Future of Education Panel


Learn Anything: Hacking Your Education


Lesson Info

Future of Education Panel

First one to introduce our guests, and then we'll we'll jump into the questions we have. Scott macklin here, joining us from the university of washington, michael statement who's, a partner at learn capital and chase jarvis who's, one of the co founders of creative life. I'm first going to ask each of the guests to take two minutes to talk about themselves, their relationship education, why this is an issue that you guys care about, so we'll start here on the end. Yeah, thanks that's, great to be here on the super bowl get to hang out with super smart people, so I think that's the good tradeoff currently, I'm helping to direct a master's program of digital media at the university of washington, and we're rebranding into the masters of communication leadership because we believe that all organizations today need to be in the communication, understand their story and able to tell their story. But previous to that, I spent six years as the ceo of the college of education, where I tried to...

hook up informal learning environments with more formal learning environments through social media and technology. I have a father, who's, a minister, and I have a mother who was an assistant dean, so I swore I would never work in higher education and I would never work in the church. But I ended up getting degrees and philosophical theology and I've been in higher education for fifteen years I've just accepted the fact that I'm doomed but hopefully we can do something out of that doomed nous my name's michael statement I actually started off as a teacher a high school teacher I taught junior's u s history on immediately I kind of grown up with the internet and I was immediately struck by the black of technology impacting myself as a teacher and my students and started teaching myself tio code and ended up in palo alto and started a company on the facebook platform ran that for five years brought in the ceo and now have taken seat at learn capital where we're really the worldwide leader in early stage investing into education and learning uh and excited to be here today cool um thanks to you guys at all and thanks a lot for having me on your panel today I'm chase jarvis I am the co founder of creative life which you guys are all familiar with because you're watching it right now um and creative ally was born out of something really really organic and authentic uh this is in many ways how my interest in education sort of proliferated this is the sort of the next generation early on I was spent my life doing the things that I thought other people want me to do it was bound for medical school had to quit that was in a phd program in higher education had to quit that it took a lot of courage to quit. I think quitting is one of the most underrated things that we can do in our culture, so including those things like I was really empowered to pursue my life dream, which was to be an artist and a photographer, and in pursuing that dream, I looked around there was no education that wasn't sort of higher traditional education for artists, and I looked high and low and couldn't find it, and I vowed that if I was ever in a position to change that that I would and so I signed myself, had deep into photography and made every mistake you could possibly make in the school of hard knocks and came out with a really large following that was based over a course of ten year history of giving information away sort of ten years before was called to do so and and in that process had built a large social following that I was able to at some point get together with my co founder craig, and he was a technology that we put our forces together and said, hey, what if we brought in really smart people and put him in front of a camera and shared that with the world for free if it would catch on and I like to say that's caught on a few years later here with educated millions and more than two hundred countries so that's my attachment to education and we're just getting started sa to start off I wanted to really think about the purpose of education and what what it means one of the challenges that I've really seen is that no one in education seems to agree about what it's for is it there to be an economic driver is there to help personal growth? Is it better to make people happy? Isn't there now people mature andi think one of the challenges is that because no one agrees on what it is there's no good way to evaluate it systemically because if if we don't agree on what it's going to do there's no good way to evaluate its performance so let's start on this end of panel this time uh I guess for me I I sort of dislike the word education because it's passive and it's a descriptor of something that's over there for me everything is about learning and I think education is an attempt to put a cultural framework around learning but learning a cz we all know think of the times where you have learned the most it's been something when you're super engaged in its active it's even entertaining that the teacher of the instructor the process that you're going through is really had you focused and tied to the thing that you were the information you wanted tio to pick up. And so education to me has always been something that's really distant and it's an in tempt to in the most sort of bland way set something on there, and people for people do come get, and I prefer learning because of the active nous in there, so I think even the nomenclature starting at the beginning before you've even got into what is it the normal clinchers broken until we get some words that we could change the cultural adaptation of the word learning and pose a supposed education that were sort of handicapped a little bit? We're sort of handcuffed, so I know you guys feel about that, but definitely great. Yeah, I mean, I earned capital learn capital. Yes, yes. I mean, I think we're moving from from enacted an economic arrangement with education, where their institutions that provide an education to one where we're empowering individuals to learn what they need at any time, right? Ah, and that's certainly one of the tenants that we that we believe that learn capital. I think I've been involved in, uh, conversations about higher education on k twelve education for going on ten years now and very little progress has been made I think in part because we don't actually know what we're talking about education has been there's been a coming of age kind of story with education and then an information transfer that happens with an education that have been bundled into this thing we call school right? And as a result everybody expects schools and institutions to be all things to all people and you know, unless you're stanford or harvard, you really have a hard time delivering on that promise and even those institutions have a hard time delivering on the that promise s oh, you know we're very interested in on bundling, you know, learning content from perform a ble skills and perform herbal feedback and access to opportunities and personal transformation and personal growth all need to start to fragment and beyond bundled and talked about in isolation from each other yeah, I like that move nomenclature even if it's a language game from education toe learning I think there's some agreement may we can get at the purpose that this idea of learning this idea of transformation I think is really key now I want to still hold that there's some hope that education's a good word learning is a good word and schooling can be a good word but we can't seed learning just a school and we can't seed schooling just education we need to see their role so for me just education is that arena where we can help learners enter into become participatory citizens in the context of where they are and that that could be through lining up with people who may know more, he might call them experts, although that expert is a problem, a ties word, too, but for me learning oath, how do we begin to motivate either explicitly or implicitly the learner to want to go beyond where they are? And for me, I think that's the purpose, whether it's a formal learning classroom or a classroom where we're engaging in the world, it's that motivation to extend beyond our reach. I'm curious as someone who's who's within ah university. What you've seen to the point that michael just mentioned theon modeling of systems and for a long time, universities and schools, and I had a hold on all of all of the purposes that we associate with going to a school on I'm curious what parts of that system you have seen, uh, start to move away from the university during that time. Yes, we got a couple of minutes. I want to paint a little bit of my children have this phrase. They do this to me when pop is