Future of Learning Top Reads for Week of June 17 2019

“How micro-internships work for students and companies,” by Riia O’Donnell, in EducationDive

“ ‘Micro-internships,’ or project-based internships, are emerging as a way for students to get a foot in the door and for employers to test talent before making a commitment.

“Lasting just days or weeks, micro-internships can create a more meaningful experience, too, according to Jeffrey Moss, CEO of Parker Dewey, a platform that enables such arrangements. Rather than longer programs that involve a fair bit of busy work, micro-internships often focus on one, substantive project.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Micro-internships are a win-win:

  • Interns can work on projects that are important but that might not otherwise get done (e.g., content marketing via blog posts, research, etc.)

  • Managers don’t have to worry about creating full days of stuff for interns to do, which inevitably include “a fair bit of busy work.”

  • Interns are paid for real world experience and can include that work on their résumés.

  • In certain cases, interns can work on projects remotely. This can be especially helpful for students from underresourced communities.

  • Both sides get to test drive the partnership: interns develop “early insight into what the job is really about” and employers can look for signs of an intern’s ability to work on bigger projects.

  • Both sides develop an authentic relationship, because the project is actually important.

How might your students benefit from a micro-internship program?


“Walmart expands $1 a day degree program,” by Hallie Busta, in EducationDive

“Walmart is also opening the program to the high school students it employs. They will be able to take seven credit hours during high school and can go on to earn a degree in technology, business, or supply chain management through the program upon graduation.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

One of the biggest levers for evolving school is the business model.

This move by Walmart feels inspired by the Cristo Rey model, in which students attend high school 4 days a week, and on the fifth day work for a company that is subsidizing the student’s tuition.

One big difference: Cristo Rey only serves low-income families. Walmart’s option is open to all employees.

Imagine graduating from high school having worked a part-time job and having earned (nearly free) college credit through your employer.

…this matters because…


“Kids are increasingly worried about paying for college,” by Jessica Dickler on CNBC.com

“The vast majority [of high school students surveyed] — 83% — said affordability was a factor in deciding which college to attend, up from 75% last year, [the College Savings Foundation] said. In addition, 71% of students said costs could determine whether to attend college at all — up from last year’s 65%.

“[…] 40% of students said they would attend public college and 26% said they would choose community college. A little more than 1 in 10 are considering technical schools or apprenticeship programs. […]”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Note of emphasis: this is about kids worrying about paying for college. Not parents.

As we noted in last week’s Future of Learning Top Reads, higher ed finances sit uneasily on the sandy soil of tuition discounts. At some point, the sticker price will be too high, families will expect too much of a tuition discount, and more colleges will close or merge.


Question of the week:

File_001 (6).png


Thank you for reading this post from Basecamp's blog, Ed:Future. Do you know someone who would find the Ed:Future blog worthwhile reading? Please let them know that they can subscribe here.

Christian Talbot