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Webinar: Does the future need schools?

In March, we asked, does the future need schools?

The question was deceitfully simple, and the responses were rich. What we were really asking was, what is the purpose of school? As we look 10, 20, or 50 years into the future, will ‘school’ be relevant?

We got some great answers. We are analyzing the data now, and we will share what we have learned in a free, online webinar.

The webinar will be held Wednesday, May 16 at 4:00 PM ET (US).

John Moravec and Kelly Killorn-Moravec will present their findings for about fifteen minutes, and then they will open the floor for conversation, comments, and questions. We won’t use this as an opportunity to sell anything to you. Rather, we are pleased to offer a one-hour continuing education certificate for educators who join the webinar. It’s one of our ways of saying ‘thanks’ to the community for participating in this project.

Reserve your seat now!

When: Wednesday, May 16 at 4:00 PM ET (US)
Hosts: Dr. John Moravec and Dr. Kelly Killorn-Moravec
Online meeting space: To be announced

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Podcast episode 12: Catching up

John and Kelly Moravec are back, catching up on what they’ve been up to the past few months. John shares his experiences having run for school board in Bloomington, MN; Kelly and John discuss a French ban on cell phones in the classrooms; Kelly shares a confrontation with a colleague over punishments for font sizes; and, John shares interesting educational research emerging around the world, utilizing an expanded World Café method — the Knowmad Café.

Once you’ve listened to this episode, why not earn an hour of continuing professional education? After all, you’ve already done half the work. Just go to educationfutures.com/learn, and sign up for the Moodle course that corresponds with this episode. After you post your thoughts in response to the questions we have for you in the “sound off” forum, you can download your certificate of completion. It’s free, and it’s our gift to you for listening and for supporting us. Simply visit educationfutures.com/learn to earn your free continuing professional education credit.

This is an open conversation, and your participation is invited! Email your stories and responses to us at info@educationfutures.com.

Listen to the Education Futures Podcast on iTunes or Google Play:

  Get it on Google Play

Here’s how to follow along for future episodes:

Cheating the death of imagination: Teaching the unknowable

The idea of a Technological Singularity has been discussed and debated intensely since the early 1990s. Coined by Vernor Vinge and popularized by Ray Kurzweil, the idea is that as technologies evolve, technologies improve, costs decrease; and, in turn, the process of technological evolution advances and speeds itself up, creating a J-curve of exponential, accelerating change. Eventually, the J-curve hits an inflection point, and change begins to occur at timescales that seem nearly instantaneous. This is the Technological Singularity.

At Education Futures, in our work to help guide governments and organizations, we’ve looked hard at what this means to humans and human systems – in particular with regard to how we will learn and work in the future. In this frame, the Technological Singularity also represents the point at which change occurs so rapidly that the human mind cannot imagine what will happen next. Moreover, technological change facilitates social change (and vice-versa). We need to prepare for rapidly-occurring, intense periods of social, cultural, and economic transformation.

The Technological Singularity represents the limit of human imagination.

It is important to note that the J-curve of accelerating change is graphed independently of scale. There is not a standard measurement of change, and there is no measurement of time. We can look at illustrative examples for correlates, such as the growth of microprocessor computing power under Moore’s Law, but the idea of a Technological Singularity is subjective to the human experience.

Herein lies the rub: We are all very different. We have differing abilities to cope with change, to imagine new futures, to communicate, to solve problems, use resources wisely, and so forth. We cannot expect to experience ‘the’ Technological Singularity together. Rather, we should prepare to experience many individual singularities, as individuals, groups, and as a society. Depending on who we are and the contexts in which we are placed, we will hit the limits of our imagination – our singularities – at different times and under different circumstances. Industries are transforming (and disappearing!) at different rates and at different times, communities are shifting at independent and co-dependent paces, and individuals and families are under increasing pressure to stay relevant.

Humans are not afraid of change, but we fear the unknown. When we hit the limits of our imaginations, we push back toward the knowable, often with very ugly consequences. Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, the state-sponsored fake news phenomenon, and the rise of slavery advocate Roy Moore in Alabama – all inconceivable a decade ago – serve as examples that humans are prone to a retreat toward bigotry, ignorance, and hate when confronted with uncertainty. Like the followers of Ned Ludd worked to sabotage the industrial movement in the 19th century, these socially regressive Neo-Luddites subvert technological change to regress society toward an imagined past, no matter how horrible, that presents themselves with a sense of certainty.

A community cannot progress technologically while sabotaging itself socially. While our singularities may be unavoidable, we can at least learn how to cope with them by learning to embrace the unknown. This, at the forefront, requires a tremendous amount of imagination and creativity from all of us.

Our schools, which are designed to prepare youth for static futures, need to be urgently repurposed to prepare all of society for the unknowable. Imagination, creativity, and innovation, together with support for greater agency and self-efficacy must underpin serious efforts to achieve meaningful outcomes for all learners. We must balance core content knowledge with soft skills such as simulational thinking, knowledge production, technology, intercultural communication, critical and multi-paradigmatic thinking, focused imagination, developed intuition, emotional intelligence, and systems design.

