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December 10, 2007

Blogging Nobel Public Services Innovation Summit (8)

Educational Technologist, Alan November combined humor, story telling, and illustration to make a provocative assessment of the fundamental challenges facing teachers, learners, and those charged with curriculum development.

In my presentation yesterday, I attempted to outline examples of new possibilities for learning enabled by advanced, next generation technologies. My Learning 2.0 presentation was informed by an abridged version of Chickering and Gamson's framework for effective learning. My focus was on

# encouraging co-production of knowledge through contact between students and faculty,
# developing reciprocity and cooperation among students through peer learning and co-production and knowledge creation opportunities,
# structuring curriculum and technology to enable active learning,
# providing prompt feedback,
# using rich media to emphasize the requisite for learning through 'time on task,'
# and finally communicating that having personal high expectations for each learner is a compelling part of participating in journey of learning.

Alan's insights helped to amplify and extend the efforts underway at Case Western Reserve University. Alan's framework is parsimonious and elegant. The implications for his framework are far-reaching. While most models of education were and remain premised on a 'scarcity of knowledge' model (my words, not Alan's), the reality is that learning how to navigate, manage, and critically assess the massive amounts of information is the new literacy requirement for the Internet age. The goal of teacher/faculty instruction on 'how' to use the technology is banal and a minimalist goal (although still a non-trivial task). The real challenge of how to transform our curriculum so as to be able to leverage the positive and powerful contribution of IT to engage learners is the new challenge.

Second, after making sense of the massive amounts of information the second key pre-requisite is focusing on creating capacity to support community building that blends face-to-face and online experiences. As Harvard Dean of Education, Kathleen McCartney noted earlier in the day in her presentation, preparing students for skills in an interconnected global world represents a significant re-invention of the teaching profession. Alan has a portfolio of open and/or free tools that he has culled and assembled to support the objective of creating learning communities. These communities are informed by commitments to making students engaged from day one in being globally aware through podcasting, being charged with the responsibility of co-creating knowledge through tagging, and by making students co-producers of tutoring materials as a form of learning and presentation (through camtasia technologies).

November maintains, and I agree with his assessment that if students emerge through their journey of education into lifelong learners with facilities to make sense of information overload and community of supports and affinity, they graduate as self-directed learners (citizens) which is the last of the three key qualities that he outlined in his presentation.

As I've tried to synthesize several of the presentations in areas of interest to me (and readers of Lev Bytes), among many challenges facing us is supporting the constructing of a scalable and flexible, agile framework for universities such as ours that moves from the celebration of individual passion and commitment to learning to a more comprehensive offering that supports 'rising all boats' while balancing other priorities and values of our research university environment.

Lev Gonick
Stockholm, December 10, 2007

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Blogging Nobel Public Services Innovation Summit (7)

This morning, Di Fleming, Director of Accelerated Knowledge Technologies, Melbourne, Australia made the case for design thinking in creating educational curriculum for the 21st century. Di drew on her extensive experience as Principal of Kilvington Girls' Grammmar School and later at Lab.3000 in which she drove and celebrated innovation in project and experiential learning models including robotics and animation.

Design thinking combined and integrated with product incubation curriculum represents a best chance scenario to introduce constructivist education to help with a 'break out' strategy for meaningful learning in the 21st century. The imperative of a 'break out' strategy is recurring theme here at the Nobel Week Public Sector Innovation Summit. Plenty of reference to data points, assessment outcomes, Pisa 2006 results, and both productivity and innovation gaps.

Di's experience and presentation resonates with not only our own work, but also with the bold efforts underway at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management as it engages in strategic thinking and planning for business and management education for the 21st century. Likewise, I have long been influenced by the work of Doreen Nelson, founding director of the City Building Education project. It also strikes me that the design thinking and experiential learning environments represent an as yet not fully articulated strategic arc of activity at Case Western Reserve as we reflect on our emerging distinctive offering to our students.

