Some quick sketchnote captures at the the Apple Education Leadership Institute last week.
My favourite line of the event, for the way it drops the full weight of what we do on our shoulders: “…the way we design our classrooms today will ultimately define our future…”
More sketchnotes on my Pinterest page.
Software s eating the world, says a16z’s Ben Horowitz, yet you can’t get the innovation you need for your business from tier one software vendors. The reason, he explains, is that the VC/startup environment has fragmented the industry creating problems of proliferation, scale, viability and incompleteness.
I see the same thing in education. We’re searching for a new student information system and so far we’ve found no fewer than 17 offerings. Yet, despite the proliferation, they lack localization. Generally, education software from big vendors is too generic and the companies that make them assume all schools work the same, or at least they’re having to pitch to the widest possible market. This creates two problems:
On the other hand, software from smaller vendors, which tend to be more flexible, aren’t scaling. The education market is huge. Canadian school boards spend $53-billion and the US–get this–spends a staggering $1.3-trillion. Yet, there is no focussed allocation for the development of software that might improve business. Instead, education seems to wait to be handed software developed by someone else. If Horowitz is right and software is eating the world, this is a significant problem. It’s a bit head-n-the-sand.
Horowitz’s solution is to create a business that curates solutions for you. I wonder if a group of similar-thinking schools, which incidentally could be geographically widely distributed, couldn’t form a curator/brokerage of sorts–the International Baccalaureate schools come to mind as they are a large body of like minded schools with common pedagogy and curricula. Alas, budgets are held to high and need to be pushed down closer to the users–schools–before this can happen.
I don’t know how we get the money out of existing budgets to do this. I do know that the big change in education won’t come from the classroom use of technology. It will come from the administrative use of technology.
Last fall I was fortunate to attend a Andreessen Horowitz’s TechSummit 2013, a gathering of some very forward thinking people and companies, in Sausalito, California. I mean no slight to the excellent education conferences I’ve attended, but it was refreshing get outside my field and see what other professions are doing with technology.
I get that in education our “product” is different and we are not manufacturing or selling like the companies that came to the a16z Tech Summit. Nevertheless, I came away thinking that education is five to ten years behind in using technology strategically. We have so far spent our time and money on developing a pretty rich conversation around the classroom, or tactical, use of technology. But, however innovative that is, it hasn’t called on us to make any substantive change to the way we conduct our business. The big structures of education remain largely untouched whereas business is creating new models.
I am not suggesting education blindly adopt everything I saw at the Tech Summit. I do, however, find myself asking questions like, Could the GitHub model form a pedagogy? Tests give us the equivalent of transactional data–what would gain from having the same volume behavioural data that Facebook or Amazon have? What might a cloud-based continuous user experience look like in education? What does a mobile eco-system look like in education?
I’ll be posting my sketchnotes and questions over the next week or so. All the sketchnotes are also archived on my Pinterest board, Sketch Notes. Feedback is very welcome.
First up, some opening remarks from Ari Emanuel. The writer is king again, he says, and the channels for distributing his content are changing dramatically. My questions:
The how-to video I made for the Apple Distinguished Educator Global Institute in San Diego, July 2014.
A number of colleagues asked if they could use it in their classrooms–by all means! I have just two things to ask in return:
Here’s what my sketchnotes looked like when I first picked up Paper from @FiftyThree, tow years ago.
Here’s what I’m doodling these days
I’m sharing this for two reasons:
Oh, and if you were wondering how to draw mechanically speaking, get a copy of Mike Rohde’s, Sketchnote Handbook, Even without my troll I still certainly needed some instruction and Rohde’s book was the one I found most useful. I return to it often.
I get a lot of folks asking for how I make slide decks using @FiftyThree’s Paper app. Here it is, updated, with a better example after the how-to.
FiftyThree, the makers of the Paper app and Pencil stylus, shouted out to fans to create a list of what they carry. This stuff is always in my bag. Other bits, things like a paperback, laptop, or umbrella, come and go.
Richard Brereton, Sketch Books: the Hidden Art of Designers, Illustrators and Creators
is a a rare glimpse of how 42 of the world’s most exciting illustrators, artists and designers think and create. Alongside each visual entry is a short essay by its owner, detailing his or her relationship with keeping a sketchbook.
I turn to it and my other favourite, a 2013 read, the Detour Book, “a unique collection of more than 250 Moleskine notebooks,” whenever I find myself stuck on a blank page.