oversharing, so if anyone's in the audience just do that and I know what you mean but this continuum, you know, you know, cradle to endowment, if you will. Lifelong learning. How do we think about all these learning moments where so much of our learning has spent outside of the formal classroom? And what do those people who spend their time in the classroom do tow, understand how we create learning environments that are relevant outside? And how do we connect those? So I think one that that's that's really key. So for me, how do we create relevant learning? How do we create relational learning? How do we create rigorous learning? And how do we create learning that is rooted in results and form formative results so I can inform our redesign and in some of the results, at the end of the day, I can assess that someone's actually achieve things so numbers in washington? No, no, this is me. This is what I want to go to washington. Now. You said some smart. Yeah. What? What? I wanted to give you my framing where I'm coming out where I've seen that continuing a formal former education. I mean, I remember, you know, being an elementary school, I had a blast in elementary school by high school, I hated it, get me. Out of here right? I'm okay I got a big I'm smarter than my teachers they're wasting my time and I just I don't I can't do what I want to dio and at the university of an undergraduate level felt a little bit of that to getting into graduate studies I got to find and and create a path that made sense so I think the shift where I find the good stuff it's for those educators those teachers are those folks who also understand it's not teaching to someone it's teaching with someone and how do we define ourselves is not accountants of accountability but stewards of learning if we approach it is being surrounds a way but how does that I want to know how you like you are with him to go back to the question you're within the university of washington in the masters and digital communication bringing can you have in effect in there because from out here I look at the folks that are coming out of there and the folks that I talked to that are in there they're saying that it's kind of broken I got this I can I can flap this way a little bit but it's hard for me to get off the ground and and truth that's why creative live was born is because we wanted like, really skill based I'm gonna go out and do this thing so and of course by the way I'm changed I'm chained to an average of twenty seven thousand dollars in debt behind the yeah it's keeping me on the ground yeah so how does the u dub think about that and and how hurrying you thriving right? So I can you know, u dub second biggest city in the state of washington to really big I can't represent all u dub although northwest right suffer I can talk about the masters of communication and digital media program one of the advantages that we have where a self sustaining program where he's seen no funds from the state so our education has to always be relevant purposeful we have to be entrepreneurial our students you know they march with their feet so one we have to frame education away that's relevant to them two we have a real problem of practice will work with organizations to design a storytelling campaign with the pacific science center, a twitter campaign for the woodland park zoo so it's rheal problems of practice being introduced to our classroom three we bring in folks from agencies from publication we bring in the professionals were a professional degree program so that way we're little bit different from a lot of the university of washington like you don't I feel that we are in but not of all the way now where I think the good stuff happens at the university of washington ash and you talked about on friday wanting to learn to program and you're going to commit to that and you were looking for resource is there's a great article that just came out by a professor of mitt called it cult coding as a liberal art the practice of coding is the practice of problem solving the practice of coding is a practice of working in collaboration it's a wonderful so it's not just coding so I think even in pockets where I have serious criticisms of the university both from access from price points but where it's done well it's in stealing what one might articulate is those liberal arts skills that I think are key that I think a line very well with the same things you're after you just don't see it in the dominant undergrad classes that leads well into something that that I think about a lot due to my background that's another school and as I talked about earlier this weekend I left school I was twelve and didn't go to middle school or high school and one of the key tenets of unschooling is that you don't force anyone toe learn anything on and I think about a lot whether or not there should be liberal arts whether or not there should be key sets of knowledge that we expect people to learn should we teach everyone to read and write should we teach everyone not require four years of science, where is the line that we draw about the baseline level of knowledge that we expect people to have michael, you want to jump in on that? Sure, I see a lot of innovation happening in the unschooling movement around pedagogy, your own self paced learning around curriculum design ah, and they don't they're not living within the confines of our public institutions, so as a result, I definitely look it is like one pocket, a huge pocket of innovation and a growing pocket of innovation, some very excited about it. But it's not gonna work for everybody at least right now, because they don't necessarily have the type of home environment that's going toe provide the kind of support structure around around the child. So that's a that's an unfortunate limitation in terms of compulsory subject matter of, you know, there's there's been a lot of research that show that, um, basically, you can only think within the bounds of your knowledge, right? And you can only be creative on the platform of your existing knowledge, right to the point where like it until babies have functional language, they actually can't structure like coherent thoughts and do arithmetic and things like that, and the point being is that I think that the the concept of the liberal arts and kind of stemming out of the university of chicago is is that we all need a certain common language and understanding and a platform of based on the knowledge in order to be able to leap into adjacent spaces of creativity of thought and of communication on we also need that course so that we're able to evaluate each other and create connections with each other so we have certain common understandings and common language is that we can use and really bond with each other so I actually and kind of pro liberal arts though I think the liberal arts definitely needs to ana wake up I have an article called the new liberal arts but and I think that the way a lot of these core disciplines air taught are totally numbskull ways to teach, you know, especially science I mean, science is such a creative discipline and it's talk like, you know, memorized the terms on flash cards, right? So I'm curious if there's a if there's an equivalent to the liberal arts in in the creative industry do this is like I basically wanted to, like, pull some sort of like talk show stuff right there you go because I agree entirely with what you're saying about there needs to be a fundamental basis, but at the at the root of creative live and at the root of what I personally believe and think I can speak for the other the other exactly creative live that that creative is not something that we're trying to draw a box around all of these ads they'd like to paint and draw and take pictures I looked at create creative creativity as a fundamental human mode of existence human beings are fundamentally creative and if anything we have box creativity into a corner and so when we're you know we're naming creative lives like oh it's going to be in that no, no no no creativity is a zeitgeist term that captures the spirit of the world that's the rise of the right of the left brain you know the saying if you can't remember which one then you're right yeah which is the left side but there's the rise of the creative class is upon us, I believe and I feel like that creativity is the new literacy and so whether or not your in you're looking for ah liberal arts program or whatever and that's the basis on which creative life was found is certainly we we want to empower the creative passion carpet created professional too learn and grow and expand within their their sort of wheelhouse is but you also notice that we have health and wellness classes that we have business and productivity classes here to sort of make use of those things and put them on