Project Based World

The world today has become project based. Like students doing project based learning, where they learn by doing the project not learn then do a project, businesses and institutions around the world are starting to launch new products and new systems in order to learn rather than during their learning and research just in order to launch new products and systems. 

I think that leading schools get this and are launching prototype programs in full light of the public. So what if an idea only lasts a year? Maybe all programs should. With meaningful reflection and iteration driving regular refreshes, why not? Seriously, I'm really asking this. With the right communication of philosophy and transparent sharing of learning, this practice has potential to be a powerful source of inspiration and learning for the community.

What's holding us back? 

Is augmentation somehow inauthentic? AKA Stop teaching for a deserted island.

I really think we need to stop teaching for the deserted islands of the world. If a field of study requires detailed instructions, formulas, or other information, then practitioners in the "real world" either remember what's necessary b/c they use it all the time or they look it up. How many of these practitioners, were they stuck on a deserted island, would be called upon to use what they have to look up?

Our brains are augmented now. This fact and trend is probably not going to reverse. If it does, we'll revert if we have to. We'll adapt. Are we who are trapped in the inertia of traditional educational over-stressing the value of what unaugmented brains can do because we aren't sure how to assess the information universe our students have at their finger(thumb)tips to tap into? Are our trusted systems only designed to assess quanta (what can be known), not actions (what can be done)?

Is this powering the slow but steady transition toward things like mastery-based learning and assessment tasks? Is it competency-based? How about portfolio-based? 

I just have a bunch of questions tonight. All answers (and additional questions) welcome.

Ready for EduCon 2.8

I consider myself quite lucky to be in Philadelphia celebrating my 4th EduCon tonight. Right now, I'm enjoying the familiar Thursday night excitement from the anticipation of something I know is coming, but I'm unsure of its form. My mind will be blown I've no doubt, I'm just not sure how or by what yet.  

I'm also lucky because I'm joined by 3 colleagues who are also open-minded and ready to be inspired, to share, and to steal with the best of intentions. All three are just coming off an intense month of Immersion, a "J Term"-like time at MVS where they've led special, full-time programs. And I mean "just" coming off: all three wrapped their programs at 3:30 this afternoon and left for the airport at 4. I know, right?! That's some seriously inspiring dedication to the craft. They're each actively searching for better answers (and better questions) and are forgoing any downtime between Immersion and the start of spring term bright and early on Monday morning. 

So here's to the SLA community, Chris and Diana and all the other adults and adolescents that have worked harder than we deserve and give us their school every year. Here's to the attendees giving up their time to spend a bit of winter in Philadelphia to make the world a better place. Here's to trusting serendipity and jumping in with both feet. Tonight's dinner came with a fortune cookie advising us to "embrace change, don't battle it." How 'bout we do one better and chase it?