“1.0 Schools cannot teach 3.0 Kids”

Found a Tedx by John Moravec, all about the future of work, learning. Worth a watch!  The best quote:

1.0 Schools cannot teach 3.0 Kids.

Love what he’s doing to help schools adjust to the digital age, and Cognitive Era…

Here are some notes on his talk:

1.0 Old World: we took data, turned into information, hierarchical structures, specific roles: your job was your work, and what you had to do was pretty clear.  Education system was set up to prepare people for these pre-designed jobs,  There was value, but we can do better.

2.0 World: knowledge society – taking information and transforming it into “personal knowledge” which has two forms:

  • explicit = reading book
  • tacit = learning by doing, experiencing

Idea of a career has changed: we have many jobs, float among many careers. Innovation is valuable. Knowledge is no longer constrained or organized by organizational structures.

3.0 World: Change happening so fast (hard to say ‘A caused B which caused C’ and then execute solution.) Knowledge centered, innovation centered workers = Knowmads. Individuals are no longer going to be tied to one company, or working one job. They collaborate, share, learn, unlearn, adapt, thrive in non hierarchial environments and not afraid of failure.

Idea of a career is depreciated concept! We all will be evolving our work as individuals. Jobs and “work” are different – Job is a gig,

Schools need to change. “1.0 Schools cannot teach 3.0 kids.”  Move to a social process, contextually reinvented, technology. Not hierarchical.  Teaching now is not just teacher to student, but student to teacher, we can all co-teach each other. Learning experiences can happen ANYWHERE.

Speaking of learning anywhere – my daughter did a science project and researched chocolate! On top of research she did online, we visited Chocolate Maya, a wonderful chocolate shop, and met Maya the owner and chocolatier. Maya showed my daughter videos, gave her a dried cocoa pod and beans!

Maya showing what cacao pods look like, how they are dried, etc.
Maya showing what cacao pods look like, how they are dried, etc.


Here are the costumes my girls had for Halloween this year! A big bag of Jelly Bellies, and a Toy Chica – from the online game Five Nights at Freddy’s 2…(This one seemed much easier to make than others like Foxy! Went with good old paper mache on a giant balloon…)

The girls were so happy. Jelly Bellies got tons of admiring stares and compliments. While Toy Chica didn’t get so many, it was pretty impressive even to those who had no idea what it was, and …those ‘in the know’, meaning kids who play 5 Nights at Freddy’s, loved it! One college student even asked to take a selfie with Toy Chica!

Toy Chica (from Five Nights at Freddy's computer game)
Toy Chica (from Five Nights at Freddy’s computer game)

We had a good, interactive time on the costumes – it made Halloween somehow more satisfying than buying them. I know a lot of parents can’t stand this kind of project, but I love them! That’s probably why I love the Makerspace idea, took the family up to the big Maker Faire in San Mateo a couple of years ago….It doesn’t feel like work, and I’d rather do craft/jerry rigging costumes than clean the living room or make dinner…

If I ever get around to making a costume for myself, I want to make a massive Totoro costume that glows, with the big toothy grin.

something like this one

Or just a simple cupcake car; love those

from Pinterest board https://www.pinterest.com/pin/125889752059893829/
from Pinterest board https://www.pinterest.com/pin/125889752059893829/

What should we teach our kids now that Knowledge is Obsolete? Part 1 – the Questions

OK, I was inspired by Pavan Arora, Director of Content at IBM Watson a few weeks ago when he spoke at the Information Development World Conference in San Jose.  He went way beyond the (rather creepy) IBM Watson video he showed, and put some reason and life into their concept of the new Cognitive Era that’s emerging.

  1. He said that the amount of knowledge in the world is doubling every two years. And this will accelerate as cognitive computing allows us to tap into all the unstructured data/information out there that was previously inaccessible. (I’m going to ignore what ‘knowledge’ actually means, and take this at face value for now.)
  2. There is more knowledge being created/uncovered in the world than any human being can absorb or understand or keep up with.  For example, even if doctors spend all their time reading the latest clinical research, they still couldn’t get through it all, let alone meet with patients and apply it. I expect this has been true for quite a while, but with the acceleration of information creation, it’s getting way beyond coping stages.
  3. Example 1: doctors can’t know all possible diseases, symptoms, etc. But they can query IBM Watson which can provide the most likely diagnoses to a certain set of symptoms, and provide the doctor with the information he needs to start with, so he can help the patient. 
  4. Example 2: have a look at this video showing how engineers can be walked through how to assemble technical gear. Amazing, wonderful…but hey, the engineer doesn’t need quite the skills or knowledge he had before. Turns this job into a picker in a warehouse job, really – need accuracy, speed, focus, but not an engineering or technical degree?
  5. Computers will surely take over many existing jobs – including knowledge worker jobs –  and we probably will see an even bigger income divide. Not due to exploitation or discrimination (like the mainstream narrative likes to insist), but due to the specialized skills needed, which will be in short supply, so those who have developed them will be paid more.

So what do kids need to know and learn to be successful and what skills will they need as the Cognitive Era comes about?

  • Memorizing facts and mastering a subject is not where it’s at, clearly.
  • What are the skills I need to be sure my kids learn outside of school? It’s a bit ridiculous to count on public K-12 schooling to take care of it – new approaches to learning would take decades to make their way around.
  • What resources and extra-curricular activities exist online or physically, that are worth exploring?