a trajectory that makes the skills that you learn actually actually really effective in a real world real learning environment so whether it's, liberal, liberal or whether it's creative I feel like creativity draws a box around what the human potential really is and I'd like us to start thinking it's a culture more about that when I grew up the word creativity, that word that kid's a creative way necessary that I got that kid so creative, it was like kids like I don't know how to talk about him he's creative, I guess. And so I want my call your mom and ask, yeah, I think so many questions, that's one of the reasons I actually it was very creative as a kid was an only child. My parents would just give me a block of wood nice to run out for six hours and when the teacher would say kids created was like, well, I I think I want to be a jock because the joxer like, oh johnny's on the basketball team and so culturally I sort of want to rewire that's part of the ethos behind creative live wanna rewire and reenergize that, whether it's, liberal arts, whether it's creativity that is the fundamental likes basis of a human being but before you go geraldo on us, I mean, I I agree again again whether it's liberal arts oh, our creativity now is like, where does one find those moments to be motivated? Yesterday on the penalty talked about everyone has the potential to be awesome. We just don't run to enough awesome people, you know, that creativity of how do we open up that awesomeness of ourselves? I think the types of learning that you're providing someone from where I'm from, I called all that's just skills base when my argument is no it's, not just skills based, nothing is just skills base, you need to learn to dribble before you can shoot, so their skills involved but it's skills, it's, conceptual understanding its compensation, but it's done in community. And then the question I asked whether it's in a classroom, whether it's in a playground, whether it's on stage, or whether it's on the web is always framing the question whose interests are being served, whose interests are being served through my creativity, whose interest are being served through this club. You know what you like? I just there has some strong views on incentive structure is yeah, so, you know, I built a company that supports higher education institutions, helping to serve students better, and I thought for a long time about why the institutions that I worked with were making more forward progress on kind of learning innovation for learning, right? And why is it that creative live and some of these companies that learn capital has invested in why is it they're making these kind of interesting breakthroughs and something like you w you know like I mean amazingly creative people and people that have their hearts and their minds all in the right places but I don't often see those institutions making making those leaps and one of the reasons is the I feel like the incentive structure around the entire system is is not oriented around the student frankly right? So if you if you if you're a college president the way that you are measured and the reason people are going tio promote you or give you a salary raises if you move up what are called the carnegie rankings or if you move up in u s news and world report's right and that's really how you end up getting judged right and then if you're an administrator typically you're your job description is primarily to hold the fort right and there are certain metrics around you know bringing in more students or bringing in not just before but perpetuate your own exists perpetuate your own existence yeah and what that makes me want to go parole hearing that and that that we're even and even the teacher's right professor is really get promoted on how much they publish and how much other professors think that their thoughts are worth you know sightings anxiously right about the demonstrably unit of marriage and that's what you're critiqued onto incentive demonstrably unit dumb dumb yeah, I feel that the university no one gets it that quick you don't come on here it is um yeah, very few universities actually incentivize great teaching and great learning right? And then courses are designed not around students but around with the professor thinks is a good unit of knowledge that will fit into a unit of time called this semester right and so only assumption that every student learning the same race and cohen like the nature of the institution has be like this and has to be this many blocks and that we're in a world now we don't need that get it right on the school building huge building spending hundreds of millions of dollars to build a brick building right that could only hold it has a really nice cafeteria with a mongolian barbecue inside. Yeah and it's got some rich guy's climbing well, who wanted to have a party had a little have a little. But again I think part of that for me, the troubles that I have even though I'm in an institution of learning and I've committed fifteen years now but again that's because I'm doomed so you don't forgive me on that is that it's seated whose interests are being served through the answer being we are accountants of accountability we give you a degree you must do this to get the degree especially at the undergraduate level I would say at the graduate level, though, when ideas of discovery really come into play, you really get this some actions kind of I want to take a step back and think about we because we know that all of these things are changing. There are all these old alternatives from creative live to udacity of course, all these options for two to learn online for free what do you think it will take? What is the breaking point where universities will have to start making changes because there are more meaningful and less expensive ways to learn outside of the system, they have to start providing experience physical experience that the online experience can totally yeah, and that is the one thing that university is still have a monopoly, but they don't need to make any more buildings let's, get me out them know if you're listening, you stop building stuff on your campus you can definitely go into debt, renovate the things that you have make it interesting, make it more relevant but stopped just expanding for the sake of building more classrooms because they're going to be those classrooms are going to need to be classrooms they're going to need to be physically interesting dynamic spaces where people co learn and that's one reason there's a physical component to you guys actually sitting here, you guys get an experience, you get to go out with to dinner with dale or hang out in between breaks and talk at lunch, and the thinking is that there's both of these things going on here and how can a university of the way that I look at it and I think I speak for my homies here, creative, live that what we're trying to do is break down these three key barriers. One geography, right? There's a lot of people who couldn't, you know, they're in foreign countries couldn't afford to come to us who don't have the desire to but it's a good place to learn stuff, access to the best we want to take the best teachers in the world, the top one percent people were actually doers and give the world access to those people and then cost right it's free. So until the university systems and can start competing with with things that break down those bears like us, other learning companies, can they're gonna be in trouble and bring on? Yeah, I think it's particularly relevant, given that a week and a half ago, I think it was, you know, perceived cincinnati and arkansas and somewhere in missouri announce that they're going to start giving credit for free for students to take online courses. Which really starts breaking that system down. I a little less scared about. Yeah, good. So I got this photo here. This is my fourteen year old son. It was taken at last year's super bowl during the super bowl party, and this is what fourteen year olds were doing during the greatest transmitted event somewhat argh! United states I'm not a huge super both, and they're on their phone way. Yeah, so they're on their phones, they're they're they're they're looking up what's the difference between an m c l n n e c l tear. They're trying to find out who madonna is because they didn't know, but she was pretty dope, right? So, you know, this is what this is, what the youth are doing now. What are the learning environments that we're creating? That's going to test to moving from transmission mode, which I would relate to the mode of accountants of accountability to transaction mode, which I would relate to being stewards of learning I need toe own my learning, I should be able to go to creative live, take a class, I should be able to go the university of