Future of Learning Top Reads for week of Oct 21 2019

“A boon for the rich, early decision is unfair and here to stay,” by James Murphy, in the Hechinger Report

“NACAC’s move was intended to end an antitrust investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, which, perversely, thought that the restrictions on early-decision plans, not early decision itself, were hurting students. We know which students they mean. If colleges start offering juiced-up early decision, which dangles the best dorm on campus or an early move-in date in front of families, it will be a powerful recruiting tool. The change might spur additional colleges to start offering early decision or, if they do so already, to expand how many students they enroll early in order not to lose desirable applicants to competitors.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

As we have previously noted, the changes to higher ed rules governing early decision and post-May 1 recruitment of students will likely increase stress for all families.

That said, the material benefits are likely to accrue to the affluent.


“The YouTube Revolution in Knowledge Transfer,” by Samo Burja, on Medium

“Tacit knowledge is knowledge that can’t properly be transmitted via verbal or written instruction, like the ability to create great art or assess a startup. This tacit knowledge is a form of intellectual dark matter, pervading society in a million ways, some of them trivial, some of them vital. Examples include woodworking, metalworking, housekeeping, cooking, dancing, amateur public speaking, assembly line oversight, rapid problem-solving, and heart surgery.”

“Before video became available at scale, tacit knowledge had to be transmitted in person, so that the learner could closely observe the knowledge in action and learn in real time — skilled metalworking, for example, [was] impossible to teach from a textbook.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Where is the future-of-learning hockey puck going? Our guess is more videos on more platforms enabling more tacit knowledge transfer. So teachers should double down on their curation (and creation) skills.

The real question is: when and why do you want to students to acquire knowledge and when do you want them to apply that knowledge to problems they have never seen before?

The former is practice.

The latter is genuine learning.


“Why College Will Soon Be About Credegrees And Co-Ops,” by Brandon Busteed, in Forbes

“So how would this work? As students chose majors they will now also select an industry-credential to add to their educational mix in college. We already have double majors, minors, etc. Why not a major and a credential? […]

“Such offerings will inevitably mean new kinds of ecosystem partnerships between universities, employers, industry associations and other educational providers. It may also mean students pursuing their industry credential during the ‘nooks and crannies’ of the traditional academic schedule – such as during summers and breaks and perhaps even weekends. It may mean embedding the cost of the industry credentialing in their overall tuition costs. It could also mean new revenue sources for universities – by providing this kind of training to current alumni, many of whom will eagerly look to their alma mater as a trusted and preferred source of this kind of education and training.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Tired: College as ivory tower exercise or world-of-work indoctrination.

Wired: College as alternation between learning mental models in the classroom and applying those mental models to authentic work experiences.

Inspired: College as a platform for learning to tackle the world’s most pressing problems, powered by new credentials (because, as our friend Stephanie Pace Marshall has said, “What you name it is what it will become.”)


Question of the week:

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Christian Talbot