The State of Education Now is a hotly debated topic. And, needing to get outside the MIT, Harvard, Babson, Executive Ed, prism, we attended the 140edu conference in NYC. Educators from all over the country are wrestling with the issues of education and technology and the gaps, opportunities and disruptions created by old rules, decreased education funding and that huge Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) gender sinkhole. Ably hosted by Jeff Pulver and Chris Lehmann
Top Takeaway: The overall feeling that collaboration across generations and trusting in the positive power of technology to help communication is the best way to push forward on all fronts. Just as there are new rules in marketing, there are new rules in educating. Those days of school administrators dictating rote learning need to be banished forever. On the job training, apprenticeships need to be done well and showcased for their value. Everything old is new again.
Top takeaway in the "Give the Student a Break and let them show us what they need" category:
The Lil JaXe Story Lil JaXe (@LilJaxe) - What's amazing is not not that not he is a 13 Year Old Rapper who build a business, but rather, that as a student with a severe stutter, unable to communicate clearly, he found an outlet for communications in speaking thru rap and hip hop and is now able to be understood with relative ease. See some VIDEO of this amazing presentation/performance in effective communications here. The change is truly amazing.
And finally, the Top takeaway in the how do we transfer knowledge category:
Are teachers keeping students prisoners of their past?
Think about today’s youth where life outside of school is a fast-paced, connected environment. Students have the freedom to learn in the spaces and with the tools they love. Once inside school walls however, digital devices are banned, collaborating is viewed as cheating, and students are often banned from accessing the very sites that are necessary for real-world success.
This was a panel discussion ably moderated by Lisa Nielsen but really run by High School and new to college aged articulate students:
Allison Wu (@allisonswu) - Advocate for #studentvoice in #edreform / youth engagement in policy | @HuffingtonPost blogger | @MingaGroup & @NYAAmerica too
Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) - Speaker. Writer. Educational innovator & agitator. Blogger who writes about learning innovatively & alternative ed. Author
Lucia Grigoli (@LuciaGrigoli) - Student passionate about #politics and #studentvoice in #edreform. Oh, and #WestWing.
Matthew Resnick (@MatthewAResnick) - Junior at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, NYC
Nick Perez (@nickperez) - Software developer, beer geek, advocate for the liberation of students from mind-numbing boredom and condescension in public schools.
Nikhil Goyal (@TalkPolitical) - 17 • Author: All Hands on Deck: Why America Needs a Learning Revolution (Sept 2012)
Guess What? They are writing books, getting published (at age 17), starting companies and taking their concerns to the old guardians of process and demanding change - by lobbying for it and building strong cases for special dispensation. Their takeaway clearly emulates the real business world - all stakeholders need to be included in the planning process if a program/ business or school is to be successful in its mission. Just take a look at how Executive Education programs are flourishing.
So, here are my takeaways in a quick summary format:
- Utilize Trust in moving forward as a collaborative team - if you want to be successful.
- We are in the age of collaboration. No one entity or person has all the answers
- Gain input and heed guidance from all stakeholders - for the same reasons.
- Business today is navigating through fast moving and treacherous conditions. No better way to succeed than to enlist the support of all your stakeholders. Customers as well as employees become your greatest, most knowledgeable asset. Collaboration is an imperative.
- Communication modes are changing. Advertising, Marketing, business to business communications need to reflect the places and the way each client subset best accesses their information. Not on social media? Expect to miss half of how all business people now get and share information
- People to People, not business to consumer or business to business. You must get this concept or you'll never thrive. It's all about people. People work at companies. People share this likes and dislikes. Communication transcends gender, age, socio economic status. We may be guided by our experience but in the process of sharing in real time, we all are better understood and better results are possible.