Future of Learning Top Reads for week of Apr 29 2019

“From Google to Humu: Laszlo Bock on Lessons Learned as a First-Time CEO,” interview by Adam Bryant, on LinkedIn

“Q. So when you hear tech executives say, ‘We’re trying on diversity but the pipeline isn’t there,’ how do you react?

“A. That’s bullshit. And the reason it’s bullshit is because of what I’ve seen happen again and again at tech companies when it comes to diversity. The C-level executives say, ‘We’re all for it.’ And there are people deep in the organization who are all for it. But the layer just below the C-level team doesn’t follow through and make the hiring decisions to do it, even though they say they’re for it.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

The Basecamp team believes that diversity and inclusion are merely table stakes for an exceptional learning community. To be next-level, schools must design for pluralism.

A typical lament goes something like this: “All of the great candidates of color get snatched up quickly, and the pool is limited to begin with.”

The first statement may be true—but only if we think of candidates as people actively seeking employment in schools and whose materials are widely, publicly available.

The second statement is nonsense. One easy way to increase the size of the pool: go to local colleges, identify students of color, invite them to visit your school, invite them to guest teach part of lessons or units, and invite them to join your community’s rituals (faculty cocktail parties, sporting events, etc., etc.) In other words, form authentic relationships with the people you want to hire. And keep in mind that your next Science teacher may be an Engineering major; your next Math teacher might be a Business Administration major; your next Religion teacher might be a Philosophy major; and so on.

Read the rest of Bryant’s interview for additional insights about hiring biases.

And remember that there is only one insurmountable bias: saying you want to be more diverse and inclusive (pluralistic!)—but not actually wanting to be so.


“Here's How Google Knows In Less Than 5 Minutes If Someone Is a Great Leader,” by Jeff Haden, in Inc.

“The evaluation spends almost no time assessing a manager's knowledge, skill, and experience. All but one question focuses on soft skills: Communication, feedback, coaching, teamwork, respect, and consideration.

“What you know matters, but communicating, delegating, creating a sense of autonomy and purpose... that matters a lot more.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Crystallized intelligence—“What you know”—matters. But in what way? For great managers at Google, apparently domain expertise is a threshold ability (ie, it is the ante you need to be in the game).

Fluid intelligence—adaptively solving problems through “Communication, feedback, coaching, teamwork, respect, and consideration”—also matters. But in what way? For great managers at Google, apparently these are differentiators.

Creative and collaborative problems solvers will need both crystallized and fluid intelligence to thrive in our VUCA world. How does your school’s learning design foster these different ways of being smart?


Tweet from @DiscoverPraxis on Twitter

“Harsh truth about job search that wasn't true 100 years ago:

”If you're not searchable, you're practically irrelevant.

”How to deal with this:

  1. Show your work.

  2. Build a personal brand.

  3. Keep your main social profiles updated.

  4. Build a personal website.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Rather than telling students “If you’re not searchable, you’re practically irrelevant,” we should remind them, “You are searchable, so make sure that people discover the best of you.”

Imagine a school in which every student has a publicly searchable profile through which she:

  • shows her work (carefully curated portfolio)

  • builds her personal brand (first and foremost: her values and a statement of what problems she wants to solve, a la Jaime Casap)

  • links to her updated main social media profiles

  • links to a personal website

As a way of consolidating learning and fostering continuous growth, this would be light years better than typical school transcripts.


Question of the week:



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Christian Talbot