Are you ready to take the dive into teaching and learning for the unknowable? Continue on with our series on invisible learning:

 

John Moravec embarks on global tour to redesign education

Education Futures founder Dr. John Moravec has embarked on a global tour to redesign mainstream education systems. Moravec asks, “In a world consumed with uncertainty and a growing sense of the obsolescence of our education systems, how can we ensure the success of ourselves as individuals, our communities, and the planet?” The solution, he believes, is an urgent redesign to evolve learning.

At a keynote speech at Girls in Tech in Guayaquil, Ecuador earlier this month, Moravec stated:

Our school systems are built on cultures of obedience, enforced compliance, and complacency. It is easier to be told what to think than to think ourselves. It’s time to break the rules – but understand why first! Future education leaders will create justified breaks from the system that challenge the status quo and have the potential to create real impact.

Moravec continued on to Doha, Qatar November 14-17 as an invited delegate to the World Innovation Summit for Education where he shared international experiences. He shared, “leveraging technologies, we can now bring broad communities together in conversations that matter. If educators are to build a collective capacity to transform education, we need engaged communities, and we also need to engage with the communities we serve.”

On November 25, Moravec travels again to provide an invited keynote lecture at International Meeting on Distance Education in Guadalajara, Mexico, and to conduct action research for the federal government of Mexico. Education Futures has spent the past nine months developing a software platform to collect data from diverse communities and provide comparative analysis that is relevant for policymakers and institutions. The tool will is being piloted now and will be available for all EF research projects by the end of 2017.

Before kicking off the tour, Moravec spoke with Mariana Ludmila (@edularity) on building new futures for education:

Introducing Education Futures Learns

We are pleased to introduce Education Futures Learns, a free professional development platform for educators, available at educationfutures.com/learns.

Education Futures has a long tradition of collaborating with creatives, thought leaders, innovators, and learning organizations to create new opportunities for human capital development. As a network of subject matter experts, big dreamers, and change agents, we are working to evolve learning.

As our network grows, so does our learning. And, we want to open our network and share what we’ve learned with you. In the Education Futures Learns online, collaborative space, teachers and other education professionals may share their knowledge and approaches related to the expert content we share – as well as affording an opportunity to interact with others in an innovation-focused knowledge community.

Each free professional development course is presented as an opportunity to earn one credit hour, incorporating original content produced by Education Futures. Initial offerings include:

  • Big Data in education
  • Enabling creative schools
  • Pokémon Go and Minecraft in schools?
  • Self-regulation in the classroom
  • Education in Finland
  • Unleashing the instinct to play in learning

Visit educationfutures.com/learns to get started and boost your professional development today!

Note: Continuing education requirements for licensed educators differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Education Futures LLC makes no guarantees as to whether any particular authority may accept continuing education certificates issued through this service. Please consult with your professional development coordinator or licensing authorities to confirm these professional development activities and certificates comply with your local requirements. All courses provided through Education Futures LLC are designed by professionals with PhD-level qualifications.

Educational innovation in Puebla

Education Futures and Fundación Ceibal (Uruguay) are pleased to share the outcomes of their 2-month research project for the Secretary of Public Education of the State of Puebla (“SEP-Puebla,” Mexico). Dr. John Moravec served as the primary investigator for the study La innovación educativa en Puebla: Las voces de los actores.

Click this link to read the full report (in Spanish).

Project background and objectives

The SEP-Puebla identified the need to assess the main achievements, challenges and future actions for developing a better future for education in the state of Puebla.  The innovative feature of the study relied in directly involving and listening to local actors (students, teachers and parents), who are affected by educational policies. Moreover, this is related to the increasing use of digital technologies, its associated practices along with the new challenges and opportunities for the teaching and learning processes. In the case of Mexico, it is particularly important to assess the challenges associated with the implementation of the national program for inclusion and digital literacy, the Programa de Inclusión y Alfabetización Digital.

The research was developed in three phases. The first was based in a survey to assess people perceptions about different topics. The data collected informed the development of the second phase of the study, based in the World Café methodology. The use of this open and inclusive methodology fostered a collaborative exchange between participants around four thematic areas: New ways of knowing, learning, teaching and assessing; Teachers in the Digital Age; Social uses of ICT and digital culture; Resources and Platforms. The third phase included the data analysis and final reporting.

Main questions addressed by the research:

  • Which achievements of the current administration of SEP-Puebla you consider more relevant?
  • Looking forward, which are the main challenges faced by education? What kind of innovations are needed in the educational agenda?
  • Which actions and actors should be taken into consideration in the educational agenda strategic planning in Puebla?

