Community conversations are a wonderful way to engage and learn about a particular topic. Over the past few years, BVH has initiated multiple conversations across the region. At these, educators and designers get together with community leaders to discuss where education is headed and how we can all work together to create better learning outcomes.
A number of community leaders encouraged us to think bigger after a particularly engaging conversation at Lincoln, Nebraska’s Career Academy in the fall of 2017. We pulled together with the following community partners and held the Learn for Tomorrow event. Several screenings of the film Most Likely to Succeed were held across the city to spread the conversation and get people thinking. On April 23, 2018 we brought Jaime Casap, Google’s Education Evangelist to Lincoln’s Innovation Campus for a keynote speech (see the video below). Afterwards, a panel discussed the future of education across the region fielding questions from the audience.
Some of the key points Jamie brought up for the audience to think about were:
- Education is still the silver bullet of opportunity in America. It is not broken, however, we do need to adapt education to the changing world around us.
- The 21st Century skills we continue to talk about are not new. Today we are 19 years into the 21st Century. When are we going to start talking about 22nd Century skills?
- Stop asking kids, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, in the new world ask instead, “What problem do you want to solve?”. Then we can define what knowledge and skills are needed in order to solve the problem. We now live in a world where static problems and fixed jobs are irrelevant.
- Education today has fixed end points. Work and life today require dependant iteration and adaptation to change. When are we going to stop judging students based on fixed knowledge-based tests and shift to testing their ability to grow.
At the beginning of the event, we polled the audience several key questions about their thoughts on the future of education. A summary of the questions and answers generating the most feedback follows:
What are the most important skills students should gain from education?
Top answers: Critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication
These poll results are very interesting knowing the audience was primarily composed of educators and administrators from PK-12 as well as higher education institutions, community and business leaders. This mirrors national conversations on the same topics.
Several change initiatives are in progress nationally and locally which give us confidence in education continuing to be the “silver bullet” Casap talks about, so long as we continue to collectively think through how to adjust education in the same way work and lifestyles are changing in today’s quickly evolving culture.
We also loaded our Facebook page up with articles, short videos and other sources that help facilitate the conversation.
What do you think the future of learning needs to look like? How can the built environment and technology adapt to the new teaching and learning methods educators are adopting today?
Learn for Tomorrow Panelists:
Jaime Casap, Google Education Evangelist
Dr. Matt Blomstedt, Nebraska Education Commissioner
Megan Elliot, Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Director
Tim Hodges, Gallup Education Practice Research Director
Dr. Steven Joel, Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent
Learn for Tomorrow Presenting Committee:
Nick Cusick, Bison Inc
Cleve Reeves, BVH Architecture
Darin Hanigan, BVH Architecture
Wendy Van, Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools
Randy Bretz, Leadership Lincoln
Mick Hale, Leadership Lincoln
Rich Claussen, Prosper Lincoln