washington, take a class, I should be able to volunteer for peace corps or the nursing home, and and that should add up in a way, because that credit and accountability, I don't want to say it doesn't matter, I would say the learning matters more, but I should own my learning, and we should have an infrastructure that recognizes the gains that I make. I would like to even see it go one step farther to a place of co creation where the are participating and actually creating with the instructor something's the barrier between students and teachers goes away. I wanted to go back to what michael said in and why you're scared of universities issuing credit for free. No, I'm not scared. Yeah, yeah, because the way that they're doing it right now is, is there basically saying are really low level courses that we don't even teach really well, especially to the types students that are coming through our doors, right? It'll be better if we just unload it right, and we'll give credit for that, and and it will reduce the price a little bit, but there's still going to need to come for all the rest of the courses and the degree right? It's like the the lost leader of ah college, it becomes like a lost leader it's it's a cost reduction mechanism, but it fundamentally doesn't change the business model, right? It doesn't, it doesn't transform what a credential means or how you how you get one it just means that a couple of units that are available to you at the beginning, you can just do online to get the credits out of the way. And frankly, that's what community colleges have been for. So, you know, like, I'm more scared for community colleges than I am, I think the biggest thing, that decision, that changes the game around credentials and I want all hear opinions on this as well is that people seem to ignore the fact that we're handing out mohr and mawr college degrees every day and economics of scarcity is pretty simple, and as you hand out more of something, the value of you tune it decreases, right? Which is why why we see people now getting masters and phds, but at some point that becomes a zero sum game and you can only you could only get six phds, you know, to become a gender before someone higher. So, yeah, I'm sorry I have to take the line right here. Uh, so one thing that that we've seen is that there's actually like a relatively infinite, insatiable economic demand for highly trained, highly educated individuals because the economic activities that they engage in actually create more demand for those particular. Individual's right on we've had a lot of job last loss in the middle and lower income layers we've had a huge spike in the growth of really low wage low skill jobs and we have a huge spike in high skill jobs what all the economic forecasts say is we need actually triple the number of people with college degrees and the the reason they say that is because everybody's been so confused for so long and they equated somebody who's educated and capable as somebody with a college degree and what's happening now because of different awesome organizations like creative life is you're starting to see a shift in that equation right of like a college degree equals a high skill, high re skilled, highly creative, highly educated person right? And and I guess where I'm going with this is that just giving out more credentials like isn't it isn't creating credential inflation I think that's a misnomer I think it's a it's a logical fallacy I think that what it what it means the society's focused on the wrong metric right which is the number of degrees rather than the number of people who are actually educated and skilled and can participate in the high school becoming you said a lot of jerry words in that little bit right there can you break it down for no I'm going to try and see if we're talking the same language or and that is that it doesn't that a degreed as an equal uneducated person right so we've got this messed up metric way that way so how how what what precipitates from that do you change the measurement of the degree or do you try and unmeasured like if you're a nkala jing unschooling right what about the idea of a measure and that's right now where creative lives heart sets is people take care of themselves because human like there's a human an implicit human desire to follow what it is that you want to do the reason we don't see success in schools is probably because we're not serving the students in the way they want to be served and if we create an environment that's certainly much looser I would say less measurable is there an opportunity non palatial fifth headed let's without making a fallacy how do we actually hold on to the thing that these students need which is inspiration and learning how to create that so so let me ask because we all agreed higher education degree does not equal learning smart competent right true do we agree that it's some form evaluation and assessment is important before we were asked which I mean I'm not necessarily convinced that we need to assess people if they've actually created something right if you can say look that's my photo hanging on the wall I don't need to take a test to prove that I can take that photo right, I've never once and this is again I'm I think the traditional created a za photographer and director um I've learned a lot as an entrepreneur, but it's been in the the actual environment of entrepreneurialism that I've learned about fundraising again about a handful of other things but I have never once never one time been asked for my degree in you know, I've been out of school like three years because I'm twenty one what about your freshman year? And you never never been asked for a grade point average never and that's not to say that that's not super relevant in other places, but I'm just like this is my empirical experience so it looks like we've got some questions from the internet to go we do there's a lot of great information online, a lot of good questions and first let me say thank you to both of you for not going geraldo because we love our noses over here no broken chairs or broken noses here wait start what is her role? You know, your age now we'll start off his break. I'm keeping my good looking numbers here with a question for you guys in three people on the panel, all of you guys have college degrees some guy, some of the post secondary education, a question that's coming in is what do you think motivated on schoolers like dale who have chosen not to go to college, do you think he's missing out on the college experience chase you just mentioned that you never been asked your degree, but through different experiences you've learned is not preneurs aha biologist the experience of those four or five years of being a college student on campus, the irony of my personal college experiences it was built largely on the back of aspiring to be a professional soccer player. I was I went to college on a soccer scholarship division one school I really went there. I went to a school that was in the top ten, division one in my sport so that I could have the best opportunity to pursue the thing that I was passionate about then and I learned in conjunction now I got a couple degrees I you know, I did the course in philosophy, a lot of getting into a phd program. I did a course in premed that allowed me to medical school, but what I did, I learned what I liked in that time period, and I think that that environment can be reasonable for that because that's, what I took out of it, I just don't know if it's necessary do you need to go into debt? Do you need tio live in someone else's dorm? Do you need to be run it's possible that that zvehr is clearly very good at those things but is it necessary and is all the financial strapping and the challenges that it creates worth that is a part of the trade off? So that's my personal that's sort of what about human? Well, I found after I graduated that there are a lot of keg parties that don't happen on college campuses right on uh, you know, I I think that the rial defense ability around the undergraduate experience on most of america's campus is a what I call a culture of personal exploration, right, which is part of this coming of age story that we like to tell ourselves about college to think that, uh, the reason that a culture of personal exploration is necessary to go through it because at some point you have to decide what you're passionate about, you have to decide what's interesting you you have to decide what you want, your unique contribution to the world to be somebody like dale kind of found that calling without going to school, and I think that if you know what you're calling is and you're the type of person who can go out and seize all the opportunities that are available to you can communicate can acquire skills, you can certainly survive and