52 Notes & Quotes from the Education Innovation Summit

Reflecting on the many great ideas, conversations, and experiences at the 2013 Education Innovation Summit, I winnowed things down to the 52 quotes and notes that I intend to think about over the upcoming weeks.  For those of you who were there, please add some of your own favorites in the comment section. For the rest of you, feel free to share your ideas as well.  I should state that I didn’t take notes during the last evening, and there were other times when the batteries were running low on my devices.  So, there are still large gaps, especially when it comes to the companies that most impressed me.  Stay tuned for my top ten…or twenty favorite companies/products in a forthcoming post.  By the way, if I had taken notes during the closing events (aside from one 30-45 minute presentation that will remain unnamed), this might be the 150 Notes and Quotes.  Nonetheless, there is plenty to consider in this shorter list.

1) Do you you innovate in a learning organization that is steeped with tradition?  You do it by bringing in wave after wave after wave of innovation. – paraphrase from Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University

2)  There are three types of educational institutions in the United States.  The first is the academically or socially elite.  Innovation is less necessary in these institutions.  The second is the industrial age educational institution that keep tring the same things over and over, hoping for different…better results.  This second group resists innovation and needs exemplars to help them see the alternatives…the possibilities.  The third type of educational institution consists of the innovator, those who are “breaking from the pack.”  This third group wants to talk with the type of people at the Education Innovation Summit. – Notes from presentation by Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University

3) You can’t have a successful world class University without faculty doing discovery and scholarship. They are not going to be replaced, but they are going to be enhanced.  – paraphrase from Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University

4) People talk about the education market at if it doesn’t have segments.  It has many segments and our comments, research, products, services, interventions, and plans must take this into account if we are going to improve access, opportunity and learning for students.  – repeated by multiple speakers at the conference

5) “Technology already changed learning.  We just didn’t notice.”

6) “The macro change in learning is the fact that every student can learn directly in the digital education.”  The question for schools is, “What do we do about that?”  HOw do we adapt

7) What happens when students show up with their own learning?  What happens then, when they come with these new credentials and deep learning experiences? How does the role of the teacher change in such a learning environment?

8) It isn’t necessarily that teachers are fearful of being replaced by devices.  Many are seeing the changes (computer-based instruction, online learning, etc.) and they are fearful of losing the experience that they go into teaching for in the first place.

9) “Vision without execution is hallucination” – Steve Case

10) “Invest in people and organizations that will change the world.” – Steve Case’s venture capital mission

11) “Ultimately, talent is the key to building any company” – Steve Case

12) “You really need to believe that you are on to something important.” – Steve Case

13) Education innovation is at the bottom of the first or the top of the second inning. – Case

14) There are lots of educational technology innovations off campus, but we need to remember those on campus – give them personalized, adaptive, lower cost, more convenient, better learning experiences – paraphrase from Steve Case

15) There are three different kinds of edtech companies.  There are tool companies, product companies, and platform companies.  We need more platform companies.  The tool companies will switch to being platforms or get acquired. – paraphrase from Steve Case

16) Error on the side of putting more resources on where things are going.  However, remember that there is a danger of going too quickly to a new model before the education market is ready for it. -paraphrase from Steve Case

17) You have to lean into the future and realize that most of the smart people don’t work for your company…so you need to partner, network, acquire… – paraphrase from Steve Case

18) “Most revolutions end with the people still oppressed by the same or a different cruel master.” – Unknown – We need to remember this when we are innovating in education. -paraphrase from Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary at U.S. Department of Education

19) Why do educational innovations fail?  There are three common reasons.  The first is a failure of knowledge.  We don’t know or we don’t use what we know. The second is a failure of design & engineering.  Unfortunately, education products are very often much more kludgy than products in other industries.  We need to change this.  the third is a failure of adoption.  Few or no people actually use it. -notes from Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary at U.S. Department of Education

20) When it comes to educational improvements, we need to remember that it is about the ecosystem. In order for us to get it to work, lots of other things need to happen. Many different things in the ecosystem needs to come together. The ecosystem has worked to thwart innovation in education today. -paraphrase from Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary at U.S. Department of Education

21) We still have infrastructure limitations in schools.  We need “ubiquitous and affordable broadband connections and devices”, but  we are well below 15-20% broadband in schools throughout the United States. -paraphrase from Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary at U.S. Department of Education

22) The education industry lags dramatically in the investment of research and development (less than 2% compared to 10-20% in any otehr knowledge sector).  We need to change that. – -paraphrase from Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary at U.S. Department of Education

23)  Almost all of the top Universities are about 20-25% international students.

