nextgenedu, next generation education, alternative learning, alternative learning programs near me, improving education, advanced education, education programs, education information, University level strategy, Technology in school, technology and curriculum development, Student motivation, alternative learning, early career discovery, tedx ocala keynote, education economy, keynote speaking, NextGen Education, Ocala, Florida

Ocala, Florida nextgenedu, next generation education, alternative learning, alternative learning programs near me, improving education, advanced education, education programs, education information, University level strategy, Technology in school, technology and curriculum development, Student motivation, alternative learning, early career discovery, tedx ocala keynote, education economy, keynote speaking,

Ocala, Florida nextgenedu, next generation education, alternative learning, alternative learning programs near me, improving education, advanced education, education programs, education information, University level strategy, Technology in school, technology and curriculum development, Student motivation, alternative learning, early career discovery, tedx ocala keynote, education economy, keynote speaking,

We work at the President and Provost Level to help universities adapt to the rapidly changing landscape driven by technology.

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Technology and Curriculum Development

Student Motivation and Learning Styles


Early Career Discovery


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The current education system was built with the economics of the 19th century but has many failings when applied for the 21st century. In this talk, we discuss the fundamental economic drivers for today's educational system as well as two very important actions required to bring it into the 21st century...

Article Database


Public Articles
Sir Ken Robinson was right, schools do kill creativity, but actually he missed the point. (1/3)
Teaching the Student instead of the Subject ... is this the wave of the future? (2/3)
Impediments to Progress in revolutionizing education, why Clayton Christensen was right! (3/3)

Private Articles (Contact Us for Content)
The critical role of teachers in online education? Dealing with the realities of a new model
Teacher as craftsman, the central dysfunction in the educational system
Chatbots, another powerful tool in the online education arsenal
Decomposing and rearranging the education value stack --- It's not about the content
What can linux teach us about managing instruction materials?
Changing the quantum model for online STEM education
Why is STEM conspicuously missing from the online university marketplace?
Industry and University STEM education: Two ships passing in the night, unaware, no leverage
Do we need more coaches as opposed to teachers? Applying the learning from athletics to the academic world
Career discovery: The black hole in the education system..leveraging the true power of internships
Middle schools: Don't focus on teaching algebra..focus on diagnosing the student's learning process
Grades: does it make sense to pay someone to filter you out of your own future?
The modern teacher: Longshoreman or transportation engineer?
The advantage of market forces in education

Impediments to Progress (3/3)

