Monday, June 10, 2013

The Future > The Present

In my job promoting and training teachers to use a computer-adaptive GED prep program, I encounter a lot of anxiety about the changes and uncertainty as the free market shakes up the high school equivalency (HSE) playing field. It reminds me of something that I'm going through with my family.  Basically, our 10 week old Matilda Clementine is often inconsolably upset.  Day in and day out our colicky baby makes me think I'm not going to survive this parenting thing with its incredible decibel levels, demanding schedule, and unsustainable workload.  She's got me wearing earplugs, looking for escape routes, and occasionally drowning my sorrows.

We're both a little upset here. Not pictured: earplugs, large glass of extra-strength beer.
We've been down this road before with our two boys, but it's easy to forget how we managed, or even the simple fact that we did get through it.  Eventually, the kids got more capable and started to gradually reveal their personalities. Similarly, adult education programs are survivors that weather stormy political climates, budgetary neglect, and occasional bouts of homelessness. The new HSE tests will just be more bumps in a road that isn't really changing direction, if you ask me.

With Change Comes Opportunity

Monday, June 3, 2013

Disruption Eruption. What's Your Function?

Right now, I'm reading Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, by Clayton Christensen.  I don't want to tell you that you should read it too, because I've just started, but also because I'll bet your list of books to read is probably a mile long, just like mine. Instead, I want you to read this little article that serves as a pretty good overview of the key concepts in the book:
  • Sustaining innovation
  • Disruptive innovation
  • Hybrid/blended teaching models
  • Flex, A La Carte, Enriched Virtual, and Individual Rotation
The article is K12-focused (something we're used to in adult ed), but the current tumultuousness in our field will make it pretty easy to see paralells when it comes to competing teaching models vying for learners attention (or maybe that should be: competing learning models vying for teachers' attention!).

That's it.  No lecture from me. We'll talk after you've read it. The comments section is where you do that. See you there.