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Why personalized learning is hard to study

The Christensen Institute

This week saw the release of the third in a series of personalized learning studies conducted by the RAND Foundation. The research analyzed implementation, survey, and efficacy data in a sample of schools that are part of the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) portfolio, and compared that data to a national sample of schools. The findings? NGLC schools yielded some positive academic results, but educators and administrators reported numerous challenges.

Should schools ban spiral notebooks?

The Christensen Institute

From the first-hand experiences of millions of students and teachers worldwide, it’s clear that paper notebooks are a deterrent to quality education. For generations, students have used them in class to scribble or doodle, pass messages to their friends, or construct wads, planes, and spitball projectiles. Given the numerous ways students can use their notebooks to derail learning, it’s a wonder that most schools still permit them in class, right? Hold on a sec.

5 big ideas for education innovation in 2018

The Christensen Institute

Last year saw a flurry of activity in support of personalized learning, new school designs, and new approaches to K-12 education policy. Looking ahead, education innovators have their work cut out for them in 2018. Some of this work requires asking hard questions. Some requires acknowledging that there’s an elephant in the room. And some requires looking beyond our current conversation to where the next waves of innovation stand to emerge.

Innovators Worth Watching: ReUp Education

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Photo Credit: Flickr: COD Newsroom. Welcome to our “Innovators Worth Watching” series, spotlighting interesting and potentially disruptive players across a spectrum of industries. Nitzan Pelman was in her twenties when she began to teach herself the basics. How to write a coherent sentence. How to think critically.

5 Costly Inventory Management Mistakes Schools Should Avoid

If your school is like most, inventory and/or asset management plays a critical role in daily operations.

Innovations for Educators: IBM’s Teacher Advisor

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Welcome to the first entry in our “Innovations for Educators” series, spotlighting interesting technologies that have the potential to amplify and complement the work done by educators. Artificial intelligence (AI) is all around us. From self-driving cars to voice and facial recognition technologies to computers that can compose music, AI stands to offer unprecedented convenience in our personal lives. At the same time, AI is also transforming the world of work.

OER 54

Education innovation in 2017: 4 personalized learning trends to watch

The Christensen Institute

At the Clayton Christensen Institute, we track disruptive innovations in K–12 schools that upend the traditional factory-based model of school in favor of instructional approaches that better center on each individual student.

Unlocking stackable global credentials

The Christensen Institute

It took 912 years from the founding of the first university in Bologna in 1088 for the global higher education system to grow to serve 100 million students annually by the year 2000.

OER 104

Disrupting opportunity gaps will hinge on networks

The Christensen Institute

Last week, Stanford researcher Raj Chetty came out with yet another new study on the jagged landscape of opportunity facing America. Analyzing the relationship between young people’s exposure to innovation and the likelihood that they would go on to become inventors, the study highlights an alarming rate of what the authors dub “lost Einsteins”: young people who show promising potential but who, due to lack of exposure to innovation, appear far less likely to pursue careers as inventors.

Personalized learning in the context of a person, not a school

The Christensen Institute

Personalized learning is the current big buzz in education. Everyone is trying to figure out how best to personalize the learning experience for each and every child. I applaud this effort.

Our hopes and dreams for Global Prosperity at the Christensen Institute: Will you join us?

The Christensen Institute

How we got here. I spent the first 16 years of my life in Nigeria before moving to the United States for college.

Congress should prioritize innovation in higher ed. Here are three ways it can.

The Christensen Institute

Washington D.C. is slowly turning its attention to higher education. In December, on a party-line vote, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce released the PROSPER Act , a bill to update the Higher Education Act for the first time since 2008. The Higher Education Act (HEA), first passed in 1965, outlines federal higher education policy, including federal financial aid eligibility, teacher preparation programs, and how the federal government holds colleges accountable.

Innovators Worth Watching: Degreed

The Christensen Institute

Welcome to our “Innovators Worth Watching” series, spotlighting interesting and potentially disruptive players across a spectrum of industries. During a time of heightened geopolitical instability, seemingly weekly natural disasters, and one of history’s most worrisome data breaches, one innovative ed tech company posted its strongest sales quarter yet.

We need to change the teacher vs. technology narrative

The Christensen Institute

A recent chart from Bloomberg on the future of artificial intelligence and employment lends evidence to a point I have been making for years : teachers will not be replaced by machines. The chart compares a wide array of professions based on required education levels, average annual wages, and likelihood of automation. Sure enough, elementary and secondary teachers are among the most educated yet least paid professionals; and their likelihood of automation: practically zero.