(12/11/2017) “The future has a way of arriving unannounced.”~ George Will As we mentioned in our last article, self-paced flexible model for instruction is eminently possible with today’s internet technology. In fact, schools such as FLVS and private companies such as lynda, have shown the viability of this approach. However, the vast majority of the educational establishment have not changed, but rather are offering a less flexible model at a higher price. What are the impediments to progress?The reasons are many, but the fundamental issue has been the teacher as craftsman model which is the religion in this marketplace. With this model, the issues manifest themselves in two major ways... incentives and local decision making.Teachers, like all human beings, are resistant to change. For most veteran teachers, the incremental cost of teaching a class the same way next year is fairly low. However, teaching the class in a new manner is a large incremental cost. Thus, there is no incentive to make this investment at the local level. This is despite the fact that the investment has huge leverage at the global level. At the university level (especially major research universities), all the incentives reward progress in research, so there is very little incentive to invest in the teaching model.Beyond the core human issues, all the institutional structures reinforce the current structures. These include: Teacher Unions: It is very hard to innovate when the basic definitions of what it means to be a teacher may be quite different. This is not to say unions are good or bad. However, by its very nature, they are optimizing the past processes.Funding Sources: Whether it is local school board or the federal government, nearly all the current funding sources are based on concepts such as course hours (not competence) and semesters (based on an outdated agrarian calendar). Even when work has been done in the area of online course development, the results have been limited due to the fundamentals of the teacher as craftsman model. Nearly all the courses follow the classroom+ model. In this model, instructor lessons are recorded and then with the aid of a production team, the result is enabled online. The approach has some value, but since the course content is driven by the craftsman instructor, the core characteristics of instructor IP do not exist. These courses are not easy to improve and since the instructor is often seen as the owner, collaboration is difficult. This leaves a situation where online courses are often more expensive to deliver vs their physical counterparts. As an example, the state of florida has invested in over 17 calculus one online classes in the university system.MIT has been unique in offering license-free opensource versions of their course materials. The level of course ip development is variable, but this core could be used as a basis for a broader strategy on IP development. MIT (with a small number of other schools) is building interesting monetization models based on leveraging their IP assets with online degrees (mini-masters).Overall there is need to shift away from the teacher as craftsmen model, the inclusion of collaboration structures, and the inclusion of professionalization of instruction development. Given the existing structures, it seems very unlikely that the current institutions will be able to offer such a radical shift in the working model. As discussed in the work by Clayton Christensen, the disruptive model likely will come outside of the current institutional structure. It will come from organizations which do not suffer the same institutional biases.Florida Poly Unique Solution: Accelerate Learning: Open Source with seeding from MITVirtual Labs from Cadence DesignMarketplace for ratings/reviewsHighly Modular Classes with sophisticated meta-dataConsortium partnerships with major players: MicrosoftIBMGates/Vulcan Cygnus monetization modelFederal Government connection with Tim Kaine’s education model Radically improve learning!Lifelong Learning!User Friendly Engagement Model!Previous Article .pull-right{text-align: right; font-size: 22px; margin-bottom: 10px; display: block;}.Article-btn{font-size: 22px; padding: 10px 18px; width: 200px; display: block; margin: 20px auto; color: #FFF; text-align: center; background-color: #EE3623; text-decoration: none;}.Article-btn:hover{-webkit-animation: jello-horizontal 0.9s both; animation: jello-horizontal 0.9s both; text-decoration: none; color: #FFF;}.Blog-fix p, .Blog-fix ul, .Blog-fix li, .Blog-fix ol{font-size: 17px; 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Teaching the Student instead of the Subject...