I’m working on Part 2: skills they need and Part 3: What do do as a parent.  With kids in 5th grade and 8th grade, I really want to do whatever I can outside of school for their learning.

Watch “Go with your gut feeling | Magnus Walker | TEDxUCLA” on YouTube

I enjoyed this talk – aligns with ideas I’ve been running across lately, pointing to the power of curiosity & instinct to help your life go in a good direction.  I like the idea that I don’t have to come up with a perfect plan, manifest everything ferociously, and dedicate every second driving to what I want.

I have too many examples in the past where I planned/put out a BHAG that never happened – my mind ends up stressed and screaming at me that ‘it’ll never happen’…So I’m more than willing to give all that up but retain the hope that I can get to a point where I’m contributing something meaningful through my work and still supporting my family.

But it’s simply interesting to hear Magnus summarize some of what he’s done and experienced, too. He didn’t follow the crowd, didn’t ‘know’ what his passion would look like from day 1. It developed over time. Magnus’ enterprising nature, authenticity and belief in possibility are things to emulate.

How to get what you want when you’re 13

I’m pretty proud of my son, who’s 13 years old and in 8th grade. He came to me a few weeks ago and said, “Mom, I want to start a Minecraft server again.”  He gave me a bit of background, and said he’d do work in exchange for me and his dad paying the server fees – just under $5.00 per month.   We talked about it, and I asked why would this time be different to last time he had a server, which he abandoned in the end, etc.). My son had some decent answers, so I asked him to write it up into a proposal for me.

Here is what he wrote:


And he ended it with this:


I was pretty happy with his proposal. He even got a Three Stooges reference in there (what in the world? where’d he hear about them? Google search).

I decided I wanted to find a chore that a) no one was doing already as part of their weekly family responsibilities, b) was something beneficial to the family and not make-work, and c) was appropriate for $4-5 per month. I decided on: Keep the front hall tidy!

My husband, bless him, doesn’t notice messiness, and he’s the one home during the day. The front hallway and table ends up covered with junk mail, school papers, small toys, key chains, Beanie Boos, dog leash, water bottles from volleyball, and on and on.  It bugs my mother (with whom we are living right now). It bugs me as well, both for the mess and for the eventual grump my mom will have to let out, complete with ‘you’re slobs, how can you live this way, etc.’ (Yes, I know; well, we just do).

So I proposed my son be responsible for keeping the front hall clear, which sounded do-able and more importantly, something he WOULD do (unlike washing the car for money, for example, which seems to be too much like hard work for 2 of my three kids) . I showed him physically what ‘tidy’ means to me (went with him to the front hall, commented on what should/shouldn’t be there).

Here is the proposal I drew up, which we agreed on, which is now signed:

contract for blog

And I guess I’m happy with myself, too.  My job as parent is to help my kids gain the skills they need to a) solve problems they face in life and b) take action to accomplish whatever they set out to do in life. I’m thinking my son is starting to learn how to put down in words what he wants, see it from another’s point of view and then persuade others to take action he would like them to take.

NZ hasn’t won the America’s Cup back…YET (a great word to use)

I’m so pleased at this moment in time to see the New Zealand team challenging for the America’s Cup! http://www.americascup.com/en/news/3/news/18070/day-3-preview-who-wants-it-more

From Team NZ UAE website

I lived in Auckland from 1999 – 2007, so saw Team New Zealand defend against the Prada (Italy) Challenger in 2000 and then lose completely to Alhinghi (Switzerland) in 2003.  It was so sad! The NZ boats in 2003 were not as fast, simple as that, so complete loss. I remember the commentary –

1. Now that top sailors (like Russell Coutts) can join another national team, NZ will probably never win again since best will go get more $$ elsewhere

2. We thought our NZ challenger team was great but guess not.

etc, etc.

The temptation after a loss to conclude “I am not good enough, we are not good enough, I’m a loser, this proves they are better than me” is huge.  But imagine after every loss/unexpected outcome, if you said to yourself:  I am not there YET. I haven’t achieved my goal YET.  I am not the best YET.

Here is what Carol Dweck, leading professor/researcher has to say about the word YET which got me thinking.

I wonder if that is what Dean Barker, Grant Dalton and co. said to themselves back in 2003.

This can be applied not just to learning but to any goal you have. Adding that word gives you room for action and for hope. It jolts me out of any wallowing and discouragement and gets me back into action and focusing on what I want to accomplish.

Important Measures of Success

I don’t know what about this photo I took last night that gets me so emotional, but I almost cry when I see it. My darling daughter, eight years old, such a delight, and she’ll only be eight for such a short time.

2013-08-28 17.48.58

Somehow this picture made me see instantly that I want to enjoy them and cherish every second. And that’s most important part of life right now. I pretty much go around always dissatisfied with my work, lack of accomplishing anything significant, the life i’m providing them, income I can’t seem to make to really thrive in SB.. I’ve got to let go of all that BS so it doesn’t color my time with them. And remember my top goal is being achieved – loving, caring family, kids who are thriving…

Here’s the next photo I took

2013-08-28 17.49.02