thrive without, you know, without going to mindy that cadet, but the verdict's out on how do we measure that? How do we identify those individuals? How do we you know, how do we look at there resume even though we don't look at resumes as we found today? But how do we interpret that? And I've met lots of people the bay area is this weird little bubble where kind of everybody's willing to throw out assumptions about somebody and I met lots of people that are not going to college have dropped out of college and are doing incredibly well I've also met lots of people who went to college and would never take that experience back, so you know, unfortunately there is no clear answer on this one yeah, I wouldn't make the assumption that self discovery transformation happens in the context of a university was a large are one or small liberal arts you need to find that path that's going to work for you you're learning made happen on a ship at sea it may happen because you're spitting the smartest person I know is a teacher bills himself as a high school dropout who teaches high school, gabriel told rose right he talks about it ain't what you got to tell you freak it right? So if you're going it so the university eight what's you know what it's about it's, how you freaking how you use it so my italian grandmother would say nozze he need to sniff it out. If you think a university is a place, you might gain some value because there's a community, a practice you want to spend time with or a methodology or a research lab or a faculty member, go sniff it out, go spend some time before you make that investment don't blindly invest. If your parents are pushing you into the university months, they hold up. Wait a minute, let me make sure I'm doing this because I need to do it it's implicit to me, not just explicit because I'm doing it for you and those are the tough things you need to grapple with. So yeah, I think it's a place where transformation could happen, but it's not the only place I like grandma's snuff tests? Yeah, I think I think I think that just has to do with with with the sheer amount of time, right, you spend four years by the time you're twenty two, you're probably more mature and have had more life experience than the time you're eighty let me see one more things I love when chase said that the valuable thing for him and what being courageous to fail universities in the best ways that I found in classrooms, especially the classrooms design, fail often fail fast learn from your failures university actually gives you a space to fail I wouldn't want to learn how to be a firefighter by apprenticing in a place where I'm failing I mean, I can't fail their surgery, right? Right? So you know, it does give you a place to fail, but you learn from that failure hopefully we're going to go to the way we have a quick question, for sure, giorgio out of a question for you, and it would be that in regards to assessment, how do you standardize assessment for so many different people with how do you assess creativity? How do you assess, right? So I thought I asked a question I think assessment and evaluation is important not so much summited assessment, not so much standardized assessment I like differentiated assessment. I like what's known whether the very word formative assessment assessment that informs you learned this you've been critiqued aa lot by your peers and there are people that you trust when you give your opinion that's evaluation now you're going to take it in, you're going to take it up and you're going to either use it or disregarded, but you're going to learn from that conversation you're gonna learn from that critique, you know a zion sharpens iron and get stronger, so for me that's where assessment in the classroom, if I'm a teacher, I want that's why I think where the real value added is are we training our teachers to provide the type of formative critique, the type of formative assessments? And are we having everyone in the room learn those skills? So guess what they can critique and and nurture each other that doesn't have to happen in a classroom, but I think for me, that's important part of assessment, it's, not a standardized test that may have a role if you are an accountant of accountability, but see, I want to shift to being stewards of learning that's the shift. I want to see how go back to the I want to go back to the phones as that thing s so this is a question for michael, but can be addressed by everyone from bookworm. There seems to be a misalignment with the skills that universities sometimes teach and what companies are looking for. Do you see if maybe do use the universities and companies working tio together to create a better curriculum to match the skills that on demand that air on demand in the job market? So s o I personally as an investor and looking for a type of company to come in and help correct this, like non violent, non cooperation that's happening between companies? Andi university environment, I mean, again, I think that, ah, course courses as a unit of learning experience and a major have been designed around the professor's knowledge and not generally around the workplace. There are some exceptions to that, but by and large that tends to be the case yeah, I think that there was there was a study that came out mckinsey just published that something like seventy four percent of professors think they're preparing college students for the workforce and like around forty percent of corporations and forty percent of students actually feel that way. So there's there's a news that there's a disconnect yeah, that high obviously I think those are a little misinformed actually, but and it's actually that gap that skills gap that is making room for the type of disruption and kind of transformation that we're going to see, I think that universities are gonna have to get their act together in terms of making sure that students are graduating with those types of skills. It doesn't mean that they have to design all of their academic programs specifically aligned to just succeeding within corporations because that would be enormously boring, right? But certainly something needs to come along too to address that. And, uh yeah, that's that's I guess all I have to say about that I can add we've just gone through this process of adding a component to our masters of digital media program that we're calling communities and network and reframing everything under communication leadership and one of the major parts of that conversation was having innovative summits with leaders and mobile technology leaders and gaming leaders and design to think about what are the skills, competencies and conceptual understandings you were looking for let's look at your job descriptions how can our curriculum begin tow line and that that's just one motive input that we're having as we've redesigned thes thesis courses but I think that input is crucial if you're going to create relevant and meaningful learning yeah again I'll try and come from a super simple base angle this is how we think about it creative live and I think this is how I have thought about my own education for a long time is yes the community who they want what they want to learn and then you give it to him in the most fun I mean again I don't want to that's totally novel isn't it it's good that's what I mean it's so crazy so what we have done teo teo to are the people that participate in creative live the learners the audience are friends and community what do you want to learn and who do you want a letter from now? Yeah and in one environment and with a handful of just simple like questions that go out to the community here we get super long list that is very, very, very obviously waited like oh well, there are these five things that people really want to learn and then we go talk to the best people in the world and say we have got a willing audience are you guys interested in your interest in coming in creative life and in defense of universities that you our audience at least the way the way I think about it now and I could could be a total miss number right r r r creative professionals and entrepreneurs that are like really interested and kind of figuring out how to become more successful as individuals and get opportunities that are available to them and they're much more able to articulate what it is that they need to know that's in between them and that next opportunity for them ah, where is like, you know, seventeen year olds and eighteen year olds are like they're not not necessarily choosing to have passionate and this is a low energy low I mean, I mean, how often have you been asked to learn if someone what do you want to learn a twelve week? We need to go back that I talked about that continue, we should be instilling and leading people in tow own they're learning from