Future of Learning Top Reads for week of May 14 2018

Photo by  Kasper Rasmussen  on  Unsplash

"This Is What Georgia Tech Thinks College Will Look Like in 2040," by Beth McMurtrie / @bethmcmurtrie, in The Chronicle of Higher Education

Three years ago, Georgia Tech "established the Commission on Creating the Next in Education, asking it to imagine the public research university of 2040 and beyond. Which business and funding models will become outdated? How will Georgia Tech best serve the next generations of learners? The commission’s report, recently released, contains a number of provocative ideas. Among them: new credentials that recognize continuous learning, a subscription fee model instead of tuition, 'education stations' that bring services and experiences to students, and worldwide networks of advisers and coaches for life."

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

This interview with Georgia Tech's Provost, Rafael Bras, contains too many compelling ideas to enumerate. It is a must read for anyone curious about the future of college.

If Bras' forecast for 2040 is directionally accurate, then K12 schools have about 15 years to transform before this year's incoming freshmen are graduating into very different world. As the Chinese proverb goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the next best time is today.


“Alexa, What is the Future of School Admissions?” by David Willows, on Fragments II Blog

"I would argue that the answer about tomorrow depends upon how we frame our role today.

"In the first scenario, we continue to frame what we do in terms of information. We associate admissions with verbs like 'show' and 'tell'. In this scenario, there is no doubt in my mind that Alexa and her machine-colleagues will prove themselves to be more effective enrollment managers than we are. They will access and provide information with greater accuracy; they will process applications immediately; and families will have their decision in an instant. In this scenario, all of our jobs are at risk. Seriously.

"In the second scenario, we still hand over the future of information processing to the machines, but we redefine our role as storytellers, artists, connectors, experience architects, and educators. In short, we embrace a future in which we start doing what we humans do best."

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Let Alexa handle the information and process. More importantly, remember that in an Age of Artificial Intelligence, everyone at your school is an admissions officer: teachers, staff, administrators, board members, parent-ambassadors, and perhaps most of all students. They are all the "storytellers, artists, connectors, experience architects, and educators" who are marketing your school every day--whether they realize it or not. Marketing is what they do more than it is what they say.


"Google Announces VR Labs For Remote Learning," by Rebecca Hills-Duty, in VRFocus

"The Google and Labster technology uses advanced simulations to reflect real-world outcomes and mathematically accurate equations which have been built using the Google Daydream platform. This has advantages for academic institutions in that the VR simulations are cheaper than the equivalent equipment costs.

"Remote students will be able to engage with more courses, meaning that institutions can offer more places to students. The students will also be able to take advantage of lab time when and where they want, for as long as they want – not a privilege available with a real-world physical lab."

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Virtual reality can be a powerful resource when it would otherwise be too expensive, dangerous, or logistically difficult to have the same experience in real life. So biology and chemistry labs are a perfect use case. (Although this article focuses on higher ed, it's equally applicable to K12.)

We hear a lot about virtual reality in the news and in entertainment, but few schools are doing much with it. We believe that VR is still on the far left side of the Hype Cycle. Schools that experiment now can match the use of VR to their Mission > Vision > Culture.


Question of the week: What experiments are your running, and how do they align to your Mission > Vision > Culture?

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Christian Talbot