Opening Keynote: EVERY STUDENT COLLEGE READY – Wake Technical Community College Professional Development Conference 2016

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8:25am, Student Services Building. Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh, NC. Presented by Dr. Jim Argent of Knightdale High School of Collaborative Design

Opening Keynote: EVERY STUDENT COLLEGE READY – Wake Technical Community College Professional Development Conference 2016

Opening Remarks recognized the professional development committee, myself included. :). Teachers from multiple locations were recognized based on their campus.

Where we stand as educators

When you think about what educators do, you’ll find yourself in the face of the most rapid shift in history. We are moving from “sage on the stage” or content expert into “educating all children”. We are being asked as educators to do more with more.

You cannot be a high school dropout and have a good career. You may find that even having a an HS diploma is enough these days. Having that, and that alone is like being behind the 8-ball. Even education in a mechanic shop need a beyond-high school education. Armed forces require as much secondary education as a career in the workplace.

College kids come unprepared from high school. Highschool kids come unprepared from middle school. Middle school doesn’t get the best from elementary, and elementary kids don’t come from their homes prepared for school. So who’s to blame? You need to do the best with what you’re given, and you cannot ever give up.

Innovation Required

In order to get to the best final product you can, you cannot take the “I taught them and they failed to learn because its their fault”. Change is coming. Who LOVES change? 2.5% total, the ones called “innovators”. IN fact, even if they love the change, these groups are often bored with this change and waiting for the next.

How many people fight to give up their mimeograph machines? What are the good old days? At best, they’re now. There really are no good old days. We have short life spans. Think about what was really happening, and you’ll find that there are more improvements and advancements now.

He switched to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in classroom. He was ready to get jumped by teachers at all time. However, they couldn’t stop students, so they needed to embrace it. How many of the audience had checked email or text during the speech so far? MANY OF US. Even when watching TV, we stare at the info stream at the bottom of the screen. We are inundated with information. By embracing it, the classrooms have come much farther together.

Slides and Conversation

We began the slide deck with some quick introductions and an imploring cry to innovate. We then moved into the Wake Tech Mission Statement. Why do we go to Wake Tech? We get up and could go anywhere, but we choose to come here. Our Mission Statement is solid. “Meeting the needs of the community” is vague.

What is your Why?

Jim Argent’s why is that he is a principal and want s to leave a loving, nurturing environment behind that prepares individuals for the future. The key isn’t to know What, but in fact, to know WHY.

Michael Jr. Know Your Why (4m video)

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When you know your Why, you can begin to change your What. When you know your Why, your What has more purpose. Your what is the content of what you teach. Your Why is the way in which you can teach or deliver that content.

In your job, when you have 20 students drop into your classroom, what is your Why? (self discovery time ensues). The Why of this for me is that I have the knowledge, and I love to ensure that those under my tutelage are prepared.

Why Specifically for Today

There is power in discord and debate. There is power in opposing and different ideas. I want to challenge your thinking, be slightly controversial and grow the YOU. If we don’t change the K-16 education, our roles will become obsolete. We need to critical thinkers, collaborators, communicators, and creators!

Five Posits From Jim

  1. There has always been tension between adults and young adults. Children want to be treated like adults, but adults say they aren’t ready
  2. Technological advances will continue to widen the chasm between this tension. Think BETA vs VHS. Your phone is a supercomputer in the palm of your hand. First thing Jim did with his phone was read the manual. Kids open and start playing. Kids learn by doing, we often learn by learning. This gap gets wider as time goes on.
  3. Current technology and political environment is changing the mission of an educational system. Changes occur quickly – Every 6 months or so. More futurists will occur or will occur more frequently in your professional development keynotes because the future is coming. and coming more rapidly.
  4. For the first time in education, skills are equal to or greater than the content in importance. All our educational materials can be found online. Every business has their own knowlege. if you look at the top 10 skills in the industry, very few of them are content related, while skills are more important. They will teach you, develop that talent.
  5. You will either change or die.

The Myth of Average

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By building materials to the average, it would seem that we would cover all bases. Since there is no “average”, designing for the “average” means that you are in effect designing for no one. While this task may seem impossible at the beginning, it soon becomes the well from which many innovations occurred and many items can be built to excellence.

We are still building textbooks for the “Average Student”. Again, what is “Average”. Are our blackboard shells built to the “Average”? If the Average hurts everyone, why is that still the norm?