and that is the credos which creative life is built is that, you know, best what's best for you, and if you don't, you'll find out through the rigors of life tio trying things out on the railing and trying out something else if you don't like that, right? And ideally, this is a low risk, low barrier way low cost way too get exposed to some of the best in the world you can find that is that someone you want to be like? Is that what they do is what you want to wake up and do every day? And what is that what's? The price of no it's e, thanks for take for what I said and making a little bit simpler. What do you want to learn? It's simple. When we asked that question of the community, it was an interesting response, because it wasn't just the skills and aptitudes we want professionals to come out with, the particular attitude to continue to be able to learn and relearn things are moving so fast, the disruptions, or so disruptive that how do you have an individual who consort of roll with that and it's, that attitude thing? And I think that's something that, uh and I won't say just professional master's degree program can do, but that's how we're doing ours? Yeah, so two things that I wanted to, and that one, is that the the idea that people need to be ableto learn, continuously, learn and refining home they're building to learn is this whole topic of metal learning, which we spent time on yesterday morning, and a ncaa lidge, the group that I run in starting a gap year program this fall. Where does that designing an entire curriculum specifically around that, and asking why, if that is the skill that we want people to learn, do we expect people are? We'll learn that by proxy, after setting a certain subject, as opposed to just teaching that directly. The second that I wanted to say is that I think we have the opportunity to learn from other countries here in connecting industry with education. Germany, for example, has a great system of apprenticeships. Only about twenty percent of their students graduate high school actually go into a traditional high school. The other eighty percent go into apprenticeships that air developed directly in participation with industry experts, so that people have jobs when they are when they, when they finish those that's. Why germany has one of the lowest youth unemployment rates in the world. I love it, and I love the idea and there's so many resource out there, whether we're talking about the ones that sort of we, um, you know, stand for, but I think that we can also also like your your book is a fantastic learning. Resource, you just talked about metal learning. Tim pairs his book before our chef is not just about cooking it's about learning how to learn michael ellsberg education millionaires it's not what you think and it's not too late there's so many resources out there to get inspired on how to learn and to what I did when researching sort of artists and finding out the kinds of things that artists did that I really respected. I read about him and to read about the kinds of people who are doing the things that you don't need necessarily have need to aspire to be them but to learn about how they learned about him it's it's very often a circuitous path that makes you feel better about not being on this track and I'm going to do this and this and this I never assisted. For example, um I went to that was a phd program which is really unusual in philosophy which have anything to do with art. So I feel like those the ability to learn that the path that you're on is the right path even if it's confusing if it's different is makes people more comfortable in their own self directed learning I am I have a great uncle attilio on my uncle daddy o they were tile centers when they came over from italy, they tiled their way from ohio tha southern california and the that you know sixties yeah, yeah, yeah our family claimed to flame is they tiled john wayne's home well and when when I had a film premiere at the newport beach film festival ethan wayne hosted the festival and I was able to go to his house and go I haven't in you see this floor my uncle did this florida's cranky bastard that's my uncle, right? But what my uncle said in learning tile and going out on the crew with him it's it's it's this notion of see one do one teach one I want you to watch me watch me do tile now you're going to do one and I'm gonna watch you and give you could cheek now the skill is if I can teach someone else that he's going to hire me and put you on the crew so that learning and being able to re learn and the the ability to share that learning and I think that's what's key when you just talked about having this global perspective, it's not that I need to go teach someone else in the world what can I learn from our partners and friends and family in south africa, brazil, peru they're doing amazing things and where's that where's that reciprocity of learning so we can learn I think, in mutually beneficial ways I think we have small comments, yes, something like the internet. I know I'm in the right place because geraldo was referenced and someone said, it ain't what you got, but it's, how you freaking okay, this is created by here question here in views from fashion tv and active, a contributor on current creative live fashion tv says in view of academia, if we say we are student, or maybe even a graduate of something like a creative live, who or what will give us the validation that we are good enough to do what we claim a degree older has a piece of paper from an institution that provides that validation, how do we get that validation? Otherwise, I think you just gave a interesting example of that. I have to hijack this because my hope for this platform as an example is that you are inspired every day by whoever is up on here that they're going to give you just the bread crumbs that, like, you're good enough if you can do this, this and this this is when you should be buying this next camera or trying to go out on your own that it's a part of the actual learning is the inspiration and the validation, because most I've never received outside validation for anything I've done wait a whole kardashian. Yesterday about the importance of being able to internally assess and derived that value from now is the time where I can actually go to this so I can charge this much right it's my time to direct my first film a commercial whatever no one is that they're going and I knight you you're now a director never happens so the idea of someone else doing that for me through any assessment on fashion style tv or whatever the commenters name was I haven't personally experienced it and I was in a phd program not even then if anything they gave me this false I think so yeah I mean I was wondering if if someone gave michael permission to start his first company no, as a matter of fact my mom for four years especially my grandma said that I needed to get a real job so they encouraged me to be a bank after you had raised money after I had raise money was so yeah there was even though I found the silicon valley environment very encouraging there's that you know uh it's it's an uphill battle the whole time for sure and it's a it's a solo journey attn east beginning of course after after the first couple of months hopefully it's a team sport but yeah oh well I was going to circle back the one thing that we we look at it learn capital is really the rise of brands so creative live is building a brand around great production world's experts we we've invested in general assembly, which, you know, it's, a cox for two thousand years, to build a global brand. It took harvard, you know, three hundred years to build a global brand, it of general assembly, about nine months, so we think that with the ability to communicate with the world at large, you can also communicate the integrity of the educational programming your delivery on. So as a result, even though maybe right now, you know, somebody that's on the receiving end of your application may not have an association with these new new emerging brands is only a matter of time before they just go. Oh, you know, I've seen you take like, ten courses on a creative live where I've seen you do this, and like that indicates to me that you're getting your information in the right places, and I can trust the education that I think one thing that you did really smartly in naming creative lives, that you added the cultural value right there in the name, right, it's about creativity in the same way a cz imagined earlier that people who who goto wharton or finance people on like a mighty is the hackers, and harvard is the crazy academics I would you know the assumption and I would like to talk with the person asked the validation question for me the validation is mohr important in that critique and that assessment and that