Education 3.0

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Building a Knowmad Society in Minnesota

From Consult Minnesota’s press release:

John Moravec predicts a revolution, and is calling on Minnesota technology consultants to help make it happen.

During his presentation to Consult Minnesota Thursday, Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. in the Walnut Room of Axel’s Char House at the Roseville Radisson Hotel, Moravec, a faculty member in Innovation Studies and coordinator of the Leapfrog Institutes at the University of Minnesota, will call on his Consult Minnesota audience to use their technological skills in helping bring about new approaches to infuse creativity and innovation into education.

“As changes in society pressure enormous transformations in education, we need to consider that education at all levels will change so radically that we won’t recognize it,” states Moravec. “Standardized learning – the lecture – is giving way to hands?on, individualized learning at each student’s own pace. Although change will be disruptive, it has many potential benefits.”

Among the advantages of the new educational paradigm are:

  • More effective use of scarce assets to meet a rising demand. At the same time, students can access a wider selection of high?quality course offerings and teachers.
  • Fewer time constraints. Advanced students no longer have to choose between waiting for others to catch up versus leaving them behind.
  • New combinations of tacit and explicit knowledge creation, or invisible learning. As the focus switches away from rote learning merely for higher test scores, students build capacities for continuous learning, unlearning, and relearning – not WHAT to think, but HOW to solve problems.
  • New priorities. Says Moravec, “In the age of YouTube lectures, universities need not worry about their bubbles bursting, but rather, what they should be doing in the classrooms instead of lecturing.”

Admission to the August 19th meeting is free. Dinner and beverages are optional at regular prices. All present will be eligible for a free drawing for door prizes including USB flash drives from General Nanosystems and carwashes from Downtowner Express Lube.

Consult Minnesota is a voluntary association of Minnesotans with a shared interest in facilitating Information Technology support to community and non?profit organizations. The group meets bimonthly. Further information is available at or (612) 568-3243.

Knowmads take on KLM's extended office

This video contains a great introduction to the Knowmads in the Netherlands and their latest project: Improving the extended office for KLM‘s business travelers.

The application period to join the next Knowmads team (“Team 2”) is now open, and will close on June 18. Click here for more information and to apply. Also, click here for previous Education Futures coverage of the Knowmads school.

[iPad/HTML5-compatible version of the video]

Education Futures in the Netherlands

I’m back from a busy week in the Netherlands. First on the agenda was Education Futures NL, an Education 3.0-focused workshop collaboration between Education Futures and Helikon (Fons van den Berg). In addition to our collaboration, the workshop was supplemented with contributions from Cristóbal Cobo and the Knowmads. Meeting space for the event was generously provided by the Creative Learning Lab, a part of the Waag Society. The event attracted 40 of the sharpest minds in the country, most of whom indicated that they were prepared to bring disruptive innovations to education immediately. The group will continue to meet and develop ideas — stay tuned for further developments, and make sure to view Marcel de Leeuwe‘s photos from the event!

My second conference visit was with i+i, where I gave a keynote talk on innovative teaching and learning “in the cloud.” An interesting component of the conference is the close relationships between its members, who, often, are isolated as technology leaders within their institutions. The event was therefore an intellectual reunion for many. One interesting aspect was “TeachMeetNL09,” an unconference within the conference, organized by Fons van den Berg and Marieke van Osch. By capitalizing on the social aspects of the i+i group and refocusing it into an unconference, I believe that Fons and Marieke are pioneering new trends that we will see emerge in professional and academic conferences.

As a side note, I also joined the Knowmads advisory board. With these great developments (and more), I hope to be back soon!

Photo credit:

Thank you, Europe!

