What Am I Thinking About Lately?

What are you thinking about lately? What are the possibilities and issues that you consider as you fall asleep, travel to and from work, or when you have some free time? What are the themes, questions, challenges, and opportunities that seem to haunt you (possibly in a good way)? Here are the ones on my mind right now.

Methodological and Philosophical Pathways in Schools – The school within a school model is increasingly commonplace, allowing traditional schools to create tracks and sub-communities that have a particular emphasis like project-based learning, performing arts, STEM, classical education, etc. I’m pondering the potential application for higher education as well.

What am I doing about it?

I’m working with a group of people at my University to propose a new model that allows students to identify and select courses on the basis of methodological and philosophical approaches like great texts, experiential learning, and service learning.

Advertising Wars in Education – The advertising wars in higher education are more problematic than many realize. How can we reallocate that money to benefit students, and what we can do about it through design thinking, entrepreneurship, policies, or other methods?

What am I doing about it?

I’m working on creating a competition that will offer a cash prize to teams of individuals who offer creative solutions to this problem and demonstrate it with a prototype that meets specific criteria. Subscribe at Birdhouse Learning Labs to stay informed about this.

Promoting Wisdom & Candid Reflection about the Implications, Affordances, and Limitations of AI and the Robotic Moment – The word “robot has its origin in Czech for “forced labor”, but who will work for whom?

What am I doing about it?

I’m researching, interviewing experts and diverse viewpoints, and working on a book about it.

Promoting Humane, Carefully Considered, Value-Centered Learning and Data Analytics – How do we promote a deeper consideration and dialogue about the real benefits and the real downsides to learning analytics and big data, how measuring can change or affirm values and priorities?

What am I doing about it?

I’m interviewing authors and leading thinkers on the subject, to be released on the MoonshotEdu Show podcast over the upcoming year. I’m blogging about it, scheduled to give at least one keynote on the subject, and exploring other creative venues to deepen this conversation.

The Future of Credentials in Society – What are the affordances and limitations of current credentials. How do we overcome credentialism? What are promising and potential futures for credentials?

What am I doing about it?

I’m exploring a future research lab focused on this subject, and I’m working on a book about this topic called The Lincoln Test. I’m also finishing up a book called Learning Beyond Letter Grades that is more about grading and assessment, but was the starting point for my early exploration of credentials.

Fostering a Deep and Large-scale Value for Civil Discourse and Living with Difference -The emphasis upon power over open and candid discourse may be one of our most critical issues in modern public life. How can we model and promote civil discourse, remaining true to our convictions, and living among people with diverse beliefs and values?

What am I doing about it?

Nothing. I have a book and potential short documentary idea, but I’ve not acted on it yet. I’m just struggling, reading, and thinking about it often at this point.

Wonder, Curiosity, the Love of Learning, and Enriching Habits – What would it look like to replace the current obsession with standards and testing with a focus upon nurturing curiosity, a love of learning, and enriching habits?

I’m working on a few writing projects, and I’m trying to secure the funding and build a “Wonder Lab” research team at Birdhouse Learning Labs to explore this further. Subscribe here to get updates on this project.

Augmented and Virtual Reality in the Higher Education Classroom – What are the educational affordances and limitations of AR/VR in higher education learning environments?

I’m part of a Concordia University Wisconsin & Ann Arbor Academic Innovation Team that is exploring potential applications, and working toward the design of applications across content areas / disciplines.

Educators as Game Designers – How can educators take the skills and mindset of a game designer to empower and engage learners?

What am I doing about it?

I’m working on a book called Educators as Game Designers.