Future of Learning Top Reads for week of Apr 23 2018

Photo by  Gerry Juwono  on  Unsplash

Photo by Gerry Juwono on Unsplash

"Building Transferable Skills: Design Tech High at Oracle Campus," by the Getting Smart Staff, on the Getting Smart Blog

" 'I want a school that doesn’t teach kids what to think, it teaches them how to think,' said Larry Ellison. The Oracle founder got what he wanted. A four year old charter high school moved from a warehouse in San Mateo to the new facility on the Oracle campus in January.

"Serving 550 high school students, Design Tech High School combines personalized learning, design thinking, and maker activities with the goal of forging identities as caring citizens and young professionals."

What does this mean for the future of learning?

Design Tech High's curriculum is not outloundish: High Tech High (San Diego), where students learn 100% through project-based learning, has been around for 18 years. Neither is the idea of teaching students how to think rather than what to think. (In fact, several of my Regis High School teachers indicated that this was their explicit goal... and I graduated from high school 25 years ago!)

What is noteworthy is how few schools in the year 2018 have embraced these design principles. Visit most schools and you will still see learning organized around traditional disciplines, which themselves are organized around content areas. What world are such schools preparing students to navigate?


"The Future of College Looks Like the Future of Retail," by Jeff Selingo / @jselingo, in The Atlantic

"As the economy continues to ask more and more of workers, it is unlikely that most campuses will be able to afford to expand their physical facilities to keep up with demand. At the same time, online degrees haven’t been able to gain the market share, or in some cases the legitimacy, that their proponents expected. Perhaps a blending of the physical and the digital is the way forward for both."

What does this mean for the future of learning?

Building a new athletic field or facility? Adding new classrooms? Unless you're seeing an increase in enrollment, your money might be better spent renovating the learning spaces you already have and investing in online learning tools. Blended is the future not just of higher ed, but of secondary ed too.


"Are apprenticeships the new on-ramp to good jobs?" by Caroline Preston / @cpreston, in The Hechinger Report

" [An undergraduate degree] is a very expensive and inefficient proxy,' said Matthew Sigelman, chief executive of Burning Glass Technologies, which analyzes labor market trends. 'It means employers pay more for talent and take longer to fill jobs. If we can develop channels that provide employers with the talent they need, with the right training to get the job done in ways that are more efficient, that’s a win for both sides.' "

What does this mean for the future of learning?

Done right, an undergraduate learning experience is formational on mutiple levels: intellectual, social-emotional, and professional. Done right, an undergraduate learning experience provides a long-lasting return on investment.

The operative phrase, of course, is "done right."

Look for a rise in apprenticeships as complements to the traditional college experience (e.g., Northeastern or Drexel's co-op programs), especially because they have the potential to reduce the "inefficiency" in matching jobs with recent college graduate talent.


Question of the week: How many of your school's teachers can name the curriculum's design principles?



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Christian Talbot