Monthly Archives: October 2011

Back the Week of October 30th

It’s vacation time – and while I’d love to have someone sit in for me the next 9 days – I’m a one person show!

Spending some much anticipated R/R in New England – with all the other leaf peepers!

See you soon!


Bucking Conventional Wisdom: The Future of the Workforce is Creative

Anya Kamenetz argues that the future of the workforce should not only focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines – but on creativity, communication, and critical thinking (the cornerstones of a Liberal Arts education):

At the top of the market are the jobs everyone wants. And guess what? These are the jobs that many graduates of the American education system are well prepared for. These jobs require creativity, problem solving, decision making, persuasive arguing, and management skills. In this echelon, a worker’s skills are unique, not interchangeable.

The HigherEd Revolution: Cost. Access. Quality

I’ve been an online faculty member for several universities for 10 years now. During that time, I’ve seen the technology involved in delivering online learning evolve.  When I started teaching online back in 2000, most online classes meant you spent a lot of time in newsgroups – much like the ones you still find via Yahoo or Google groups. Lots of threads, lots of discussions. Technology has now seen the advent of web-based online environments which can incorporate video, digitized content, rich audio, and libraries.

Today, I can literally facilitate my class using my IPhone. While not practical, it’s an option. In just 10 years, technology has provided unprecedented opportunity to learn.

What has not evolved as quickly has been the concept of using these technological resources to their fullest potential. In other words, with so much knowledge available online, how has higher education adapted? According to Anya Kamenetz, universities still have a ways to go. They still follow a model formed over 400y ears ago. In fact, she argues you can get the same educational experience and benefits on your own.

Are we wasting our “human capital?”

Aside from her presentation below, you can read her FREE eBook, EduPunks Guide, To a DIY Credential.

The New Frontier

I still consider myself a social media zygote. When you consider all the opportunities yet to be discovered, especially in education, social media really is the new frontier.

George Couros shares some interesting points, among others, regarding education, culture and social media:

Building tolerance and understanding of cultural diversity. There are so many different cultures in the world and when I was a kid, we only had read about them in books. There is so much of an opportunity to not only read content from different people and hear their perspectives, but social media gives us the opportunity to actually talk with people. Having the opportunity to connect with people all over the world breaks down a lot of barriers and builds understanding. These are opportunities that we did not have as kids but we need to ensure that our students have this opportunity now.

Yup – a new frontier.

Globalization Turned on Its Head

I’ve been fascinated by this video which describes the future of the workforce (entrepreneurs, organizations, technology, etc.) . Small is the new big because it allows organizations to grow when they need to. Large size organizations are quickly becoming a liability in regards to innovation, speed, to market and collaboration.

Is this the New Normal?

Minnesota State Economist Tom Stinson and State Demographer Tom Gillaspy provide some insights about the economic and demographic “new normal.”  Interestingly, despite the high unemployment numbers, workforce and talent will be scarce in the years to come. While Minnesota specific, their thoughts are applicable nationwide.

The New Normal

• Slower economic growth

• Labor and talent will be the scarce resources

• Single-minded focus on productivity

• Chronic government deficits and cuts in service

• Worries about how to pay for past promises

• Disruptive events/more frequent innovations

• A whole new set of opportunities


— Stinson and Gillaspy