Last year’s documentary “Waiting for Superman” helped to refocus attention on our country’s education system, which, for too long, has been widely (and often correctly) perceived as falling behind the rest of the world. But instead of focusing on just “catching up,” we should turn our attention to once again being a leader – leadership that will require incredible innovation and ingenuity from educators, students, families, companies and government.
So what does this all mean for you? Now is the time to think about how your organization can provide the next generation of leading education, and how you can help your customers change. As this YouTube presentation summarizes, one of the key challenges facing our education system is how best to harness the tools of today and tomorrow. For instance, there are millions of students with cell phones in our classrooms. While many teachers and administrators view these as distractions that should be tightly controlled, these phones, with a little ingenuity, could become powerful tools for learning and teaching. Companies should think about product development – for example, what programs and products could you introduce to harness the learning potential of cell phones? Think about what you can do to make new technologies practical for your customers, helping them to understand and manage the change that comes in adopting innovative practices and programs – something that can be very difficult for school districts.
Ultimately, though it’s important for us to understand and appreciate what other countries are doing in their public education systems, we should be focused on doing things that are new. In other words, we need to skate to where the puck will be, not where it is. This economic situation continues to push us to innovate – and to lead once again.