• September 2012

The Future of Education

“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens,” rock legend Jimi Hendrix famously said.

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire,” said literary icon William Yeats.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” insisted Nelson Mandela.

What is the future of education? With these big ideas leading the way, we dedicate the September 2012 issue of Be Inkandescent magazine to discovering the answer. Scroll down to learn about some of the newest ideas, hottest education companies, and the cutting-edge innovators who are changing the way education operates.

Also in this issue:

  • We thank David Edward Byrd, the famous 1960s rock artist, for granting us permission to run his Hendrix poster above, and also for taking the time to do a Q&A with his former art student from Pratt Institute, Michael Gibbs, on The Art of Teaching Art.
  • Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it, says author David Bornstein in his book about the power of big ideas. Our new social entrepreneur columnist Beverly Schwartz introduces us to Aleta Margolis, a woman who is putting Bornstein’s widsom to work at her Center for Inspired Teaching.

We leave you with this parting thought from Thomas Edison: “If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

Here’s to your lifelong learning. — Hope Gibbs, publisher,
Be Inkandescent magazine • president, InkandescentPR • founder, InkandescentNetworkingnew! InkandescentSpeakers.com

Three Edu-preneurs Give Us A Glimpse Into the Future of Education

COVER STORY: AUGUST 2012

By Hope Katz Gibbs
Publisher
Photos by
Steve Barrett

When it comes to forecasting the future of education, it’s no surprise that online learning is taking the lead. Similar to the dot.com boom of the 1990s, venture capitalists are eager to invest in education-technology start-ups. According to the National Venture Capital Association, investments in ed-tech hit $429 million last year, from $146 million in 2002.

In April 2012, the Chronicle of Higher Education hosted a panel of education entrepreneurs on the cutting edge. The lively discussion focused on the following industry changes:

• Technology isn’t just about generating data. It’s about transforming the education experience.
• The proliferation of available data might necessitate a new organizing mechanism with regard to decision-making about higher education opportunities.
• There is new momentum for partnerships between the private sector and existing institutions.

Meet the folks leading us into the future. We had the opportunity to interview several of the panelists who are leading the charge.

Joe Morgan, CEO, Noodle Education A life-long education-related search company, Noodle was started in 2011 by John Katzman, founder of The Princeton Review. “Our goal is to provide a recommendation engine to help anyone find educational opportunities from K-12 to college, grad school, and professional development,” he says.

Daniel Pianko, Partner, University Ventures Fund Led by four principals with decades of experience as entrepreneurs, investors, and leaders in higher education, this investment firm partners with top-tier universities and colleges and directs private capital in developing programs that address major economic and social needs. UV expects to set new standards for student outcomes and advance the development of the next generation of colleges and universities on a global scale.

Matthew Pittinsky, (pictured above) CEO, Parchment also co-founded Blackboard Inc. With Parchment, his mission and passion is to unleash education credentials by unlocking the critical data they embody. “We are an education data company that works with institutions and corporations around the world helping people collect, promote, and share their education credentials in simple and secure ways,” he says. “Parchment is about ensuring that the hard work you’ve put into your education continues to work hard for you.”

Do you think college kids are lazy, slovenly, and couldn’t possibly be the entrepreneurs of the future? Think again. As Oliver St. John reports in an August USA Today article, thanks to some enterprising college students, undergrads can now outsource everything from grocery shopping to laundry and storing their dorm contents for the summer.

To read about these clever student entrepreneurs, click here.

K-12 education is also finding its way into the high-tech era. Dr. Peter Noonan knows that teaching kids to love to learn—through whatever means is necessary—is not just critical for their academic success.

It is helping to shape the careers they will have, and the adults they will become, says the former teacher, principal, assistant superintendent for Instructional Services, and now the superintendent of the City of Fairfax Schools in Northern Virginia.

“The notion of 21st century skills is incredibly relevant in terms of teaching students online, because our goal is to help them learn to problem-solve, think critically, and be a good and productive member of a team,” Noonan says. “The business world will certainly continue to get more global, and speed of technological change will continue to increase. Therefore, it is incumbent on educators to prepare students properly for the jobs of the future in many ways.”

