Nevertheless, at other times I think that there are some pretty solid articles at the site.  Along these lines, the following two postings are worth a read.

 

Automation is eating jobs, but these skills will always be valued in the workplace — from singularityhub.com by Alison Berman
If you’d asked farmers a few hundred years ago what skills their kids would need to thrive, it wouldn’t have taken long to answer. General skills for a single profession that only changed slowly.

Excerpt:

Finland recently shifted its national curriculum to a new model called the “phenomenon-based” approach. By 2020, the country will replace traditional classroom subjects with a topical approach highlighting the four Cs—communication, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. These four skills “are central to working in teams, and a reflection of the ‘hyperconnected’ world we live in today,” Singularity Hub Editor-in-Chief David Hill recently wrote.

Hill notes the four Cs directly correspond to the skills needed to be a successful 21st century entrepreneur—when accelerating change means the jobs we’re educating for today may not exist tomorrow. Finland’s approach reflects an important transition away from the antiquated model used in most US institutions—a model created for a slower, more stable labor market and economy that no longer exists.

In addition to the four Cs, successful entrepreneurs across the globe are demonstrating three additional soft skills that can be integrated into the classroom—adaptability, resiliency and grit, and a mindset of continuous learning.

These skills can equip students to be problem-solvers, inventive thinkers, and adaptive to the fast-paced change they are bound to encounter. In a world of uncertainty, the only constant is the ability to adapt, pivot, and get back on your feet.

 

From DSC:
I’m glad to see that they added 3 additional soft skills to the 4 C’s mentioned above: adaptability, resiliency and grit, and a mindset of continuous learning.

 

These skills can equip students to be problem-solvers, inventive thinkers, and adaptive to the fast-paced change they are bound to encounter. In a world of uncertainty, the only constant is the ability to adapt, pivot, and get back on your feet.

 

Given the pace of change, I think that one of the most overlooked competencies that is quickly becoming critical is the ability to scan the horizons to see what’s coming down the pike. We often have our eyesight turned downwards, focusing on the tasks at hand. But we don’t always do a good job of looking up, glancing around the various relevant landscapes to one’s job/position, and ascertaining which of the developing trends might impact us. We often either don’t know how to strategize or we don’t take the time to come up with plans for what we should do if those trends might adversely affect us.  Instead, we move forward with our eyesight pointing downwards — then we suddenly get blindsided.

Also see:

How would today’s smartest teens overhaul education? We asked them — from singularityhub.com by Libby Falck
What happens when you gather 14 of the world’s brightest teenagers at Singularity University and ask them to design the future of education? During last summer’s Exponential Youth Camp, we found out.

Excerpts:

The first thing that became very clear during our conversation was that our group of “Generation Me” millennials expect their learning to be highly personalized. It should be “my choice” to pursue “my interests” at “my pace,” they argued. Although this may at first sound childish, these demands are far from selfish. Why? Because personalization is necessary to compete in today’s intricately specialized world.

Nonetheless, our XYC teens told us they are looking for more than hands-on practice in the classroom; they want opportunities to work on projects in the real world as well. For them, contributing to the local community sparked engagement and motivation in a way that classroom work couldn’t match. Furthermore, the teens told us that most tests “just don’t make sense.”

The teens told us online courses are “great for educated specialists” but don’t cater to beginners. They cited a lack of time to complete online coursework and internet connectivity issues faced by many schools as additional issues. Mostly, the teens didn’t like the idea of “going it alone.” The problem wasn’t that online learning content was bad, the students simply desired guidance in navigating the material.

The teens told us they value traditional subject matter, but opportunities to build more practical skills were lacking. Interest in learning more about money management and soft skill development — like teamwork, problem solving and conflict resolution — was mentioned multiple times.

 

 

 
© 2016 Learning Ecosystems