What does a book on New Marketing, consumer communication, scarcity of attention, the book Think Better, individualized instruction, and YouTube have to do with education? They don't, but I really tried hard to find one.
Trend 8: Infinite Channels of Communication
The New Reality requires that you have great ideas. If you want to continue to attract students to your schools and your district your ideas and programs need to be good, interesting, or original. It is not enough to hope that your schools continue to get a steady stream of new students. Declining enrollment is a reality in many districts. Technology will allow for students and parents to learn everything there is to know about your school or district. But first they have to want to know about your school and your district. If your school or district has innovative programs and ideas in place, it is key that the marketplace of education knows about it. Technology will allow you to reach out to those who might be interested in your programs ideas. The key is to use the channels of communication to target the types of students and parents who would be interested in the programs you offer. You want to get to the people who care about what you are doing and offering. Without those people, you are just sending out white noise. Target your group. Channels of communication used correctly will help you be more specific in whom you target, and reach even more of those who care; those who want to know.
Trend 9: Direct Communication And Commerce Between Consumers and Consumers
Parents have power. Unions have power too. Imagine the power parents would have if they organized themselves like unions. The new reality is that technology is allowing for more direct communication between parents and students. Technology lowers the barriers to communication. Parents don’t have to be at the P.T.A meeting or on the school site council to organize and have a voice. Further, one individual and the right technology can do what formerly only groups of people could do. Namely, spread their voice and ideas about what is happening at your schools. Networks built this way can easily connect with networks at other schools, other districts, counties, or states. Direct communication is putting your parents and students in touch with their peers and allowing them to organize with almost no effort. So even apathetic parents and students can easily click to join the movement and add their voice to the discussion.
Trend 10: The Shifts In Scarcity And Abundance
The New Reality is that things once common are becoming scarce, while scare things are now becoming common. What used to be scarce was access to technology, information about you and your schools, and outside sources of teaching. What is now scarce is attention, spare time, trust, and cutting edge programs. In the old reality location mattered. In the new reality, learning can happen anywhere, so location does not matter to students. Spare time is scare, so learning that takes place on the student’s time table will become more available and students permitting themselves to locked into your will become scarce. Your new reality focus should be how to begin to eliminate distance and schedules and empower students, parents, and teachers to connect anywhere at anytime.
Trend 11: The Triumph of Big Ideas
According to Seth, “In factory-base organizations, little ideas are the key to success. Small improvements in efficiency or design can improve productivity…” The new reality demands of education something bigger. Tim Hurson, author of Think Better, describes this as Kaizen vs. Tenkaizen. Small improvements in what is currently done vs. totally new ideas of how to do things. Education has chosen to organize around the small idea. The new reality rewards organizations that organize themselves around new ideas. Big ideas. People are looking for the big idea. Think of online learning. That is a big idea. People are attracted to it. You don’t have to advertise it. The experience of learning from anyplace, at anytime, and at your own pace embeds the message of the idea into the experience. A big idea like this, pursued relentlessly is a giant killer.
Trend 12: The Shift From “How Many” To “Who”
Think of this as differentiated instruction in the new reality. This means bringing the right information or instruction, to the right person, who is focused on what you are teaching, at the right time. The new reality demands this sort of individualized instruction. Technology makes this possible.
Trend 13: The Wealthy Are Like Us
The gap between rich and poor continues to widen. Despite this gap, there are more wealthy people than ever before. The market for education that can be custom built for the individual student is going to arise. Why go to ordinary schools when you can get a custom built education suited to your exact needs, at your pace, and focused on your interests. The same technology and educational model that can deliver this to the wealthy will eventually be able to deliver it to all students. The wealthy and the poor can both benefit from the models and the practices that develop to meet the need of wealthy parents buying customized education.
Trend 14: New GateKeepers, No GateKeepers
YouTube can allow virtually anyone on the planet to make a movie with his or her message and share it with the world. They don’t need a movie studio or a distribution contract. All they need is an idea. Now, if anyone can spread a message to anyone else with ease, what makes you think that education, your school, or your district is in control or immune from that? Think of the power that your students could wield. They could reach out to the entire globe, share their ideas and thoughts about any subject (including you) and they don’t need you or a school to do that. The same technology that allows students to share ideas globally allows them to interact with teachers, tutors, and instructors from around the globe as well. They can learn from people all over the world without your permission, authorization, or control. They don’t need you to learn. Teaching is not the school or the districts private domain anymore. The students are going to bypass the educational gatekeepers.
How might you stand out in the market place of education? In what ways are you communicating your message to connect to potential students?
How might your school be impacted if parents and students organized through online networks? Might impact might this have on your school or district?
Would organized student or parents networks be a
partner or an advisory to your school or district? How might you engage
In what ways might your educational model change if you focused on learning, which can happen anywhere and anytime, as opposed to teaching in the classroom?
What might this look like at your school?
What big idea have you implemented lately? How would you change your approach to your educational model if you developed completely new ideas instead of making slight improvements to existing models?
What big idea would you implement? Who could help? Who else?
In what ways do you see technology being able to individualize to each students’ needs?
In what ways could models of education that wealthy students have access to be made available to all students? What sort of things might you adapt or modify?
If students don’t have to rely on the teacher in the classroom, how does this change your view of our current educational model? How might you adapt to a future educational model based on the Open Model of Education?