One of the easiest ways to start, Noonan is convinced, is through digital texbooks. “The idea that a student should open a textbook and go to a page in a chapter for information, or head to the media center to do some research, is simply antiquated.”

Not surprisingly, digital textbooks are sweeping the nation. Around the country, school districts are quickly making the transition from traditional textbooks and paper-based instructional resources to Web-based instructional resource. These go far beyond just putting textbook files online.

When the Vail School District in Arizona opened Empire High School in Tucson in 2005, educators began the “Beyond Textbooks” initiative. It bought student laptops and online resources instead of traditional textbooks, which saved nearly $2,000 per high school student. “It’s not about printed versus digital, it’s about the entire metaphor of a textbook that’s essentially out of gas,” says its chief information officer, Matt Federoff, who likens the shift to purchasing songs from iTunes versus buying albums.

And when Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor of California, he championed the California Open Source Textbook Project, a collaborative, public/private undertaking that was created to address the high cost, content range, and consistent shortages of K-12 textbooks in California. The free, open-source digital versions are expected to save the state millions of dollars.

Not surprisingly, textbooks publishers are jumping on big opportunity. Players include Houghton Mifflin, Reed Elsevier, and Pearson. Leading the charge, though, is McGraw-Hill Education, which earned gross revenues in excess of $1.1 billion in 2011, making up about 40 percent of the $800 million textbook publishing industry.

Dan Caton, executive VP of the education division, says his company has an aggressive development plan for digital program development in all subject areas. “Our digital-tools for teachers includes online teacher editions, record-keeping, assessment, data analysis, and student grouping and support.” Undoubtedly, the use of digital textbooks will grow exponentially. With it be worth the investment?

What are the 5 things all entrepreneurs need to know about the future of education? We got great insight from TIME magazine reporter Annie Murphy Paul, author of the upcoming book, “Brilliant: The Science of Smart.” Find that here: Tips for Entrepreneurs.

Annie Murphy Paul: What Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Learning

By Annie Murphy Paul
Author and Journalist
Online: anniemurphypaul.com.

Entrepreneurs may be the world’s best learners. They figure out on the fly how to make their businesses succeed, discovering as they go what works and what doesn’t.

While most of them learned how to do what they do through experience, not in a classroom, lately the academy has come to them, making “entrepreneurial learning” the focus of empirical investigation.

Researchers show us the way.

Researchers at the Ningbo, China, campus of the University of Nottingham, for example, recently studied a group of successful Hong Kong entrepreneurs to find out how these individuals acquire new knowledge and skills.

Such independent businesspeople, the academics report, are voracious consumers of information: about the daily details of their companies, about the views of their employees and customers, about the practices of their competitors.

The entrepreneurs spend a lot of time thinking about the reasons for their successes and for their failures, always looking for ways to do better. Thomas Wing Yan Man, associate professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at the university and the leader of the study, concludes that successful entrepreneurs “are continually working on improving their entrepreneurial prowess through an active process of learning and reflection.”

In another study published earlier this year in the journal Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, Michael Morris of Oklahoma State University and his coauthors point out that for entrepreneurs, “learning is more than simply grasping and interpreting objective knowledge.”

By virtue of their close involvement and hands-on contact with their companies, entrepreneurs filter their professional experiences through their own feelings and values.

“Learning is not limited to what works and what does not” from a commercial point of view, notes Morris. “The entrepreneur is learning from his or her emotions, and about himself or herself,” even as he or she absorbs knowledge about the business.

This intensity can make for particularly powerful learning experiences, but it also means that entrepreneurs must take steps to maintain perspective and equilibrium.

What are successful entrepreneurs best at?

In a 2011 article in the journal Marketing Management, Karl Hellman and Robert S. Siegel write that the key is to identify and learn from the “anomaly”—the unexpected occurrence that can open into opportunity.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, or just want to innovate like one, here are five things these enterprising businesspeople have learned about learning:

1. Failure is information. Entrepreneurs tolerate and even welcome failure because it tells them something important: what doesn’t work. Trial and error—lots of error—is the only way to find out what’s effective.

2. Data is decisive. Entrepreneurs are obsessive about tracking and analyzing data because they know that the numbers hold insight: unexpected discoveries that can’t be made any other way.