(12/11/2017) “In kindergarten, we teach the child, while in high school, they teach the subject,” Julie Young, founder of the Florida virtual school. In our first article, we explored the economic underpinnings of the current educational system, and concluded that it was built on the fundamental premise that there is scarcity relative to the instructor/classroom. Now we consider the circumstance where the real cost of access to instruction and classroom can be dramatically reduced!The amazing fact is that with the advent of the technology both of these fundamental premises can be radically improved through the use of the internet and software technology. How? Instruction: Instruction with assessment can be captured in machine readable/executable form and delivered in a scalable manner.Classroom: The classroom can be moved from the physical to the virtual. The implications of this shift are profound because now the model can be moved from one with a focus on the instructor/school to a model where the student is at the center.Note: This shift is analogous to the well known shift in retail. The old retail world consisted of hiring sales personnel who worked at certain hours of operation and a physical retail distribution location. The new world consists of 24x7 delivery of sales services (ecommerce) by computers, no need for physical retail distribution, and a much more efficient warehouse delivery structure. The result for the consumer is much better convenience as well as the availability of an infinite variety of goods. Chart 2: Student Centric Model This model removes the significant shackles imposed by the previous model, and enables a new world with several interesting properties.Self Paced, Emersion and Competency Based Education:With the new model, students can consume information at their own pace. Further, they can go back and forward as required to enhance their understanding and can declare success only when they have reached competency in the subject matter. The emersion process which is so beneficial for the STEM fields can be easily employed in this structure.The current teacher/classroom structure simply cannot deliver this level of flexibility. In this model, every student is potentially in a different place in the curriculum. The load relative to instruction can be vary wildly, so resource planning is very difficult. However, with investments in technology infrastructure and instruction IP, the newer model is quite scalable.Differentiation and Career Discovery:As discussed in the last article, building differentiation and enabling the process of career discovery is very important. Without the shackles of physical space and time, it is much much easier for students to engage with the learning process while engaged with the “real” world. In addition, with computers servicing large parts of the instruction process, it is possible to significantly broaden the curriculum. The combination of a broader curriculum and student flexibility become the core pillars to build differentiation and accelerate career discovery.Note, while 9-12 and undergraduate education do a poor job on these fronts, commercial companies (lynda.com, courcia) as well as training programs from vendors (Cadence, Matlab) already offer this capability for adults.Instructor Leverage and Improving IP:By looking at instruction content as active intellectual property (much like software), instructor capabilities can be captured and improved over time. Further, one can easily build communities around subject matters where incremental contributions can be made to dramatically improve the work product over time. Chart 3: Instruction Engagement Models The result of this work is that instructor time can be highly leveraged and a new model for instructor engagement can be developed.At one extreme is a highly automated engagement model with extremely good scaling characteristics. However, this model introduces some additional issues around student identity validation as well as more personalized support for the student. The other extreme consists of a highly engaged teaching model which uses technology to maximize the touch-time between student/teacher.The spectrum of these models is well understood in the software community with open-source systems such as linux. In these environments, the core IP is available at very low cost and has high scalability, but companies such as red-hat use the IP as a basis for building a high-touch service business. There is no reason that education cannot follow the same business models.In summary, in the industrial age, whether a person succeeded was highly dependent on whether the school system taught them to do the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. With these basics, the whole world of books (the IP repository of the day) was available, and a positive trajectory was possible. Today, we are getting very close to the point where whether a person succeeds is highly dependent on their ability to engage the resources of the internet to drive self-directed learning, and if they can do so, their ability to succeed is highly enhanced. What is stopping this world from coming to reality?To be fair, there are shining examples of success. In the K-12 arena, FLVS is a shining example of an alternative model, and in the university setting, Western Governors University provides a similarly interesting offering. With these institutions, they have shown: Professionalization of the generation of Classroom Instruction IP can be done with some investment.Assessment can be automated and then linked with teacher connection at higher service levels.Laboratory engagement can be largely virtualized or use commonly available capabilities (such as a typical kitchen or shop).Technology can manage a population of students at different places in the curriculum However, the vast majority of high school and university programs are stuck in neutral. Professors and teachers are very smart, but as we will discuss in our next article, some fundamental structural issues prevent progress from existing structure.Previous Article Next Article .Article-btn{font-size: 22px; padding: 10px 18px; width: 200px; display: block; margin: 20px auto; color: #FFF; text-align: center; background-color: #EE3623; text-decoration: none;}.Article-btn:hover{-webkit-animation: jello-horizontal 0.9s both; animation: jello-horizontal 0.9s both; text-decoration: none; color: #FFF;}.Blog-fix p, .Blog-fix ul, .Blog-fix li, .Blog-fix ol{font-size: 17px; font-family: 'Cabin', sans-serif; padding-bottom: 15px;}.Blog-fix ol, .Blog-fix ul{padding-left: 30px;}.Blog-fix h1, .Blog-fix h2, .Blog-fix h3{font-family: 'Questrial', sans-serif; padding-bottom: 15px;}.Blog-fix h1{font-size: 36px;}.Blog-fix h2{font-size: 32px;}.Blog-fix h3{font-size: 25px;}.Blog-fix img{width: 480px; margin: 15px auto; display: block;}.text-center{text-align: center;}/*----------------------------Animation--------------------------------*/ @-webkit-keyframes rotate-vert-center{0%{-webkit-transform: rotateY(0); 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Sir Ken Robinson was right, schools do kill...

