Sunday, September 28, 2008

Future forces affecting education

In a future trends of education discussion last Thursday, Dr. Joseph Pascarelli provided a Map of Future Forces Affecting Education, developed by KnowledgeWorks Foundation and the Institute for the Future (IFTF). The map is a forecast of forces that could affect learning in the next decade. The predictions are worth pondering for our future and how we should be changing the way we educate, manage, lead, and produce and market services and products.

I am using the map like this: If I believe the predictions within the map are true, how should education, management, leadership, and marketing change to adapt to these forces? For example, one prediction is that there is Community Value Networks. How do we make visible tangible and intangible assets (like knowledge, trust, reputation, loyalty) to create richer relationships of exchange? Addressing public education:

Lower network-coordination costs make it cost-effective to meet the needs and desires of “long-tail” niche markets in industries as diverse as music, health, and education. Numerous and diverse niche markets of learners become targets for all sorts of providers of learning experiences in the expanding learning economy (public, private, parochial, charter, home and other informal schools, and commercially based providers). Value network mapping becomes an important tool for tracking the exchange of tangible and intangible learning assets that flow between public schools and the rest of the learning economy. These exchanges create richer relationships between public schools and the community

Specifically, how does this change the way we provide higher education and Cooperative Extension education? Including and engaging community members, in both physical and online communities, to contribute in our educational efforts help learning spread more quickly and more effectively.

Other trends predicted are also provided. Pick one trend and reflect how that trend affects what you do.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Dialogue about the Future Trends in Education

Today, I attended a loosely formed group meeting that was called "Future Trends in Education Workshop and Think Tank." When Tony Cook suggested that I attend, I was glad to be part of discussion, but it was unclear what the meeting would be like and what would be discussed.

I supposed I was worried the meeting would be a waste of time. I was thinking it would be another meeting where people talk about how learning styles, environments and technologies are changing, but don't really propose any different methods or philosophies for the future. Often after a declaration of how trends are shaping our future, the discussion turns how to address the trends which includes methods that are only slightly improved over what we are currently doing. For instance, one might suggest providing education online in the same way we lecture in classrooms or placing supporting materials for classes in closed course management systems. These discussions clearly do not show an understanding of open, free flowing opportunities that we should be considering.

This meeting wasn't really a meeting at all. It was more like a series of conversations.

In today's dialogue which was led by Dr. Joseph Pascarelli, one of the questions (I rephrased it) was "If we believe that the Map of the Future Forces is the way life is changing, then how can we should education change?"

During the discussions, I wrote words that people said that described education for the future. They are not in any particular order or importance: diversity, access, inclusive, open, flexible, connected, across, collective, creative, responsive, change, ideas, shift, sustainable. (Note: Although the discussion centered around education, I believe these same changes affect management, leadership, marketing, and communications).

We also discussed (among other topics):

1. what we are about. We are part of a land-grant institution, thus we should be embracing methods, engagement, and open systems that provide education to our communities. We have the resources, thus why aren't we utilizing those resources, technologies, and opportunities that enrich the lives of others? (We do this some, but not broadly across the university.)

2. generating an environment where creative thinking can occur.

3. that we need to be responsive.

4, that we need to build creative systems.

Some interesting quotes during the meeting that I might ponder and possibly investigate later are:

"Most change happens because of a surprise, not because of a strategic plan."

"Make work more like fun."

"We're looking for opportunities to learn in a safe environment."

Most meetings have agendas that allow discussions, but the decisions are already somewhat formed. Instead dialogues should take place first. (Paraphrased)

Some sources shared during the meeting are:

Etiene Wenger Community of practice and social learning

Margaret Wheatley Listening as part of leadership

Fostering Learning in Networked World (NASA) pdf

Knowledge Works

Capra, F. Center of Ecoliteracy pdf

PeaceJam: A Billion Simple Acts of Peace

This meeting was not really a meeting, but was more like a conglomeration of discussions that happen during conferences in the hallways at break-time. We are planning to meet again and are careful not to have too much structure, but will continue the dialogue. I am looking forward to more reflection and discussions that hopefully will result in changes in approaches to education.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Developing your personal and professional reputation

Corinne Weisgerber, Public Relations Assistant Professor, St. Edwards University, created an excellent slideshow, Blogging and Managing Your Personal Brand.

Google is your new resume.

Tips include:

  • writing quality blog posts.
  • being relevant to a niche.
  • respecting what others have to say.
  • being straightforward about yourself.
  • staying engaged in the blogosphere.

 

Friday, September 5, 2008

TweetUp with Blood Drives and Help the Red Cross

Step up and help the Red Cross.

The local Red Cross (Lee County Red Cross) helped over 180 evacuees before and after Gustav threatened southern Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

With more storms coming, American Red Cross needs our help. They need donations of

In Auburn, AL, we are having an #AUTweetUp (not a meet up). Those Twitters in the Auburn, AL area are encouraged to:

1. Give blood at any of these locations:

Tuesday, September 9 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Auburn University New Student Union.

Wednesday, September 10; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Auburn University New Student Union.

Friday, September 12; 1-6 p.m. at Philly Connection, South College St., Auburn.

Tuesday, September 16; 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Lee County Justice Center on Gateway Drive in Opelika.

2. Tell others through Facebook, MySpace, in meetings, at church, and in classes to give blood.

3. Tweet using #AUTweetUp hashtag when you make the trip to donate blood.

4. Tweet when you are encouraging others to give blood.

5. Give a monetary donation to American Red Cross.

6. Plan to get training to volunteer for the Red Cross.

Not in Auburn, AL:

1. Find a blood drive near you or make an appointment to give blood during this next week.

2. Use Twitter to tell about it.

3. Give a monetary donation to American Red Cross.

4. Plan to get training to volunteer for the Red Cross.

Why you may ask that I am using this space to encourage your donations to the Red Cross?

After listening through Twitter to @leeoALredcross , CovCoRedCross, @RedCross, @JenniferRyan, and @jefferybiggs, I realize how much help the Red Cross needs and how very hard Red Cross staff work for the purpose of helping others.

I supposed Twitter has really helped me understand the importance of their work and develop a new respect for those leaders in the local and national level of this great organization.

In this weak economy and because Gustav was not as destructive as Katrina, Rita, and Andrew, people have not donated like they do when larger, more destructive storms hit our cities.

American Red Cross needs donations. From Washington Post, Hurricane Relief Efforts Create Red Cross Debt.

The American Red Cross said this morning it is going deep into debt to fund a $70 million Hurricane Gustav relief effort, an unusual occurrence even as the nation's biggest disaster-aid charity braces for a trio of powerful storms lurking in the Atlantic.

The Red Cross has raised less than $5 million toward its Gustav expenses, officials said. To recoup its Gustav cost -- most of it borrowed money -- the nonprofit organization plans to roll out an aggressive national campaign Monday.

Donate time, money, and blood to the Red Cross this week!

And, to Jennifer Ryan and Jeffery Biggs, keep up the good work.

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