Future-Ready Education: Preparing Students for the Challenges of Today and the Promise of Tomorrow

The future is coming fast—faster than ever—and the world of education is working hard to keep up. In this presentation, we’ll dive into conversations on five vital focus areas that will help us get ready to help our students get ready for the challenges of today and the promise of tomorrow, including: (1) building out an integrated infrastructure that brings together the best of facilities, online and mobile tools, and augmented and virtual reality; (2) optimizing a learning mix that includes more fluid and increasingly digital curricular resources and strategies, including open education, accelerated learning, competency-based education, game-based learning, MOOCs, SMOCs, and more; (3) doubling down on the importance of psycho-social factors, including belongingness, purpose, mindsets, tenacity and grit; (4) making the most of student success platforms powered by data science and design thinking to help us and our students learn well and finish strong; and (5) embracing the imperative to champion future-ready learning grounded in rich tradition, but tuned for the fast-moving dynamics of the road ahead.

Making the Most of a Healthy Change in Education

In this presentation, we’ll dive into the data-fueled changes in the world of healthcare over the last two decades — changes that have challenged long-held assumptions, inspired a renewed focus on the basics as well as innovation, and improved outcomes. We’ll then show how the world of education is following suit, identifying key challenges, innovating at scale, and beginning to learn together about how to move the needle for striving students. Finally, we’ll outline how emerging Student Success Platforms and student success science are helping educators and students make the most of this “healthy change” in higher education.

*This presentation is based on the white paper, “Making the Most of a Healthy Change in Education: The Emerging Student Success Platform.”

The Art and Science of Student Success: Using Design Thinking and Data Science to Help Students Learn Well and Finish Strong

Using examples from other sectors that bring together the best of design thinking and data science to achieve their diverse missions—from business to athletics to healthcare—we’ll catalyze a conversation about how we leverage this approach in education. We’ll then dive into examples of these insight and action analytics efforts in education, showing how schools, colleges, and universities are innovating with everything from predictive modeling to early-warning systems to engaging apps for students, faculty, and advisers that help more students learn well and successfully navigate their educational journeys.

Challenging Students to Step Up: Readying Them to Learn, Earn, and Live Well

What do we need to expect of today’s students and the diverse education systems that serve them if we want education to continue to be a workforce, societal, and personal game changer? This presentation will share strategies and vision a future where we (1) challenge students to bring purpose, growth mindsets, and grit–what many call non-cognitive factors–to bear on their learning journeys and (2) put innovation and technology use in our institutions on purpose to create more learning-centered, data-rich, and high-value education pathways. If we do this work well, especially in partnership with regional education, business, and civic partners, students will be better prepared for a dynamic workforce and to live well in a fast-changing world.

Leading Toward Student Success

The education field is galvanizing around the challenge of helping more students learn well and finish strong. From strategic outreach and support for struggling students to providing greater challenge and richer learning to high performing learners, the innovations abound and the call to action is getting louder. Moreover, there is a greater need for these efforts to impact at scale and to work in and between sectors—e.g., K-12, community college, four-year, graduate, and workforce.  This session will draw from the lessons learned from leaders in this work—government, foundation, administrative, faculty, student support, and student leaders—to explore practical strategies and powerful visions of what’s possible as we help more striving students succeed on their education pathways.    

Education in a Digital Democracy

As we boldly move into the future, we are challenged to create thoughtful frameworks for our continuing inclusion of technology in how we work, play, learn, and contribute as active citizens. This keynote presents a framework for thinking about technology in education, but more so for thinking about education in our “digital democracy.” The presentation begins by exploring the enormous changes and challenges brought on by the digital age, including the the digital divide. We’ll conclude with the presentation of a charge for education institutions in this time of transition to become key community access points for learning about and with technology; and, more important, promote learning beyond technology, especially a stronger emphasis on the Liberal Arts.

Building Out Education Infrastructure in a New Generation of Learning

The mix of multiple generations teaching and learning together with new techniques and technologies makes building out modern educational infrastructures a complex process. Indeed, digital publishing, MOOCs, mobile devices, gaming, social networking, high-impact presentation technologies, and analytics are bringing new twists and quick turns to our on-ground, online, and blended learning environments. What else is ahead? How much more can we take? How do we retain the human touch? How do we make these learning environments sustainable? Come join the conversation about how we build this new generation of learning together.

Catalyzing Positive Change in Education: The Four Pillars

This presentation is based on the four pillars framework to drive positive change in the world of education. Each pillar is vital to support our transformation efforts. From catalyzing conversations across the academic community to inspiring innovations to championing insight—including a focus on analytics, learning outcomes, and evidence-based education—to fostering leadership, we’ll explore why each are important and all matter.

The Power of Practical Magic

This presentation summarizes the results of a comprehensive national study of teaching excellence award winners that resulted in the best-selling publication, Practical Magic: On the Front Lines of Teaching Excellence. From what inspired them to become teachers to what core strategies they use to teach content and reach students, this presentation provides faculty with a clear picture of what works in teaching and learning. Listening to the voices of these award-winning faculty promises to be motivational, inspirational, and useful!

Coffee Talks and Cornerstones: Waking Up to What’s Important

This session was drawn from hours of “coffee talks” with my father in his last year and a half, as he fought a battle with small-cell lung cancer. These Folgers-fueled conversations woke me up in more ways than one. When combined with my own experience in working with energizing, inspiring, and thoughtful people over the last 15 years, they crystallized the importance of key cornerstones in living, working, playing, and learning.

Energizing Observations on Leadership

This interactive workshop is best suited for smaller groups (i.e., 5 to 40 people).
This dialogue explores some energizing observations on leadership based on work with graduate, regional, national, and international leadership programs and consulting work with hundreds of colleges, corporations, and other agencies. We’ll take the time to talk about the whys and ways of leadership, and present strategies for fostering positive, dynamic, and high-performing organizations in times of great change.