(12/07/2017) In his famous Ted Talk, Sir Ken Robinson indited the current school system with the provocative title “Do schools kill creativity?” In a very entertaining manner, he outlined the failings of the current system especially in terms of the creative arts. His thesis was that the current system was set up to service the industrial age, and just will not be sufficient for the information age. He offered no practical solution for how to effect this change in a scalable manner. Chart1: Scarcity and the current educational system Sir Ken Robinson was certainly right about the symptoms, but one wonders if he missed the core cause of these symptoms. Our assessment is that the core cause are the economic underpinnings of the current system. In a series of articles, we will outline The economic underpinnings for the current system and impact on the student.The outlines for a solution to make progress.The significant structural issues to reforming the current system.Initial steps one could take to start making progress. It's about scarcity The current educational system is built deeply with the idea there are two scarce resources which must be optimized. These are the instructor (the knowledge bearer) and the classroom (the place where knowledge is transferred). The vast majority of educational institutions are built with the above structure. Further, as one proceeds up the academic ladder, scarcity rises. Chart one shows the model, and one must make the point that for hundreds of years..THIS SCARCITY WAS REALITY!The industrial response to this scarcity was to build a system with the teacher/classroom at the center and a series of processes to optimize cost, learning, and utilization while students (the widgets in this model) are marched through an assembly-line process by the teacher/classroom. In this model, learning occurs via osmosis and is highly correlated with the effectiveness of the teacher/student engagement. This has led to a structure of the teacher as “craftsmen.” Chart two shows some aspects of this model in a visual manner.To be fair, this model has been a massive success in raising the general education level of millions (if not billions) of people. Having said this, the system is highly bureaucratic and unlike all other parts of the economy with craftsmen at the center, there has been very little professional automation within teaching. Finally and most importantly, the negative consequences of this system for the student are significant. Chart 2: Instructor/Classroom Centered Model Basic inefficiencies in the teaching process: Given that the fundamental model is one based on a craftsmen, the infrastructure support provided to teachers is very limited. Thus, teachers are forced to build large parts of instruction Intellectual Property (IP) and once they get something working, they are very reluctant to change. In other fields ranging from retail, services, product development, industries have moved away from the “craftsman” model with a focus on repeatable high quality processes based on the development and deployment of intellectual property.The current system for education is missing key pieces which are readily used a number of other industries. These include:IP capture/reuse/improvement:Today, across the world, teachers build and deliver lessons on a massive scale. At the point the lesson is delivered, it is lost. That is, it is not captured in any mechanical way. This means that students do not have access to the content other than at exactly the time it was uttered. This also means that this IP cannot be reused and most importantly cannot be improved over time.The only real IP capture and reuse mechanism is the textbook and in limited cases, the recording of a lecturer delivering a lesson. Further, specialization and separation of tasks is the cornerstone of a capitalist system for raising productivity and quality. However, these concepts have not injected themselves in the area of instruction IP. If instruction IP was a product, copy writers, editors, and graphic artists would be involved.With today's technology underpinning, there is a ready ability to build engaging content with built-in assessment, but for the most part, this is not the focus of the current education complex.Broader marketplace to share IP:Beyond conventional textbooks, there is a need to build marketplaces which allow for the exchange of instructional IP and further allow for contributions/collaborations to improve this IP over time. All the technologies to enable this process exist today, and in fact have been used extensively in the field of open-source software. There is enormous inefficiency currently in the system which can be used more productively with a coherent IP strategy for instructional materials.Finally, it should be pointed out, the vast majority of classes taught in high-school and early college are “commodity.” Thus, there is really no need for hundreds to thousands of variations based on instructor personalization. The personalization should very much be driven by student learning styles not teachers delivery styles.Standardization of engagement model for the students/parents:Because of the craftsmen model for teaching, each teacher builds their own engagement strategy. The net effect for students and parents is the management of the varying styles of teachers. In fact, we would not tolerate this from any large institution. Imagine that your basic processes for banking were different based on the teller with which you engaged. We know of students who have to manage 17 unique accounts for one semester's worth of work in a high school environment.In fact, technology has made this worse. Teachers use technology in a varying manner and often use different applications. The result: huge complexity for the students in remembering and managing the wide variety of applications. There is a real need to standardize the engagement model for the student and parents. It is not clear why districts, states, and even the federal government do not focus on some level of standardization of these tasks.All three of the above are the impact of the “craftsmen” model for teaching. They create enormous costs/wasted motion in the system for no particular