Designing on average destroys talent. Gifted students get bored and pay less attention. Those who have low skills in certain areas often drop or withdraw rather than continue in a class in which teachers to the incorrect modality.

In our classroom, are we teaching to the average, or are we teaching to the edges?

So What are employers looking for?

Top ten things employers look for in new college graduates (2007) by Peter D Hart Foundation.

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  1. The ability to work well in teams—especially with people different from yourself
  2. An understanding of science and technology and how these subjects are used in real-world settings
  3. The ability to write and speak well
  4. The ability to think clearly about complex problems
  5. The ability to analyze a problem to develop workable solutions
  6. An understanding of global context in which work is now done
  7. The ability to be creative and innovative in solving problems
  8. The ability to apply knowledge and skills in new settings
  9. The ability to understand numbers and statistics
  10. A strong sense of ethics and integrity

Top ten things employers look for in new college graduates (2016) by JOB OUTLOOK 2016. national association of employers

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Figure 1: Attributes employers seek on a candidate’s resume

  1. Leadership 80.1%
  2. Ability to work in a team 78.9%
  3. Communication skills (written) 70.2%
  4. Problem-solving skills 70.2%
  5. Communication skills (verbal) 68.9%
  6. Strong work ethic 68.9%
  7. Initiative 65.8%
  8. Analytical/quantitative skills 62.7%
  9. Flexibility/adaptability 60.9%
  10. Technical skills 59.6%
  11. Interpersonal skills (relates well to others) 58.4%
  12. Computer skills 55.3%
  13. Detail-oriented 52.8%
  14. Organizational ability 48.4%
  15. Friendly/outgoing personality 35.4%
  16. Strategic planning skills 26.7%
  17. Creativity 23.6%
  18. Tactfulness 20.5%
  19. Entrepreneurial skills/risk-taker 18.6%

What will they be looking for in 2022? That is the current high school strategy. That is the year the current freshman will graduate from wake tech

UK Fast Future researchers

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  • body part maker
  • Nano-Medic
  • Farmer of genetically engineered crops and livestock
  • Quarantine Enforcer
  • Old age wellness manager/consultant
  • Memory augmentation surgeon
  • ‘New science’ ethicist
  • Vertical farmers
  • time broker/time bank trader
  • avatar manager/virtual teacher
  • virtual lawyer
  • climate change reversal specialist
  • space artchitects
  • space poilot & tour guide

63% by 2018 the percentage of jobs require post-secondary education
Carneval AP, Smith & Strohl j (2010) Help wanted: Projectsion of jobs and education requirements through 2018

Skills vs. Content.

The average worker holds 10 different jobs before age forty, and 12-15 over a lifetime.


SO, what does this mean for K-16 Education

  • what does this mean for teaching?
  • what does it mean for your partnerships?
  • Does Content Matter?
  • How do we manage this polarity?

HOw can we develop collaboration and creativity? How can we keep both traditional and modern skills? Which content will fade and what will development?

We need to prioritize. What will have endurance. What will keep importance as time goes on? If we cannot teach all content to fruition, what can we teach and request that they enrich? What’s really important in the next step of their career because that’s the step we cannot fail to teach.

As College teachers, we care that students know annotation. We don’t care that they know onomonopeia. We don’t care the year of the battle of hastings. from it came the magna carta, but we don’t care that they know that either. We DO care that they know that the magna carta was a basis-point for the constitution and our current government.

Innovative Teaching Practice

  • How do you teach?
  • are you responsible for content or skills?
  • what skills do you develop

5 stages of change

Rogers, Everett 16 august 2003

Its an Era of Amazing Change

Dancing Guy Ted Talk

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A movement begins and grows in less than 3 minutes. The leader embraces the equals, but the first followers really take the brunt of the leadership process.

Social-Emotional Learning

In-post secondary education:

  • what is your job as far as the social emotional health of your students
  • If students could go to any class for free and your class was not a pre-requisite for a degree, would students show up?
  • Would you want to be in your class? How about your child? how about President Scott’s Child?

In closing, the future of teaching is changing even faster than the present climate. Its vastly important to ensure that we are pushing the envelope to develop the best of the best and teach the skills relevant to careers which don’t exist yet in the hopes of having an intelligent student population which can solve problems which don’t exist yet.