I just returned from my talks at the Creative Company Conference, ITSMF Academy, and the University of Oxford. The themes of each presentation were different, but I was able to work from a common subset of slides that built from ideas shared in the Designing Education 3.0 series at Education Futures:

Special thanks and greetings go to Rudolf van Wezel, Jamila Ross, Linda van der Heijden, Corrine Nederlof (@nederlof), Fons van der Berg (@helikon), Jeroen Bottema (@jeroenbottema), @roscamabbing, Donna Schaap (@SoyDonna), Ralf Beuker (@iterations), Arne van Oosterom (@designthinkers), Sir Ken Robinson (@SirKenRobinson), the Kaos Pilots, Amnon Levav, Michael Krömer, J. Roos, Agnes Hadderingh, Bert van Lamoen, Dan Sutch, Cristóbal Cobo, Ken Mayhew… and the many others I met and worked with over the past week!

First Globals and Education 3.0

I just finished reading The Way We’ll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream by John Zogby of Zobgy International, a public opinion polling company. In addition to compiling lots of interesting findings about how the American dream has / is shifting, Zogby creates a pictures of the new generation of learners called the First Globals born between 1979-1990. These traits and dispositions compliment the Education 3.0 students proposed by Moravec. First Globals are:

  • Highly materialistic and self-absorbed
  • Caring and tolerant
  • Change-oriented
  • OK with high educational debt
  • The most cosmopolitan age group in America
  • More likely to live abroad for an extended period of time
  • Does not expect job security

How is today’s educational system tapping into the rich culture and valuable assets of this generation? If our schools, curriculum, pedagogies, and structure are built on a social system, social values, and student attributes that look nothing like they do today, they are not really meeting the needs of this new generation of students. As noted in this blog “No matter how hard we try to cover up 19th century institutions, they will still be 19th century institutions.”

Technology Savvy School Leaders?

I co-host a podcast on Blog Talk Radio called Four Guys Talking. In episode 5, we discussed the role of higher education institutions to create technology savvy leaders. To cut to the chase, we concluded that we are not doing nearly enough to ensure school leaders are able to handle the changes, or even capture the opportunities, brought on by social networking tools, ubiquitous access to information, and the ever-changing introduction of new tools. A big question that came up is how do leadership preparation programs ensure school leaders are technology savvy? Since technology is taking a more
dominant role in formal and informal education, how are institutions of higher education ensuring they are preparing school leaders appropriately? Here are some highlights from our talk:

  • Technology is taught as an add-on and is not infused throughout programs.
  • Educational leadership courses are not measuring or ensuring that leaders who get the university’s rubber stamp of approval are technology savvy.
  • Outside of maybe a dozen folks (that we know of), the issue of technology leadership is not getting a lot of attention. Scott McLeod and I recently completed a study attesting to this fact. It should be published in a special edition of the Journal of School Leadership soon.
  • As noted over on Dangerously Irrelevant, service in higher education is usually seen as the lesser of our obligations as faculty members. How can we get our technology interested faculty members on board to directly work with more schools, leaders, and teachers on topics related to technology when the institutions that promotes them do not value this type of work (that is to say our service if judged less than our research and teaching)?

Most higher education institutions see value in technology and do want technology to be infused in their educational leadership programs. Bryan Setser of North Carolina Virtual Public Schools spoke to my class of EdD students recently. He said “if you are thinking that technology is only a tool, you are already behind. Technology is a process, it is not a tool.” Why then are school leadership programs not teaching our school leaders to change how they do the business of education versus teaching them how to use tools to make their job easier?

I find the Education 3.0 framework as proposed by John Moravec aptly applies to school leaders too. As John said:

This will all require new forms of educational professionalism, tapping well beyond traditional teachers [and school leaders], and blending together with the communities that schools serve. The future that kids and adults co-create can provide the emerging knowledge/innovation economy a boost, greatly enhancing human capital and potentials.

The role of teachers in Education 3.0

Note: This article is a part of the Designing Education 3.0 series at Education Futures.