benefit. A simple evolutionary process would be to employ technology wisely to take costs out of the system such that teaching effectiveness can be improved.Impact on students: Relative to the student, the current model does have its costs and consequences well beyond the evolutionary issues mentioned above. These include flexibility, differentiation, and a fairly contrived use of assessment in the current grading systems.Flexibility:Because the student is the widget in a series of grades/tracks, the student MUST consume the information at the rate as well as timeframe provided by the education machine. This lack of flexibility causes enormous issues relative to the student. These include: Banked Learning: Students who can move at a faster pace are underutilized/generally bored.Students who need more time to absorb the concepts are penalized in a recurring fashion in a race to catchup or fail. Imprisoned in Time/Space: Students who function badly in early mornings (medically documented for teenagers) or mid-afternoons are forced (in fact they are imprisoned in k-12 education), to endure the lectures at times of low attentiveness.Multiple Shallow Distributed Classes: In order to ease planning for workforce/facilities, students are asked to carry 5-6 classes, over a semester or year. Thus, Immersive learning is minimizedscheduling and program management skills are over emphasised. In fact, schools (typically unknowingly) transfer the complexity of load management to the student/parent. Limitations on learning time to 8-3 in the non-summer months. Since the objective of the whole educational system is to promote learning, the only good which comes from this lack of flexibility is to build an economically viable delivery system. As we mentioned, this is entirely justifiable as long as the core tenets of scarcity are in fact true, but there are significant costs for the student/society.Differentiation and Societal Segregation:Read any luminary in the area of career development (example: Reed Hoffman, the founder of linkedin), they will focus on the point that everyone needs to build differentiation (a personal brand) in an area which can be economically valuable to society.Without explicitly intending to do so, the current k-12 educational system actively discourages building differentiation. The classes and curriculum are largely banked based on the realities of the delivery system. Interesting classes outside the realm of the conventional cannot be considered given the commitments to the teachers and limitations of bringing the teachers into the classroom. The limitations driven by physical proximity and the cost of delivery force the offering of only classes which have mass appeal.All of this creates the comic situation that students are pushed through a largely uniform k-12 education system to be asked near the end by colleges... so “How are you different ?” A good subject for a “far-side” cartoon.In terms of building something which is economically viable to others, the current k-12 system explicitly makes this task almost impossible. Students are physically imprisoned (they cannot leave) and segregated from society. Near the end of their k-12 term, they are asked.. So what do you want to do with your life ? At its core, it is nonsensical because of the circumstances, yet this is the current structure of the educational system.As historians say, it is not fair to judge the historical figures of the past based on today’s norms, and so the current educational system can really only be judged on the problems it was solving. However, with that caveat, solving the problems of differentiation and career discovery earlier would have enormous positive consequences for students as well as for society.Grading Systems:Finally, assessment is key part of learning especially when provided close to the learning process. Also, certification of competence is also an important concept. However, the current grading/transcript paradigm was actually built for an entirely different purpose.. filtering. Since scarcity rises with educational capability, the current grading systems are built to provide mechanisms for filtering between students. This is why they often reward speed of learning or measure irrelevant intermediate assessment points as opposed to the competence at the end of the class. Given the current view on scarcity, this is perfectly reasonable. However, it does lead to some nonsensical situations.In the current situation, parents pay taxes (or tuition) to schools to teach their children and if the student/teacher do not succeed in reaching the required capability, the student is given a “bad grade.” The only purpose of this bad grade is future filtering. One would have to think hard to find other situations where the buyer pays for a service which filters them out of their own future.Further, what exactly is the economic value of this bad grade? What exactly does a “d” in Calculus say? The student did not master the material.. Yes..was it a matter of time frame? was it the teacher/student combination? was it the program management on the assignments? Finally, and most importantly, what does the student do with this grade ? An incomplete seems to be much more reasonable and accurate status of the situation.One wonders if a simpler capability-based model would be better for all involved.Getting back to the fundamentals .... If instructors/class are indeed scarce, the current system is a perfectly reasonable response, and it has indeed existed for hundreds of years. The result is a “quantum educational model.” Because of resource/cost issues, a great deal of energy is required to move in/out of the system. Whether it is the move from high school to college, college to the work environment, or back-to-school retraining, the moves require high energy and cost.Can this situation be changed ? What if the basic underpinnings of the model are significantly changed. Imagine if the real cost of access to instruction to classroom and world-class instruction is radically reduced ! The impact would be profound in terms of the current educational system, but also the access to education throughout a lifetime. 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