3. People are resources. Entrepreneurs know that the information most vital to their businesses’ success isn’t written down in books or even on websites: it’s in people’s heads. So they’re always meeting, talking, and asking questions.

4. Change is the constant. Entrepreneurs don’t learn things once and then store it away. They are constantly updating and refining their knowledge, and when necessary, tossing aside the whole lot to adopt a new paradigm.

5. Work is play. Entrepreneurs are able to work superhuman hours with Herculean energy because, simply, it’s what they love to do. Dutiful competitors don’t stand a chance against the entrepreneur’s voracious appetite for information about the subject she considers the most interesting thing in the world: her business.

About Annie Murphy Paul

Annie Murphy Paul is a book author, magazine journalist, consultant, and speaker who helps people understand how we learn and how we can do it better. A contributing writer for TIME magazine, she writes a weekly column about learning for Time.com, and also blogs about learning at CNN.com, Forbes.com, MindShift.com, PsychologyToday.com, and HuffingtonPost.com.

Paul also contributes to The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Slate, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among many other publications.

She is the author of The Cult of Personality, a cultural history and scientific critique of personality tests, and of Origins, a book about the science of prenatal influences.

Paul is now at work on Brilliant: The New Science of Smart, to be published by Crown in 2013. For more infromation, visit anniemurphypaul.com.

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

– Anais Nin

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

– Leonardo da Vinci

Entrepreneurs are willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise.”

– Victor Kiam

The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. The greatest failure is to not try.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.”

– Marcel Proust

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

– Winston Churchill

If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.”

– Jesse Jackson

If people like you they’ll listen to you; if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”

– Zig Ziglar

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

– Nelson Mandela

The goal of Life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with nature.”

– Joseph Cambell

They who give have all things. They who withhold have nothing.”

– Hindu Proverb

Don’t follow your dreams. Chase them.”

– Richard Dumb

Success is the necessary misfortune of life, but it is only to the very unfortunate that it comes early.”

– Anthony Trollope

The best hobbies are the ones that take us furthest from our primary occupation.”

– Dr. Evelyn Vogel, Dexter

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. 
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.”

– Mary Jean Irion

Some things are destined to be—it just takes us a couple of tries
to get there.”

– J.R. Ward, Lover Mine

Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.”

– Arthur Rubinstein

It is to no purpose to turn away from the real nature of the affair because the honor of its elements excites repugnance.

– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

Do one thing every day that scares you.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

– Carl Rogers

I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun.”

– John D. Rockefeller

I was taught at a very young age that you can do whatever you want to, but you have to make it happen — not just talk about it.”

– Kathleen Jo Ryan

Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.”

– Jack Kerouac

Whosoever knows how to fight well is not angry. Whosoever knows how to conquer enemies does not fight them.”

– Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

The great use of life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.”

– William James

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

– Mark Twain

Why am I whispering when I have something to say?”

– Eve Ensler

Do not say, ‘why were the former days better than these,’ for it is not from wisdom that you ask this.”

– Ecclesiastes, 7:10

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.”

– Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

This is the age when magical technologies make more and more radically fun ideas plausible, even easy. You’re only limited by your creativity.”

– Martha Beck

Never cut what you can untie.”

– Joseph Joubert

Do you have the desire to create something new; the strength of conviction to believe your creation will be successful, and the reservoir of energy necessary to thrust it into the marketplace?”

– Steven Schussler

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which obstacles vanish.”

– John Quincy Adams

To find what you seek in the road of life, leave no stone unturned.”

– Edward Bulwer Lytton

The gem cannot be polished without friction; nor man perfected without trials.”

– Chinese proverb

A man without a smiling face
 should not open a shop.”

– Chinese Proverb

Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”

– Helen Keller

You don’t go into a field that requires cracking people’s heads open or operating on something as delicate as the spinal cord unless you are comfortable with taking risks.”

– Dr. Ben Carson

When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make Me Feel Important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”

– Mary Kay Ash

Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”

– Basil King

Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There’s only make.”

– Corita Kent

You don’t love someone because of their looks or their clothes or their car. You love them because they sing a song only your heart can understand.”

– L.J. Smith

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

– Bruce Lee

No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it”

– Andrew Carnegie

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

– Eckhart Tolle

The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”

– Buddha

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”

– Alfred Adler

By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

– Sri Aurobindo

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