nurturing of the work but for me the work is the validation whether it's on the wall in the print in your portfolio and I would argue the folks who are going to look at some validated degree and for higher I don't want to work for that person anyway right? But and I think you're right the move is changing on what we count as counting so I think it's one it's about the work you have to do great work yes you have to hustle no one's going to give you anything and so it's about the work and about the hustle and whether that winds up in a degree or not that's sort of mood and that's where the lack of like the lack of fulfillment on the promise of traditional education pisses me off yeah is there's an understanding that if you're in school or I feel like I can still say this that there's an understanding that if you're in school especially a good school uh a brand of pedigree behind it that you're going to get a job if you get out and it's just not true it's just completely not true and yet are our youth are investing their money their parentsmoney their time they're precious years of their life to get out and find that they've been misled. The stats are really grim you had twenty two and a half percent of college grads under twenty five are unemployed, another twenty two percent are working jobs that don't require thirty so fifty percent of the people roughly our host yeah that's not a good friend and using the fifty percent that drops out before they even graduate. Yeah, so it's fifty percent to drop of for the graduate. I don't even know what percent is that I'm lost track, but it sounds like it smells flying. Yeah, and what what smells funny about it is this false promise, and what I aspire to create is a world where we don't offer false promises that we provide an environment that is rich and people going to figure out. Now, I can't say there's a whole cross section of the world that we're talking about that still doesn't have access to even these things that we're talking about, regardless of the berries of geography and costs and want an internet connection on the forty percent thirty eight percent of the world has active internet so there's all kinds of people that were moving behind, and we can't forget to address that in this conversation, but the hope is that the kinds of programs that we build are more scannable into those those areas economic, social, economic circles than certainly then the ivy towers are I'm interested in jumping into that question for a bit to think about is it is it? Is it education that it makes the most sense to care about? Or is that other thing to address the people who who don't have who don't have food or drink? One quick argument for those who've spent any time in schools? What that might be called low performing schools? If you want to raise test scores, give everyone lunch, you want a taste test scores, make sure everyone gets breakfast. So what rule to school have to play in order to provide lunch and breakfast? What role does the community have to provide to play lunch and breakfast? And I would make the argument it is a societal in a community construct because if we don't provide lunch and breakfast, we're going the cost down stream is going to be even mohr it's more beneficial society to have people learn, I think it's interesting to think about all the different all the different societal functions that we consign the school like nutrition like, you know, being a safe place like, you know, being in a equalizing access to opportunity and maybe they're maybe there are other social programs that could serve those same functions that we could build, it just might not be scribed I think that one of the one of the reasons that higher education has kind of turned into this kind of program that it has where there's not direct alignment to job opportunities and a lot of graduates, they're kind of ending opposed eyes that we've equated wave equated equal access to opportunity with you must go to school right? And I'm really interested in innovation around that that concept right? Because trying to get force everybody to go into one building to access all things that are important to them age five twenty two just like it's just like not not gonna work it's not it's not cost effective and so um I think we should question that right? That being said I do think that there's the last mile problem is definitely something that only the government can provide in society has to decide that it's important to provide that last mile problem and what I mean by that is like it's it's always more expensive to make sure that everyone has equal access like the markets only going toe fulfilled sixty, seventy percent we have to decide as a society it's really important to make sure that everybody has the opportunity tio get the kind of information and the types of experiences that everyone deserves that I was talking about about us deciding that we have to proactively go into the or create things that are the most likely adoptable in those spaces? Sure, again, I don't think ivory towers in massachusetts are the answer, right? It's probably something that has scheduled technology community temples, but I think that's I think the other point I don't think equity and access and excellence need to be mutually exclusive. I think they need to be together and in defense of a place like the college of it, I was the ceo of the college of education for the university of washington for six years. One of the things that they did that I have a lot of respect for is, you know, they would place teachers into schools to learn how to become teachers, right? But then they began placing those teachers into community based organizations is part of their internship to understand that the roll that these community based organizations play in community and when you're in the classroom is just not you and shut the door there's a community here, and you're not the only one who can solve did are we getting a good lunch? We need to think, and I think more systematic process is, and I think, whether it's the factory ization, the over factoring of education with a silo wing of education, we've lost sight that were being asked, answer questions that we can't answer by ourselves. We need to figure out how to work together our program needs a partner with you all right? So let's figure it out yeah can I can add to the estimate so one thing is when I win again we think about the structure and the the conceptual framework in the strategy on creative live there are things in teaching that are wonderful they're not broken educational system that's broken it's not it's not learning so the parts that are great is like right now there are a couple people um who are like verbalizing and you know, waving their hands in the air diagram and whatever wrong no yeah and then there's somebody on the other end who is listening so there's this teacher student communication but there's also the student to teacher communication right? Those guys on gals out there in the internet or be able to ask us questions you folks here can ask this question both those air mimicking the traditional educations and then there's the student to student part which right now are fulfilled with our chat room and we're working on that product is going to continue to get better we've got, you know, five hundred thousand people and they're having their own little side education that's hopefully benefiting what it is that we're doing so I think when you talk about where it's coming from all different places in the community as well, these ideas I want to continue to fulfill that hair credible that's an important we've got about five minutes left so I think should take one or two more questions and then wrap up is there anything here in the audience you guys should get something doing a question I actually just had a thought I mean we've been talking about education in the educational system but we don't talk about learning yeah actually no I I want to talk about you know, the demand part of it the businesses that are looking for these people with college degrees you know they're the ones that air that air you know, setting this demand for this there are all these people going through you know, how do you change that part of it and you guys haven't I mean obviously you guys have taken some steps here but you know with the greater you know, business community how do you you know, how do you change that line of thinking? I don't know if some of the some of the most well respected people that I know in the business sector hacked their own education and they actually were able to position it through the intelligence that they drive through hacking on education they positioned it in a way that it was a massive upside I know people that got into college about taking the g r e that's afflicted yeah, there you go