• 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.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

Your own words are the bricks and mortar
of the dreams you want to realize.
 The words you choose and their use establish the life you experience.”

– Sonia Croquette

When I was younger I thought success was being a star, driving nice cars, having groupies. But today I think the most important thing is to live your life with integrity.

– Ellen DeGeneres

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

– Anais Nin

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

– Marcel Proust

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

– Edward Bulwer Lytton

Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth. Tame the dragon and the gift is yours.”

– Noela Evans

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

– Martha Beck

A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges.”

– Carlos Castaneda

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

Traveling is one way of lengthening life, at least in appearance.”

– Benjamin Franklin

To follow, without halt, one aim: There’s the secret of success.”

– Anna Pavlova

Inspiration and genius — one and the same.”

– Victor Hugo

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

– Jesse Jackson

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

– Basil King

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

– Victor Kiam

Success is about finding a livelihood that brings joy, self-sufficiency, and a sense of contributing.”

– Anita Roddick

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

– Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

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

Entrepreneurs willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.”

– Victor Kiam

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. 
Now put foundations under them.”

– Henry David Thoreau

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

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

– Jim Butcher, White Night

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

– Muhammad Yunus

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

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

– Jimi Hendrix

Change is a math formula. Change happens when the cost of the status quo is greater than the risk of change.”

– Alan Webber, author, "Rules of Thumb"

If you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come.”

– Oprah Winfrey

Remove those ‘I want you to like me’ stickers from your forehead
and, instead, place them where they truly will do the most good—on your mirror.”

– Susan Jeffers

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.”

– Jalaluddin Rumi

The awakening to the mystery of life is a revolutionary event; in it an old world is destroyed so that a new and better one may take its place.”

– J.J. Van Der Leeuw, The Conquest of Illusion

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

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

– Leon Joseph Suenens

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

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

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

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

– Hindu Proverb

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

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.”

– Robert Fritz

There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.”

– Christopher Morley

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

– Lewis Carroll

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

– Chinese Proverb

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”

– JFK

Do one thing every day that scares you.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

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

– William James

I’m not afraid of storms,
for I’m learning to sail my ship.”

– Louisa May Alcott

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

– Arundhati Roy

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

– Corita Kent

Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity.”

– Ray Bradbury

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

– Groucho Marx

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

– Eve Ensler

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