School’s Out: Anywhere, Anytime Learning and the Role of Technology

On the podcast, we’ve been speaking with the authors of Education Reimagined’s new paper, School’s Out, and are bringing you a three-part series which explores how we could rethink the meaning, feel, and delivery of learning.

In last week’s episode, we spoke with Amy Anderson, Executive Director of ReSchool Colorado and Scott Van Beck former Director of Houston A+ Challenge. Amy explored how families could navigate a system where school didn’t exist, through the help of learner advocates, and she shared how she’s already seen success with this and flexible learning opportunities, through her work at ReSchool Colorado. Scott then outlined an idea where educators, or community members, could become learning designers who would meet with families to design a learning plan for students that would determine what a learner should learn, want to learn, and what they could learn either in a school setting or within the community.

In today’s episode, part two, we first hear from Nate McClennan, Vice President for Education and Innovation at Teton Science Schools. Nate and Tom discuss anywhere, anytime learning, the community as a classroom and the importance of guidance of advisory for learners. Tom also speaks with  IT Consultant, Oscar Brinson. In his paper, School’s Out: Why Embracing Technology Will Only Expand What’s Possible, Oscar explores how education keeps up with technological advances. He ponders the role AI and automation will play in the future or learning and work, and in the conversation with Tom, he expands on what he sees as technology’s role, along with the role of advisory and guidance relationships.

Read Nate and Oscar’s position papers to unpack more of their thinking on the potential future of learning. Nate’s paper School’s Out: How a “No School” Society is One of Many Learner-Centered Possibilities further explores a society where school may not exist, and what that would mean for everyone. Oscar expands on his thinking on the role of technology in his paper, School’s Out: Why Embracing Technology Will Only Expand What’s Possible.

Key Takeaways:

[:16] A recap on last week’s episode (and the first part of this series.)
[1:05] About today’s episode.
[1:25] Tom welcomes Nate to the podcast, and Nate gives a bit of background on how his childhood has helped inform how he thinks about place-based education now.
[2:45] Nate and Tom discuss his School’s Out paper.
[4:17] Nate’s ideas on how we could reimagine learning and community.
[6:30] Nate’s thoughts on where and how we can test some of his ideas.
[9:28] The importance of guidance through a ‘learning coach’ in anywhere, anytime learning.
[10:20] The challenge around equity and scale when making sure every student has access to a great learning coach.
[13:15] The changing role of teachers.
[14:45] The differences between learning and school, and how learning could be introduced through the community rather than school.
[17:22] Nate shares some final thoughts on the evolution of learning.
[19:23] About Oscar Brinson, Tom’s next guest.
[19:49] Does Oscar anticipate something that looks like schools or community facilities where students and adult mentors would meet on a regular basis?
[21:23] The caveat: the custodial aspect of school being crucial as long as parents have to go to work.
[23:46] A potential A.I. system solution to the important custodial aspect of school, and the other ways technology and A.I. will help progress and change how learning is done.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Episode 174 — “School’s Out: Engaging Families and the Community”
Education Reimagined
ReSchool Colorado
Teton Science Schools
School’s Out: What if Schools, As We Know Them, Didn’t Exist?
School’s Out: What if School Didn’t Exist?
School’s Out: How a ‘No School’ Society is One of Many Learner-Centered Possibilities (Nate’s paper)
School’s Out: Why Embracing Technology Will Only Expand What’s Possible (Oscar’s paper)

For more, see:

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