The ASU/GSV Education Innovation Summit is my favorite conference of the year. It is rare to find such a diverse gathering of interests in educational innovation. You will see investors, startup founders, people from established education companies, bloggers and journalists, K-12 educators and school leaders, higher education educators and school leaders, representatives from government, along with people from a variety of non-profit organizations interested in educational innovation. The plenary sessions are typically thought-provoking and the breakouts/panels can be interesting as well, but I go for the incredible conversations. Of course, I also love the startup pitches. As I’ve written before, I see those as the poetry slams of the business world, and I love attending them. This year, I have related to but different goal. I’m attending to make connections with potential guest speakers and case studies for a new course that I’m designing on Education Moonshots and Social Entrepreneurship that is tentatively scheduled to run during the Spring of 2017. This is scheduled to be a traditional undergraduate course, but I’m also musing about the possibilities of having some sort of virtual element for those who are not officially enrolled. Stay tuned for developments on that.
I’d venture to say that out of all the events that I attend, I probably feel most at home when I’m at the Education Innovation Summit. In some ways, the diverse attendees at the event align perfectly with the focus in my work and writing. There are not many academics whose work focuses almost exclusively on futures in education along with educational innovation and entrepreneurship, so events like this are wonderful opportunities to expand my work into new areas, to extend my network, to get feedback on new and future projects, and to learn from the innovations of others.
This year, I’m only there for one full day, so I’m committed to making the most of it. I always set personal goals for each event that I attend, but given the short time, I’m sticking with that single goal thisis year. And as aside, that goal that gives a hint at something that I hope to publicly announce in the next week or so. The new course design is a strong clue, but you’ll likely hear more about the larger announcement soon.
I am excited to begin designing this new undergraduate course called Education Moonshots & Social Entrepreneurship. This is an important project to me so I’m putting 8 months of focused preparation into this project. Between now and the launch of the course, I will be conducting interviews, expanding my reading and writing in the areas represented in the course, conducting visits and observations, building a collection of virtual and live guest speakers and panels for the course, devising engaging learning experiences for the students, and of course, deepening and refining my knowledge of the research in each of the course topics. All of this will also contribute to a new book that I plan to write and finish just as the course ends in May of 2017 (I’ve not approached any publishers yet so if you work with a publisher that might be interested, feel free to reach out).
The thinking represented in my 2016 book Missional Moonshots: Insight & Inspiration in Educational Innovation along with my forthcoming book, What Really Matters?: 10 Critical Issues in Modern Education, certainly influenced my intention to design this course, but if you read my blog, you will also not be surprised by what I’ve elected to include in the syllabus.
From the tentative course description:
This course focuses upon educational innovation and entrepreneurship as a form of social entrepreneurship that seeks to solve some of education’s greatest challenges.
It begins with a survey of critical issues in contemporary education followed by an exploration of innovative and entrepreneurial efforts to address these issues. Learners will explore how diverse education startups, non-profit organizations and NGOs, individuals and grassroots groups, K-12 schools, Universities, foundations, government agencies, professional associations and others are each responding to these issues in diverse and often innovative ways. As the course progresses, learners will explore the roles of funding, foundations, corporations, and government policies and regulations upon educational innovation and entrepreneurship. It will conclude with an examination of potential ways for personal engagement with current and future education moonshots.
Right now my list of topics looks like more than you could fit in a typical semester course. I’ll need to select from the list for the actual class, but I still intend to have a dedicated chapter on each of these areas in the book that I plan to write in parallel with the course design and offering. Here is what I have so far.
- The Education “Moonshot”
- A Survey of Prominent Leaders & Voices in Educational Entrepreneurship
- The Educational Entrepreneur’s Code: Ethics, Missions and Motives
- Education as Social Entrepreneurship: Personalized & Adaptive Learning
- Education as Social Entrepreneurship: Open Education
- Education as Social Entrepreneurship: Access & Opportunity
- Education as Social Entrepreneurship: Self-directed & Informal Learning
- Education as Social Entrepreneurship: Non-cognitive & 21st Century Skills
- Education as Social Entrepreneurship: Unbundled Education
- Education as Social Entrepreneurship: The New Digital Divide
- Education as Social Entrepreneurship: Blended & Online Learning
- Education as Social Entrepreneurship: Competency-based Education
- Education as Social Entrepreneurship: Alternative Learning Pathways
- Education as Social Entrepreneurship: Virtual & Augmented Reality
- Education as Social Entrepreneurship: STEM Education
- Education as Social Entrepreneurship: Gamification & Game-Based Learning
- Education as Social Entrepreneurship: Credentialism and Workforce Development
- Visions and Rationales for Post-Industrial Education
- Emerging and Experimental Models of K-12 Education
- Emerging and Experimental Higher Education Models
- Intrapreneurs & Educational Innovation
- The Role and Impact of Foundations on Educational Innovation & Entrepreneurship
- Corporate Interests in Educational Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Regulations, Government Policy & Educational Entrepreneurship: Muzzles and Megaphones
- Exploring Roles and Opportunities in Educational Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Now the work begins. I am committed to having a list of virtual and/or personal guest presenters, panels, and/or pre-recorded video interviews from researchers, innovators, leaders, entrepreneurs, and other key stakeholders in each of the topics listed above. So, if you have done work in one of these areas and think that it might be relevant for the course, I would love to connect with you. Just use the contact page on this blog to reach out or connect with me on Twitter.