Catching up on great blogs and reads over the weekend. Here are links about innovation, revolution, creational thinking, and customer service that all pertain to how we need to upgrade what we do tomorrow from what we are doing today:
Catherine Constaninides describes a “customer-centric” environment that increases how we interact with our clients to keep us more connected, engaged, and responsive to those who pay the bills. In schools we are just getting around to shifting from teacher-centric to a student-centric model; we need to understand that students are clients as well as learners.
Project Connect at the Asheville School presented at the Lovett School ASI 2012 to rave reviews. They are finding the true frontier of student learning in combining insights and knowledge from disparate disciplines that allow for truly creational thinking. This is the goal I sought when I wrote The Falconer, based in large part on Herman Hesse’s Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game, and the work of Bach who used math to help create the most stunning music the world has ever heard. As I write in The Falconer, it is by filling in the gaps between what we do know that we all can contribute to the sum of the human experience. This is where students will find their passions and Asheville is leading in fascinating directions!
Jason Snell reviews the discussion between Stanford’s John Hennesey and Khan Academy’s Salman Khan about the future of online learning at the college level. Clearly this is evolving at a stratospheric pace. Since much of what K-12 education is about is preparation for college, we have to deal with a horizon that is shifting in real time. The only way to do that is to get rid of rigid, static goals and evolve in a dramatically more fluid construct. This unknowable future may be the piece that explodes traditional schools as we know them, the end of the industrial age model. We can’t design for a future that will not stand still; we have to evolve to it.
Finally, I may be the last educator in the country to read “The Thread That Runs So True” by Jesse Stuart, the incredible story of teachers and education in rural Kentucky during the Depression years. The passion and stories are as true today as when he wrote them, yet once again we are reminded that sometimes our troubles pale in comparison to those of our predecessors. We all stand on the shoulders of giants. If by chance you have not read this, whether your business is education or not, it is a wonderful summer read.