• 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.

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”

– Leon Joseph Suenens

My task is really not to change myself but to become familiar with who I am.”

– Maureen Cook

Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

– William Butler Yeats

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

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

A lot of people have ideas, but few decide to do something about them now. Not next week. But today.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Atari

The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go or run you right out of business.”

– Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice"

Don’t follow, lead. Don’t copy, create. Don’t start, finish. Don’t sit still, move. Don’t fit in, stand out. Don’t sit quietly, speak up. (Not all the time, sure, but more often.)”

– Seth Godin

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

– Andrew Carnegie

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

– Dr. Evelyn Vogel, Dexter

Never never never never give up.”

– Winston Churchill

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

– William Shakespeare

We never know how high we are
 till we are called to rise;
 And then, if we are true to plan,
 Our statures touch the skies.”

– Emily Dickinson

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

– Charles Darwin

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

– Dalai Lama

History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.”

– John F. Kennedy

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

A truly forgiving person is someone who experiences all the anger merited by injustice and still acts with fairness and compassion.”

– Martha Beck

The best reason to start an organization is to create a product or service to make the world a better place.”

– Guy Kawasaki

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

– Chinese proverb

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

Remember that it’s okay to ask for help when you’re stumped, because sometimes you really can’t be expected to handle everything alone.”

– Martha Beck

When I dare to be powerful—to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

– Audre Lorde

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”

– Charles R. Swindoll

The only dream worth having is to live while you’re alive and die only when you’re dead.”

– Arundhati Roy

Treat the attainment of happiness in the same way an entrepreneur would approach building a business — with a vision, plan, goals, and a systematic approach.”

– Ted Leonsis

Don’t wait for someone else to lead you to your right life; that privilege—and responsibility—is yours alone.”

– Martha Beck

If you were independently wealthy and never had to work a day in your life, would you still choose to spend your time attempting to become a successful entrepreneur?”

– Steven Schussler

I have spent a good part of my life convincing people that a blank sheet of paper is the greatest opportunity in the world, and not frightening at all.”

– Marty Skler, executive vp, Walt Disney Imagineering

My job is my hobby. I come to work to play.”

– Uli Becker, president, Reebok International

Tolerance and patience should not be read as signs of weakness. They are signs of strength.”

– The Dalai Lama

Do not be afraid of mistakes, providing you do not make the same one twice.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Inspiration and genius — one and the same.”

– Victor Hugo

Part of your destiny is to live in the zone of maximum satisfaction.”

– Martha Beck

Women once had the goal of being Superwoman; I think most of us now simply strive to have a super day.”

– Author, Activist Lee Woodruff

You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it.”

– Goldie Hawn

‎The biggest flaw in our existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature.”

– Muhammad Yunus

Almost anyone can start a community, but it takes real talent and commitment to get people to show up and keep coming back.”

– Andy Sernovitz

4oz tequila + 1oz TripleSec + 2oz lime juice + 1oz simple syrup (sugar=water), 1 cup crushed ice. Shake + dance around the kitchen.

– Avenida Margarita

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

– Thomas Edison

Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.”

– Gandi

‎No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”

– Charles Dickens

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

– T.S. Eliot

The dove descending breaks the air / With flame of inkandescent terror.”

– T.S. Eliott

A diamond is a lump of coal that stuck with it.”

– Norwegian proverb

The fixity of a habit is generally in direct proportion to its absurdity.”

– Marcel Proust

A people who mean to be their Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

– James Madison

You’ve got to be willing to crash and burn. If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.”

– Steve Jobs

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