See highlights from 3-day event on transforming education, featuring diverse voices ranging from politics to entertainment
Editor's note: ASU Now will be covering this week's ASU + GSV Summit in San Diego, an event that started in 2010 with a collaboration between Arizona State University and Global Silicon Valley that attracts more than 4,000 leaders from across the learning and talent spectrum and serves as a platform for elevating dialogue about raising education and career outcomes through scaled innovation. Find highlights below from some of the hundreds of panels, including videos, quotable quips and links to longer stories.
All right, all right, all right: Famous folks on the power of education
10:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 18
Mexico has progressed rapidly over the past generation thanks to better education, according to Vicente Fox, a businessman and the former president of Mexico. Fox delivered the final keynote address Wednesday, an evening that focused on education's power to transform and also featured Hollywood star power: Matthew McConaughey speaking about his student-focused foundation.
Changing the way people approach college
8 p.m. Wednesday, April 18
Eric Waldo, executive director of Michelle Obama's Reach Higher Initiative at Civic Nation, talks about how the U.S. has fallen in its worldwide educational ranking of post-secondary completion, and the strategies that could turn that around.
Video by David Jinks/ASU
What if we got rid of credits? Or semesters?
5:55 p.m. Wednesday, April 18
Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and former president of the Teachers College at Columbia University, talks about how the system of university education — based on credits and semesters — is outdated. Here, he shares what might replace that.
Video by David Jinks/ASU
Chronicle report: Emerging trends in U.S. higher ed
5:20 p.m. Wednesday, April 18
What forces will shape higher education over the next year? Goldie Blumenstyk, senior writer for the Chronicle of Higher Education, discussed key findings from The Chronicle’s 2018 Trends Report. Here are some emerging trends:
- The American campus ‘under siege’: “What we’re seeing is an incredible rise of incidents on campuses. That’s because a lot of organizations have discovered that a campus is a good place to make a statement about campuses as bastions of liberal thought. Incidents related to white supremacy, like leafletting, have tripled.”
- Students in charge: “There are a lot of students still disenfranchised, like students at community college, but what we’re seeing at a lot of institutions, in part because tuition is making up a larger piece of the pie, is the balance of power shifting. There’s a lot more market-demand curriculum, nicer dining halls and more of a focus on career services.”
- Loss of global prestige: “Because of difficulty with visas and DACA, the United States is a less popular destination for students from overseas. The U.K., Australia and New Zealand are making big pushes to go after the international market the U.S. seems to be turning its back on.”
- Student success up front: “This is not just about adaptive software platforms or success coaches. We’re seeing a systemic approach that looks different from a few years ago. The best example of this is at Georgia State, which is offering completion grants. They use data to identify students who are close to graduation and give them a small completion grants so they don’t drop out.”
- Black college renaissance: “The more we see hostility to people of color on campuses, the more that students of color will go to institutions where they find things friendly. We’ve seen record enrollment in (historically black colleges and universities), and we’ve seen increased enrollment of Latino students and Asian students at HBCUs.”
Let's hear from the founders of the summit
4:45 p.m. Wednesday, April 18
Video by David Jinks/ASU
The outlook for middle-skills jobs
4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18
What will the future of work be like for people who want a middle-class lifestyle but no college degree? Cross-sector panelists weigh in.
Digitalization and Education
3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18
As the world becomes more connected, it also becomes more complex. Jaime Casap, education evangelist at Google, discussed how students today must be prepared to solve global problems that haven’t been defined yet, using technology that hasn’t been invented, in roles that do not exist. To thrive in this new era, learners need to know how to learn, problem solve, think critically, and how to use digitization tools.
“Machine learning is core to everything that we do. The key question is, making sure that machine learning, artificial intelligence — we have to make sure that it’s inclusive, that it’s not biased. We have to make sure that we’re not solving for an old problem, but that we’re solving for a new problem. When we’re using machine learning and artificial intelligence to fix the homework problem, when we know homework doesn’t work, are we really solving anything?