The debate continues: What is the role of a teacher? The sage on the stage or a guide on the side? In a recent Tegenlicht episode, Frank Furedi argued for a return to “classical,” power-based, download-style (banking) pedagogies. I countered that we need something different. Here’s my take:

Download-style education fails when we try to provide students with knowledge and skills that will enable them to lead in a future that is very different from what exists today –and, in a future that defies human imagination. Teaching facts or knowledge that was relevant in the past may not be acceptable today or in the near future. Moreover, if teachers are as unprepared for the future as students, why not learn invent it together?

Teaching in Education 3.0 requires a new form of co-constructivism that provides meaningful extensions to Dewey, Vygotsky and Freire, while building the future. Specifically, teaching in Education 3.0 necessitates a Leapfrog approach with:

  • Adults who are eager to imagine, create and innovate with kids
  • Kids and adults who want to learn more about each other
  • Kids and adults who partner to collaborate in teaching to and learning from each other
  • Kids who work at creative tasks that mirror the innovation workforce
  • An understanding that kids need to contribute to all economic levels, and with better distribution of effort than in the past

This will all require new forms of educational professionalism, tapping well beyond traditional teachers, and blending together with the communities that schools serve. The future that kids and adults co-create can provide the emerging knowledge/innovation economy a boost, greatly enhancing human capital and potentials. How would you teach, learn, and create in Education 3.0?

The role of technology in Education 3.0

Note: This article is a part of the Designing Education 3.0 series at Education Futures.

Little evidence suggests that new technologies in the classroom are being used to transform educational paradigms. At last year’s ASOMEX technology conference, ISTE‘s Don Knezek pointed out that student graduation rates — and their rates of interest in schools — have dropped over the past few decades.  At the same time, investments in educational information and communications technologies continue to expand. If technologies are not making an impact in the classroom today, should they power Education 3.0?

Yes, but we need to use technologies differently.  Moreover,

The problem is that Society 1.0 schools most often use technologies to teach old information rather than taking advantage of them to generate new knowledge.The use of technologies must be purposive and expand to the realm of adopting social technologies in schools. To harness the potential of open, socio-technological systems, 3.0 schools will need to rebuild themselves not on software, not on hardware, but on mindware. Such new technologies integrate the development of imagination, creativity and innovation –all critical in the 21st century workplace.  Mindware maximizes the potentials for human capital development that ambient awareness technologies permit.

Is your school investing in mindware technologies?

The role of schools in Education 3.0

Note: This article is a part of the Designing Education 3.0 series at Education Futures.

An an era driven by globalized relationships, innovative social technologies, and fueled by accelerating change, how should we reinvent schools?

Education 3.0 schools produce knowledge-producing students, not automatons that recite facts that may never be applied usefully. Education 3.0 substitutes this “just in case” memorization with skills for designing their futures in a society that is increasingly dependent on imagination, creativity and innovation. One subset of these skills may be expressed in the adoption of New Basics.

Education 3.0 schools share, remix and capitalize on new ideas. This requires a new openness and transformations of schools from places of production line-style learning to laboratories and design centers. 3.0 schools can become “beta” sites to develop and test new technologies, pedagogies and social configurations. These opportunities also imply that schools will express new forms of leadership within the communities that they serve.

Finally, prepare students that will be able to compete for jobs that have not yet been invented, Education 3.0 schools embrace change rather than fighting change. Rather than fighting to maintain the legacies of previous centuries, schools may become the driving forces of creating new paradigms that will drive this and future centuries. Moreover, rather than trying to catch-up with change, 3.0 schools continuously leapfrog ahead of their contemporary institutions to lead in the adoptions of new technologies and practices.

Finally, Education 1.0 schools cannot teach 3.0 students. The move to the 3.0 paradigm requires genuine and massive structural transformations, not a cosmetic makeover. If schools continue to embrace the 1.0 paradigm and are outmoded by students that thrive in a 3.0 society, we can only expect continuous failure.


Are we ready to take on the challenge?