What passes today as innovation is really pretty trivial. That’s the view of Robert Gordon, noted macroeconomist and Stanley G. Harris Professor of Social Sciences at Northwestern University. And he uses 784 pages in a book published last month entitled "The Rise and Fall of American Growth" to make his case.
Success is driven not only by what you know, but by what you can do with what you know. It is more important than ever that we equip our students with the knowledge and skills to solve tough challenges, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of complex information. We, the nation and the world face complex problems that can be solved with the right information, the right skills, and the right collaboration abilities.
Skills in technology, in particular, once confined to people with job titles like computer programmer, software developer or network administrator, are now all but ubiquitous across today's economy. Workers need more knowledge and skills than ever before -- in all areas of STEM, not just technology. We have a responsibility to give young people a strong foundation in these fields as early as possible, so that they can pursue whatever career options are most appealing to them.
Davos is wrapping up today on issues of peace and security. As we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution and with technological innovation moving at high speed, we are soon going to be facing new realities that we cannot even envisage. This means challenges for governments, business and for society as a whole. We need to keep up with the ever-increasing speed of change and redefine our policy frameworks and the legal agreements that govern the use of new technologies, particularly in warfare.
What should be the place of educational technology (edtech) in the wider higher ed conversation? As we look to 2016, where should the edtech profession direct its focus? I’d like to make 3 arguments for those of us working at the intersection of learning and technology to widen our perspectives, and to perhaps shift our focus to the bigger questions faced by the higher ed.
Watch out! Robots are coming for your jobs! Soon, there will be no more work for humans! Or so say the techno-doomsayers. From prominent economists such as Paul Krugman and Larry Summers to leading academics such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, the prevailing view seems to be that the current wave of rapid technology innovation and widespread automation is unlike anything that has ever occurred before, and it is bound to destroy jobs for human workers faster than we can possibly create new ones.
It was Thomas Edison who said, “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 things that won’t work.” Yet, particularly in the social sector (including the public sector, NGOs and philanthropy) there has been either a reluctance to risk experiments that could fail and certainly more so, a reluctance to share failures with one another, and for good reason. Often on the occasions when government or nonprofits have experimented with new alternatives in service delivery or programmatic efforts, those that fail often become labeled as “waste, fraud and abuse” — which certainly does not encourage mor
Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt, Rupert Murdoch, and now Mark Zuckerberg have all announced their solutions to what's wrong with public schools. And they all support companies that promise to fix these schools. They are clever folks who know how to program computers, market products, entertain, advertise and make money. But they don't necessarily know to educate effective and responsible citizens. Why should we trust these rich Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to influence educational policy?
Pessimists believe that the United States has peaked as a superpower and is falling behind in education, research and development, and economic growth. They say the country’s best days are behind it. Fortunately, they are wrong. Not only is the United States leading a technology revolution that will help solve the grand challenges of humanity—problems such as disease, hunger and shortages of energy and clean water—it is increasing its lead on the rest of the world. By combining its entrepreneurial strengths with its creativity, it is reinventing itself once again.
"Innovation" and "improvement" are two buzzwords that are constantly bantered about in today's business discussions. However, they are also two of the most critical elements in our public school system. And, just like the latest changes in our smart phones, it is not so much about what we see on the outside of our neighborhood school that matters, it is what is happening on the inside that counts.