“People always ask kids, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ That question makes no sense. Instead, I want to ask kids, ‘What problem do you want to solve?’ Because that gets us closer to what Danny Pink talks about in his book, ‘Drive,’ about what motivates all of us as human beings: purpose — what problem do you want to solve? The second question is, ‘How do you want to solve it?’ Autonomy. And then the most important question in education is the third one around mastery. What do you need to learn to solve that problem? What are the knowledge, skills and abilities that you need to have in order to solve that problem?”
Athletics intrinsically linked with education
2:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18
Sports and education experts formed a team to talk about the relationships that exist between college athletics, academics and the pro leagues — both good and bad. ASU President Michael Crow, adidas North America President Mark King and New York Times sportswriter Karen Crouse weighed in on the topic.
adidas' Mark King on what sport has meant in his life
2 p.m. Wednesday, April 18
Video by David Jinks/ASU
Where is testing going?
11 a.m. Wednesday, April 18
Modern measurement of learning efficacy and human skills is rapidly evolving, and machine learning and AI technologies are at the heart of much of the change. Leaders from a diverse set of organizations discussed the future of testing and assessment and other forms of measurement, at a panel called "From Hype to Insight: Measurement is Woke," led by moderator Karen Cator, CEO of Digital Promise.
Joanna Gorin, vice president, research, Educational Testing Service: I think what we need to make sure that we are doing, while we’re changing and evolving, is think of what we can take advantage of in terms of all of these technologies to better measure what it really means to learn and to know something, but not to lose sight of the fact that we still have to evaluate the data as evidence, and often times there is more data than is really meaningful to be able to do what we need to do.
Lou Pugliese, Action Lab managing director and Senior Innovation Fellow, ASU: At ASU…what we’re finding is that as we begin to go up the level of sophistication, meaning starting with these early tree adaptive systems, to more algorithm-based adaptive systems that really require better diagnostic models, we can start to see the ability to move from just measuring cognition and intelligence surface knowledge, to really measure competence in terms of what the students can actually do. I think that’s most important thing that AI accomplishes.
How to achieve real innovation
10:50 a.m. Wednesday, April 18
Several experts addressed change in universities at a panel titled, “Change Agents or Kamikaze Pilots? Can We Have Unfettered Innovation in HigherEd?”
Jeffrey Selingo, special advisor and professor of practice, ASU: Innovation can be a fuzzy word. What does innovation mean, but more importantly what does unfettered innovation look like? Higher education is a rightly regulated industry in the U.S. and that word unfettered makes some people nervous.
Marni Baker-Stein, provost and chief academic officer, Western Governors University: I think innovation is an empty word in and of itself. It is a tool in the toolkit to get to the most important thing, which is serving every learner better and better all the time. In that context, there is no such thing as unfettered innovation. I’ve never had an experience in my professional life and in working with companies to drive innovation, where there weren’t constraints. That’s what makes innovation innovative. How do we work within those constraints to drive change?
Selingo: As we think about innovation at existing institutions, do you have to change the culture first and then follow with a strategy?
Kevin Guthrie, president, Ithaka: We did a case study of ASU three years ago. We interviewed 50 people. It’s primarily cultural. The degree to which it’s strategic is clarity of vision. (ASU President) Michael Crow has experienced a clarity of vision and it’s taken 15 years. The first five years, there wasn’t a lot movement. We forget that. Whether you agree or don’t agree, what’s happening there is that there’s consistency that’s changing the culture. We asked what percentage of the faculty are on board with this story. And what all the leadership said was 80 percent are on board. It’s taken long enough that the people who are not are gone. Clarity of vision followed by a cultural change in terms of people, design and goals is critical to innovation within an institutional complex.
Diverse array of topics kicks off final day of ASU + GSV Summit
8 a.m. Wednesday, April 18
Read about all the highlights from the morning session, including a conversation about school violence with former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, a panel with ASU President Michael Crow and this year's McGraw Prize winners, and an expert discussion of the complexities of the Chinese and American education systems.
Fete for McGraw Prize winners
11 p.m. Tuesday, April 17
After the John Legend keynote and the panel discussion, ASU + GSV Summit participants were led by marching band to a reception in honor of the McGraw Prize winners.