• 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.

Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’”

– Brian Tracy

Who cares if my glass is half empty or half full; I still have something to drink.”

– Optimism rules

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., U.S. Supreme Court justice

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

– William Shakespeare

If it really was a no-brainer to make it on your own in business there’d be millions of no-brained, harebrained individuals quitting their day jobs.”

– Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice"

He who knows he has enough is rich.”

– Tao Te Ching

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

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”

– E.B. White

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

– Leon Joseph Suenens

As each woman realizes her power, she transforms the world.”

– Patrice Wynne, WomanSpirit Sourcebook

What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?”

– Jim Butcher, White Night

Inspiration and genius — one and the same.”

– Victor Hugo

The quality of your life is directly related to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.”

– Tony Robbins

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly,
 what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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

– Anais Nin

You must have chaos within you, to create a dancing star.”

– Frederic Nietzsche

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

– Dr. Evelyn Vogel, Dexter

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

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”

– Robert Frost

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

– Goldie Hawn

If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.”

– Joseph Addison

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

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

– Jesse Jackson

If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more.
 If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”

– Oprah Winfrey

Confidence is the most important thing you can teach someone… if you can teach them confidence, you don’t have to teach them anything else.”

– Vin Diesel

How do you stay resilient? It’s about momentum. Like riding a bicycle. If you stop you fall over. So I keep pedaling.”

– Diane Lane

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

– Charles Dickens

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams, for when dreams go, life is a barren field frozen with snow.”

– Langston Hughes

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

– Dalai Lama

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

– William James

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

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try going to sleep with a mosquito in your room.”

– A wisdomism

No longer talk at all about the kind of man a good man ought to be, but be such.”

– Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Everyone is a mirror image of yourself—your own thinking coming back at you.”

– Byron Katie

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

– Muhammad Yunus

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

– Alfred Adler

As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

– Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Destiny is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

– William Jennings Bryan

Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading.”

– Anita Roddick, founder, The Body Shop

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

– Gandi

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

– Hindu Proverb

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

– Uli Becker, president, Reebok International

Things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all.”

– Carlos Castaneda

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

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

– Charles Darwin

I can’t go back to yesterday—because I was a different person then.”

– Lewis Carroll

Are you willing to help other people succeed even when it’s not a requirement of your job to be of assistance?”

– Steven Schussler

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

Education is an admirable thing to have, but it is well to remember that nothing worth knowing can be taught.”

– Oscar Wilde

Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.”

– Woodrow Wilson

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