24) Based upon their research, 90% of students study faster with e-books – CEO of Chegg

25) When asked if they would choose a different school or major, 50% of 4-year graduates said that they would. – CEO of Chegg

26) When they surveyed 4-year college graduates, they asked them what they wish they had known before starting. What is the school’s graduation rate for 4-year degrees in 4 years? What is the school’s employment rate 5 years after graduation? What is the starting salary of a graduate by major? – CEO of Chegg

27) In this world of such rapid change, why are we narrowing the curriculum? – CEO of Chegg

28) Should we focus upon time at school or time learning? – CEO of Chegg

29) Professors spend about 9% of a college student’s time with them. – CEO of Chegg

30) We need to focus on matching students to the right environments. – CEO of Chegg

31)  What can we do?  We can increase access by going beyond the four walls, accept online courses and degrees, expand curricular offerings by using professors and outside experts, reduce the time to graduation, give students more choices, minimize the gap between digital natives and immigrants, and learn to experiment by failing fast and moving on. Ultimately, what we are saying is, “put students first!” – CEO of Chegg

32) The winning and surviving organizations will be the ones that put the students first.   – CEO of Chegg

33) How do we give the professors the reason, backing, and reward for trying new things? I”m seeing it happen and the results are pretty incredible. – source…I can’t remember.

34) We get into college by the grades we had in high school, but many of us were not fully formed in high school – CEO of Lynda

35) I was transformed by Summerhill – A Radical Approach to Child rearing by A.S. Neill. The philosophy is to offer incredible classes but don’t make the students take anything. – CEO of Lynda

36) The total cost of school dropouts is 48.2 billion, and 1 in 6 dropouts is related to schedule management issues.  in high school it is, “What do I need to get done today?”  When they get to college, it isn’t like that and students have trouble figuring out what to get done. Quad extracts data from course syllabi and helps students get organized. – Founder of Quad (launched in April of 2013)

37) “What if we enabled students to accrue micro-scholarships throughout high school based upon his individual achievements?” We built a platform to make this happen.  Where does the money come from?  It comes from foundations, colleges, individuals and corporations; and it is easy for a person to set up named scholarships. – Founder of Raise http://www.raiselabs.com/

38) In 20 questions and 120 seconds, we can quantify any skill.  As people are rapidly accumulating skills through new learning channels, Smarterer provides a solution that helps validate what it means when you say “proficient” in __________ on your resume. – FOunder of Smarterer

39) We need to move beyond investors investing in education because their sister was a great teacher. It is time to get informed about education. -paraphrase from Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary at U.S. Department of Education

40) People often approach the education industry as a hobbyist.  I just came from a session with rock stars of learning science in the room.  When I polled the audience, there was not a single investor in the room. -paraphrase from Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary at U.S. Department of Education

41) The educational market doesn’t reward real research…real evidence. Too often they say, “figure out how you can move more product and when you make enough money then we will give you money for research.”

42) When it comes to education, people would rather follow their intuition than the evidence.  We need to become more evidence-based. -paraphrase from Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary at U.S. Department of Education

43) We need to get tools and resources in the hands of parents and educators who work with ages 0-3, but there are very few trusted brands in early media. -paraphrase from Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary at U.S. Department of Education

The most innovative work in that area is coming from a non-profit…that is a sign

44) In schools, we have drifted away from liberal arts to LAMO (language arts and math only) – Founder of LearnSprout

45) Antioch college is giving college credit for MOOCs and Brown is offering a STEM MOOC for high school students.  MOOC are more than a trend.

46) Remember that Clayton Christensen said that, in 15 years only 50% of the higher education institutions will still be in existence.

47) MOOCs will take the professor up a level.  They will work with students, show how to learn, show how to collaborate, etc. They will focus more on the knowledge processing than the knowledge acquisition.

48) Research is clear that the brain is not only changeable, but can be changed quickly. The right neurological activity can change it…and it can be changed fast. This means that we can do more than simply teaching people to work around their “limitations”. -paraphrase from Bob Bowen

49) What is brain research telling us about how to teach? Stop telling them things. Have them do things, problem solve, build things, discover how things work (and don’t them how things work). The notion of challenge is critical in an ongoing basis. -paraphrase from Dr. Matthew Peterson

50) Within 6 months, they can predict those who will have reading problems and language acquisition, and they can start interventions right away. – Bob Bowen

51) What does the brain research tell us about changing people’s minds? You have to get people to make predictions about what is going to happen that turn out the be false. This is the only way to replace existing schema in the brain. -paraphrase from Dr. Matthew Peterson

52) There will be an evolutionary exclusion of higher education institutions on the basis of agility.

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About Bernard Bull

Dr. Bernard Bull is an author, host of the MoonshotEdu Show, professor of education, AVP of Academics, and Chief Innovation officer. Some of his books include Missional Moonshots: Insights and Inspiration for Educational Innovation, What Really Matters: Ten Critical Issues in Contemporary Education, The Pedagogy of Faith (editor), and Adventures in Self-Directed Learning. He is passionate about futures in education, educational innovation, alternative education, and nurturing agency and curiosity.