The questions above, were jointly developed with SEP-Puebla. Despite the fact that the use of tablets in schools and the implementation of the program @aprende.mx were relevant parts of the study, the research trascends those topics and is focused in capturing the voices of the actors involved.

The research concluded with recommendations that aim to help thinking in innovative strategies for promoting ICT access and use in the state of Puebla. These are structured around three main areas: Flexibility for promoting new teaching and learning mechanisms. Self-efficacy through the promotion of sustainable and decentralized models that stimulate innovative practices, collaborative work and solidarity. Community culture that creates value from the exchange of knowledge among communities.

Click this link to read the full report (in Spanish).

Self-regulation in the classroom

Self-regulation in the classroom is our focus for this episode. That is, we are focusing on how students manage, coordinate, and adapt how they think, feel, and behave to become successful. 

Social and emotional challenges in kids have been receiving a lot of attention lately. Students who struggle with self-management, often do poorly in school. We wanted to learn more about this, and we met up with Dr. Richard Cash, a gifted and talented expert, and author of Self-Regulation in the Classroom: Helping Students Learn How to Learn. He taught us the process of developing self-regulation as easy as ABCAffect (how you feel), Behavior (what you do), and Cognition (how you think). Teaching students to balance these three elements builds motivation, resilience, and college and career readiness.

Listeners who purchase Richard’s book from Free Spirit Publishing can enter the code “DiffGift” to receive 25% off!

NEW: Once you’ve listened to this episode, why not earn an hour of continuing professional education? After all, you’ve already done half the work. Just go to educationfutures.com/learn, and sign up for the Moodle course that corresponds with this episode. After you post your thoughts in response to the questions we have for you in the “sound off” forum, you can download your certificate of completion.

It’s free, and it’s our gift to you for listening and for supporting us. Simply visit educationfutures.com/learn to earn your free continuing professional education credit.

This is an open conversation, and your participation is invited! Email your stories to us at info@educationfutures.com.

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New episodes are released every two weeks. Here’s how to follow along:

Do Pokémon Go and Minecraft belong in schools? – Education Futures Podcast

It’s “back to school” season in the United States and Europe, and the social media universe is ablaze with ideas on how to harness Minecraft and the Pokémon Go craze in the classroom. But, do these tools really belong in schools? We debate some of the pros and cons, and invited 7th grader Hillel Killorn and MineGage founder Garrett Zimmer to weigh in.

And, make sure to read John Moravec’s provocative post on Pokémon Go and Minecraft in the classroom!

NEW: Once you’ve listened to this episode, why not earn an hour of continuing professional education? After all, you’ve already done half the work. Just go to educationfutures.com/learn, and sign up for the Moodle course that corresponds with this episode. After you post your thoughts in response to the questions we have for you in the “sound off” forum, you can download your certificate of completion.

It’s free, and it’s our gift to you for listening and for supporting us. Simply visit educationfutures.com/learn to earn your free continuing professional education credit.

We would love to have your voice in these conversations! To encourage participation, we are offering a special promotion within the next few podcast episodes. Listen for the details, and email your response to John and Kelly at info@educationfutures.com for your chance to win something extraordinary!

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New episodes are released every two weeks. Here’s how to follow along:

Enabling creative schools – Education Futures Podcast

In the latest episode of the Education Futures Podcast, Kelly and John Moravec share highlights from their recent #EFReads Facebook/Twitter book club discussion of Sir Ken Robinson’s Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education. They connect major themes from the conversation to an interactive exercise to sketch what schools are for and what curricular experiences should be embedded so that all students in all grades receive what they need for successful futures.

We would love to have your voice in these conversations! To encourage participation, we are offering a special promotion within the next few podcast episodes. Listen for the details, and email your response to John and Kelly at info@educationfutures.com for your chance to win something extraordinary!

NEW: Once you’ve listened to this episode, why not earn an hour of continuing professional education? After all, you’ve already done half the work. Just go to educationfutures.com/learn, and sign up for the Moodle course that corresponds with this episode. After you post your thoughts in response to the questions we have for you in the “sound off” forum, you can download your certificate of completion.

It’s free, and it’s our gift to you for listening and for supporting us. Simply visit educationfutures.com/learn to earn your free continuing professional education credit.

subscribe_on_itunes_badge-large

New episodes are released every two weeks. Here’s how to follow along:

Introducing the Education Futures Podcast

Welcome to the Education Futures Podcast, a new series curated by John Moravec and Kelly Killorn-Moravec.

What is your vision of the future of education? What stories do you have to share? What great examples and practices already exist? In this podcast, we share what we have learned, connect with others, and interview thought leaders who provoke us to think differently in education and human development.

Listen to a preview trailer here:

Voices we will interview include top authors and thought leaders in the realm of education, and we will weave in our own thoughts and opinions, too. Your participation is invited! Email your stories to the hosts at info@educationfutures.com.

New episodes will be released every two weeks, beginning August 25, with our first episode on unintended consequences in Utah and Florida. Here’s how to follow along: