Future of Learning Top Reads for week of Dec 31 2019

Photo by  Martin Prokop  on  Unsplash

“Radically open: Tom Friedman on jobs, learning, and the future of work,” interview with Tom Friedman, in Deloitte Review

“Why do you want to be radically open? Because you’ll get more flows; you’ll get the signals first, and you will attract more flow-minded people, which I would call high-IQ risk-takers.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Invest the time to read this full interview. It is brimming with important insights about the future of learning.

For now, I want to share Friedman’s “five pieces of advice for his daughters”:

  1. Think like an immigrant. “[Say to yourself], ‘I just showed up here in Bethesda, and there is no legacy spot waiting for me at the University of Maryland. I better figure out what’s going on here, what the opportunities are, and pursue them with more energy, vigor, and more PQ and CQ [see below] than anybody else’.” So my first rule is always think like an immigrant, because we’re all new immigrants to the age of accelerations.

  2. Think like an artisan. “Always do your job [in a way that] you bring so much empathy to it, so much unique, personal value-add, that it cannot be automated, digitized, or outsourced, and that you want to carve your initials into it at the end of the day.”

  3. Always be in beta. “Always be in the state of mind of a piece of software that’s about 85 percent done. You throw it over the wall, the community tests it, finds the holes, finds the glitches, they throw it back, you work on it some more, you throw it over the wall again, they test it, and so on. Always think of yourself as if you need to be reengineered, retooled, relearned, retaught constantly. Never think of yourself as ‘finished’; otherwise you really will be finished.”

  4. PQ + CQ > IQ. “Give me a young person with a high passion quotient and a high curiosity quotient and I will take them over a kid with a high intelligence quotient seven days a week. In the age of Google, no one really cares what you know, because the Google machine knows everything. All they care is what you can do with what you know, and I will trust PQ and CQ over IQ over the long term on that.”

  5. Think like a waitress at Perkins Pancake House in Minneapolis. “I was eating breakfast there with my best friend, Ken Greer […]. Ken ordered three buttermilk pancakes with fruit, and the waitress took our order and came back in 15 minutes. She put our two plates down, and all she said to Ken was, ‘I gave you extra fruit.’ That’s all she said. I gave her a 50 percent tip. Why? Because that waitress didn’t control much, but she controlled the fruit ladle, and what was she doing back there in the kitchen? She was thinking entrepreneurially. She was thinking to herself, ‘You know? I’m going to give this guy an extra dollop of fruit.’ See what happens? […] So my advice to my girls is, ‘Whatever you do, whether you’re in the public sector or the private sector, whether you’re on the front lines or a manager, always think entrepreneurially.’ Always think, ‘Where can I fork off and start a new company over here, a new business over there?’ Because [huge manufacturing companies are] not coming to your town with a 25,000-person factory. That factory is now 2,500 robots and 500 people. So we need three people starting jobs for six, six people starting jobs for twelve, twelve people starting jobs for twenty. That’s how we’re going to get all those jobs. We need everyone thinking entrepreneurially.”


“The Case Against Grades,” by Alfie Kohn, in Education Leadership from ACSD

“ ‘Like it or not, grading is here to stay’ is a statement no responsible educator would ever offer as an excuse for inaction. What matters is whether a given practice is in the best interest of students.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Kohn’s piece would be more accurately titled “The Case for Going Gradeless.”

Kohn’s piece will challenge the 99% of us indoctrinated to believe that grades are necessary for learning. While you may not agree with all of his conclusions, Kohn’s presentation on the research about grading will expand your thinking about what “is in the best interest of students.”

If you were not a believer in the idea of the Mastery Transcript Consortium before reading this article, you may find yourself reconsidering.


And now for something completely different…

“Dean College” by Keaton Patti, on Twitter

“I forced a bot to watch over 1,000 hours of college recruitment videos and then asked it to write a college recruitment video of its own. Here is the first page.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Well, it doesn’t.

But it’s funny.


Question of the week:



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Christian Talbot