like that is it's, like it says in the law that you have to do these things, but yeah, canada, but that to me there is this thing that it's sort of above and beyond if you can find a way to to succeed without the traditional sort of trajectory, I think businesses go wow, that's really it's it. Now you have to there's a narrative around that you have to be able to tell the story about how and why you did that and that's, not for everybody, and I don't think that any of these things and I don't want to be sort of over overly prescriptive I wanna acknowledge that there's a range of options, but I'm not quite sure that the business community is as hard, fast on this degree thing that we talked about his cultural culturally, I think it's a it's, a concensus, it's like a societal concensus. Um, you know certain large companies that have complex hr operations pre screen for degrees, but if you're just go approaching a small business and you can talk directly, the business owner and you come across, somebody is going to add value to their organization. You're in and rest businesses in this country, our smallest and most businesses are small business, so I don't know if I again agree with the assumption I used to coach my son's baseball team until he realized he'd rather have any dad is not coach and one of the practice he goes, you know, pop, you know how you talk about we all need to be on the same page I said, yeah, you're getting is that there's no such thing is the same page it's about the links there's no front door to validate to get that job, there's multiple in points into large companies, small companies, ngos and again it's about how do you get into that conversation? How do you demonstrate you work? And how do you make the case that you're adding value? That degree may do that, but increasingly that's not the thing, right? No use twelve ground I cannot be cheeky. You should see what my daughter does with minecraft talk about designing new learning environments education we're gonna be in minecraft awesome. So I think I think to close off the panel, I wantto give you each I'm in order to to talk about what are the things that you most want to make absurd about the education system going forward. We're seeing such a time of dynamic change with technology impacting education, I'm curious what what one of the things that you most want to make absurd in ten years, creativity is the new literacy and if we don't understand that that the human that the fundamental state of being of a human being is to be creative, that, uh I want to make that the fact that our culture now is only just starting to understand that to be the most absurd thing because creativity not whether just, you know, painting, drawing, photography, but creativity and business. Seth gordon's, you know, in lynchpin he calls all his business people in their artists because what he's driving at is creativity is this fundamental enabler enables people to find pass it didn't exist to create things that weren't there before them and to feel fulfilled because that's, the natural state of human being so I aspired to continue to be creative in many ways I can and if in the future that idea that creativity used to just mean drawing, painting, designing, photographing, filming, who's, yeah, has some somehow separate. We've completely missed the boat that's I would feel very surprised if we can turn that in the next five years. I think that what needs to become absurd and will become absurd is our relationship with time and our relationship with to work in education are in in schooling and specific, whereas, you know, with this ubiquitous access to information and the ability to kind of have self paced learning, it makes the idea of having bells going off all day long and all the distractions and people shuffling around it just makes it totally absurd and the y the way that things were carved into semesters and summers and a four year degree program just don't make any sense in a world where you're going to constantly need to upgrade your skill sets, and you're going to constantly need to to challenge yourself by learning more, and then the next one is is the relationship to work, which is in school? The work is something you do to practice the knowledge, whereas, like in life, actually, like knowledge is a tool you use to do the work and to do great work, right? And I think that's going to be flipped on its head and it's just going to seem absurd that people did all these worksheets just to practice knowledge when what you're actually trying to do is use knowledge is a tool to do great work. Yeah, the shift I see happening and it will happen sooner than ten years. I'm thinking by four o'clock there shit from teaching to someone to teaching and learning with someone, and that goes across the board, whether that's through a creative, live experience to a general assembly experience through a playground experience or school experience, how do we become again, this idea of stewards of learning and and each other's learning so I think that's a big move that we need to see now, it's going to be hard, hard to get there, but that's what's great about this particular example, and I'm not I'm not pimping for you anything you have engagement going on at a multiple levels, right? People in the audience, people out there, this is going to live beyond our time, even here today, and hopefully that discussion will will get further. So the big shift is how do we create? Learn, engaging, learning that shifts teaching to teaching with from transmission to transaction because I got ninety seconds? Can I get in one more? I know I'm watching the clock there, too, with you the the idea that learning stops at age twenty two years of college to me, that is, that we have to blow that up on day. One of the things that I want creative life to really focus on is this idea of lifelong learning to me that narrative is that the folks can change careers at thirty forty, fifty, sixty that we want to be able to represent learning for a range of people, range of ages, different career paths, and even if your learning not to have a career in that thing, learning is beautiful, learning is I get we have to take not only passed one, two, but the nine, ten, twelve year olds. Much more seriously. They're super smart. They need to be part of the design of their own learning. And as we talked about earlier today, learning requires active engagement. I I'm I'm very pleased that you could be a model with this platform, and I hope that everyone, everyone here and everyone watching at home can be a model in their own right, of making, learning, active and engaging.

Class Description

For most of us, getting a good education that prepares us for a satisfying, successful life and career means going to school and attending college. We pay our dues by sitting for hours in a classroom, doing the prescribed homework, and often paying tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of getting a degree from an institution of higher learning.

But that’s not the case for Dale Stephens, who decided at a young age that school and college weren’t for him. Instead, he embraced “unschooling,” which is self-directed learning based on curiosity, confidence and grit. Instead of blindly following what society and institutions say we must learn and how we should learn it, Stephens offers an alternative approach that is richer, more dynamic and geared to our unique interests.

Stephens is the author of “Hacking Your Education,” founder of Uncollege.org, a highly sought-after speaker, and a successful investor and advisor. He and his special guest speakers will help you devise your own personal learning path, figure out your dreams and how to pursue them, learn to embrace your outsider status, and discover how to find meaning and purpose while also making a living.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Create a personal learning plan that defines what you want to learn, why you want to learn it, and how you will learn it.
  • Keep yourself motivated when you don’t have the structures of school.
  • Identify what your goals and dreams are and what you need to learn to realize them.
  • Connect with mentors and advisors who can help you on your educational journey.
  • Build a community with other “hackademics” to help you learn anything you want.
  • Create a portfolio to communicate your talents rather than a traditional resume.
  • Find a well-paying, satisfying job using subversive job search techniques.


a Creativelive Student

I'm not able to afford this class now but I saw the live view on CL and want to thank you! So many things I have experienced recently it was nice to learn that I am not alone...talk about filters, time managing as innovators, taking smaller steps instead of reaching for long goals...chunking. Great course!