Innovators Worth Watching: StraighterLine

The Christensen Institute

Welcome to our “Innovators Worth Watching” series, spotlighting interesting and potentially disruptive players in higher education. Every year, American students and taxpayers spend roughly $7 billion trying to bridge the gap between finishing high school and actually being ready for college. In two-year colleges, 52% of students are funnelled into remedial coursework. Of these students, only about 40% finish the remedial courses, and less than 10% even graduate.

Finding ‘personalized learning’ and other edtech buzzwords on the Gartner Hype Cycle

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Education buzzwords come and go, just as the fads they sometimes represent. But some endure and come back, much as in the Gartner Hype Cycle —or perhaps as in a metaphorical Ferris wheel, in which concepts take their seats and then rise and fall, over and over.

Innovators Worth Watching: MissionU

The Christensen Institute

Welcome to our “Innovators Worth Watching” series, spotlighting interesting and potentially disruptive players in higher education. Earlier this year, MissionU revealed its much anticipated plan to provide postsecondary education and a debtless future. The announcement sent the higher education space into a frenzy. How could it not? This no-frills program, designed to teach job skills that are in high demand among tech employers, embodies every major buzzword in higher education innovation.

Why bother with theory when you’ve got big data?

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Big data is hotter than ever. A Google search for the phrase yields about 126,000,000 results, demonstrating huge demand for, and interest in, these services. Every day, companies, recognizing these powerful trends, are making huge investments in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science. The most ardent promoters of big data even claim that as we master data, we won’t need the scientific method or theory building.

Why development organizations should be more like Netflix and less like Blockbuster

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It is a cautionary tale that we are all too familiar with: the small upstart, Netflix, disrupts the much larger and better resourced Blockbuster. What in the world does this have to development? Everything, it seems. In 2000, when Netflix was still a small and fledgling company, it offered itself to Blockbuster, the world’s largest video, DVD, and game rental company for $50 million. Blockbuster passed.

Innovation & tech: Africa’s only hope in educating hundreds of millions of children

The Christensen Institute

Today, there are more than 750 million mobile phones in operation in Africa. The telecommunications industry generated more than $150 billion in revenue in 2015 and accounted for over 3.8 million jobs. But barely 20 years ago, there were fewer than 10 million phone lines on the continent, with a majority of working lines in South Africa. Looking back, it is easy to under-appreciate the proliferation of mobile telephony and the attendant benefits that come with it.

Falling enrollments: A gray cloud with a silver lining

The Christensen Institute

The National Student Clearinghouse’s enrollment data is out, and the big headline is that enrollments are down—yet again. But a closer look reveals a few more interesting trends about the sorts of players struggling and succeeding across the industry. Students are voting with their feet, and here’s what they’re saying: For-profits are on the decline—but do we understand why?

4 tips for developing effective professional development for blended learning

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With the growing prevalence of blended learning in classrooms across the country, the need for teacher training for effective implementation is more critical than ever.

Pushing the Limits on Instagram in 2018

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Join the Instagram party and be sure to know your limits. Instagram limits can be deceiving and rewarding. Ready to get the most out of Instagram for your brand? Join the crowd of about 1 billion others who made Instagram the fastest growing social network in history.

Why new technologies often don’t help students

The Christensen Institute

It’s easy to get caught up in the allure of new technologies. Companies do a great job showing off the improved bells and whistles of their shiny new products. But the truth is, breakthrough innovations rarely come from the technologies themselves.

OER 89

New research answers whether technology is good or bad for learning

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For years educators and scholars have debated whether technology aids learning or inhibits it. In the most recent issue of Education Next, for example, Susan Payne Carter, Kyle Greenberg, and Michael S. Walker write about their research finding that allowing any computer usage in the classroom “reduces students’ average final-exam performance by roughly one-fifth of a standard deviation.”

Is blended learning really “the best of both worlds”?

The Christensen Institute

You’ve likely heard the declaration that blended learning combines the best of online learning and face-to-face instruction, or simply, is “the best of both worlds.”

Personalized learning…is it all a matter of time?

The Christensen Institute

Sometimes I worry that the call to personalize learning is actually code for asking leaders and teachers to do more than they’ve ever been asked to do—but without additional resources to do it. And by resources, I mostly mean time. This is especially true for traditional systems that may be aiming to adopt new approaches to teaching and learning but less willing to do away with legacy structures.

In New York, ‘free college’ scores headlines for Cuomo, but it’s a big loss for students

The Christensen Institute

Governor Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship, which arguably provides free tuition for New Yorkers of any age to attend public institutions, is expected to have a price tag of $163 million in its first year. That’s a lot of money for most of us—especially families trying to figure out how to pay for college.

Should instructional choice trump school choice?

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Today, President-elect Donald Trump appointed school choice advocate Betsy DeVos as our next secretary of education.

Higher education is leaving students behind — disruptive innovators can help them succeed

The Christensen Institute

Welcome to our “Innovators Worth Watching” series, spotlighting interesting and potentially disruptive players in higher education. With three Innovators Worth Watching profiles under our belts, we wanted to zoom out and put these innovators’ efforts in a larger theoretical context. Disruption Theory provides a framework for understanding why some successful, established companies fall to upstart newcomers, whereas others survive and thrive.

Our obsession with building “good institutions” might be doing more harm than good

The Christensen Institute

In their groundbreaking bestseller, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty , MIT’s Daron Acemoglu and Harvard’s James Robinson make the case for “inclusive institutions” as the driver of economic prosperity. Inclusive institutions guarantee secure property rights, effective education, open markets, democratic pluralism, and so on. Alternatively, “extractive institutions” are the causes of the demise of many nations.

The demise of Google’s Project Ara and modularity in computing

The Christensen Institute

The idea behind Project Ara was simple: when an improvement in a phone component, say the camera, would become available, instead of having to buy a new phone, users could swap in a new module.

3 innovative tips for tackling school culture

The Christensen Institute

On the heels of a series of PR nightmares facing Uber’s executives, headlines and speculation about what’s next for the company abound. Some investors have continued to defend the company’s evidently toxic culture, suggesting that once successful entrepreneurs have built a successful product or service, they then can afford to worry about factors like company norms. Others, like Freda Kapor Klein have been less willing to let the company off the hook.

Want people to better manage their own health? Don’t ask them to prioritize it.

The Christensen Institute

Over the last 50 years, the healthcare industry has undergone a gradual shift from a paternalistic “doctor knows best” attitude, to a recognition that providers and patients must share responsibility in the quest to improve patient health. To help patients do their part in this new paradigm, providers must work with them to design treatments and self-care processes, or health solutions, that patients can realistically incorporate into their lives.

Reducing the cost burden on the insured

The Christensen Institute

Since the open enrollment in the health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) began in late 2013, the percentage of American adults without health insurance has fallen from 18% to 9%, the lowest rate ever recorded.

A short note to [Indian and emerging market] e-commerce investors: Be patient for growth, but impatient for profits

The Christensen Institute

In one of his books, The Innovator’s Solution , Harvard Business School professor and Christensen Institute co-founder, Clayton Christensen, explains that investors and entrepreneurs should learn to be patient for growth, but impatient for profits.

In the arduous task of health behavior change, it’s the thought that counts.

The Christensen Institute

Chronic diseases account for seven in ten deaths in the United States, with heart disease, obesity, cancer and type 2 diabetes numbering among the most common. That list is likely to grow as the population ages, and scientific advances continue to transform terminal conditions into ones people can live with (if often uncomfortably) for months or years.

The biggest problem with poverty alleviation programs is that they actually work

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At the Chhattisgarh Irrigation Development Project in India, poverty is alleviated with the help of improved irrigation services and agricultural resource management.

The global extreme poverty rate has reduced to less than 10 percent…so what?

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In October 2015, for the first time ever, the World Bank estimated that the global rate of people living in extreme poverty (calculated as people living on less than $1.90 per day) fell to just under than ten percent. Consider this—in 1990, there were approximately 5.2

Not all sales executives are created equal: how to democratize high-impact selling

The Christensen Institute

Many, if not most, firms build solutions for the “average” customer. B2B firms ground their marketing in attributes such as account size and product type; B2C firms focus on demographics and psychographics. Both strategies are roadmaps to serve the “average” customer—but innovating toward “average” is doomed to fail. Instead, firms can personalize their offerings by graduating from such arbitrary classifications and embracing Jobs Theory.