Lev Gonick
Stockholm, December 10, 2007

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December 09, 2007

Blogging Nobel Public Services Innovation Summit (6)

In our session today on Learning 2.0 at the Nobel Week Public Sector Innovation Summit Jean Johnson, CEO of the Inclusion Trust gave a fascinating talk on her marquee project in England known as NotSchool. The program extends important work on challenging the mainstreaming of learning structures and pedagogies by trying to meld and bolt-on traditional schooling with the learning needs of a growing non-traditional student in the Internet age. Rather than trying to make students 'fit' the norm, with or without technology, Jean and her colleagues have established a 7*24*365 learning community for school leavers, students at risk, and non-traditional learners all on-line. The focus on experiential learning and e-mentoring has changed these young people from students, (a label that they reject) into active learners who are taking direct responsibility for their own success. The core goal of creating a literate society with reflective and critical thinking skills is no small undertaking.

In reflection, it seems to me that the there are some parallels to Jean's work with noschool.org and our work in Cleveland/North East Ohio under the leadership of Lawrence School's new head of school, Lou Salza. Lou has pointed out that the small group of educators and leadership in the learning differences world have had a major and disproportionate impact on the mainstream schooling community over the past 30 years. Lou's argument is compelling not only around pedagogy and the administration of schools in America. The learning differences 'movement' (I use the word advisedly)has impacted a wide range of undertaking of learning theory to public policy. As I look at the disruptive potential of notschool.org and support for the learning beyond walls movement, I think that the Inclusion Trust may well be in a position to have a similar impact. Lou reminds us that sometimes when you 'win' you can also 'loose', especially as policy ideologues attempt to appropriate the language of these disruptive movements and mold them into policies that do not always lead to positive outcomes.

The challenge of innovation is to understand that social change is not a spectator sport.

Lev Gonick
Stockholm, December 9, 2007

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Blogging Nobel Public Services Innovation Summit (5)

There are only 12m Internet users in Indonesia (5% penetration). Mobile phones penetration is around 60m users across some 17,000 islands across the nation. Jos Lukukay, from the Indonesian National ICT Council Member addresses the Summit on stitching together a national strategy across a highly diverse geography and population. Indeed, as outlined, leveraging ICT has been identified as a central driver to attend to a wide range of public policy priorities.

Of interest is how much of the Indonesian effort at connecting (Palapa fiber archipelago ring) is focussed on attending to education challenges and in particular focusing on connecting the 50 or so institutions of higher education in the country. The portfolio of initiatives representing the Indonesia's ICT flagship programs include
e-Education, e-Procurement, National Single Window (portal and integrated call center), e-Budgeting, National Identity Number, Palapa fiber optical archipelago Ring, and Legal Usage of Software.

As I reflect, and as I will be presenting later today in our session on learning 2.0, there are three archetypal models on these broadband initiatives; those initiated by regulatory efforts (EU efforts come to mind), community-centered models of multi-tenant institutional players (like Cleveland and OneCommunity), and those driven by various levels of government. The Indonesian experience follows the model of a good deal of Asia in that it draws inspiration and direction from government and/or parastatal direction.

Lev Gonick
Stockholm, December 9, 2007

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Blogging Nobel Public Services Innovation Summit (4)

German administrative authority is centuries old. Reform is not an easy undertaking for the faint of heart. Measured and incremental reform in support of modernization has been accelerated through the networked economy. Dr. George Thiel. Deputy Head of Directorate-General, Federal Ministry of the Interior, Federal Republic of Germany addresses the Summit on an emerging, single and integrated call center approach to citizen-services.

Eighty percent of all human to civil service contact in Germany happens over the phone. A multi-jurisdictional initiative has been launched just over a year ago to modernize and reform the public service and administration in support of a citizen-centerd effort. The project is a nation-wide, non-emergency call center enabled number known as "Number 115" for all public services.

Number 115 (to be launched over the next 18 months) is a smart, packet-routed service that embraces four principles: all service will be delivered through local service administration (where appropriate), voluntary through peer-to-peer administrative pressure (no mandate), decentralized, and attempt to replicate development in a step-by-step method. There is a lot of public support though the project team is attempting to down play and reduce expectations.

Reflecting, the idea of single non-emergency number for regional services is an intriguing idea for a region-in-the-making projects like that underway in NEOhio. There is no need to expect not to mention undertake dramatic civil service reform which threatens many different types of entrenched interests and jobs. Leveraging the shared network infrastructure in NEOhio in supporting a single integrated services model for e-government services is well worth pursuing.

Lev Gonick
Stockholm, December 9th, 2007

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Blogging Nobel Public Services Innovation Summit (3)

Nomhle Canca,granddaughter of assassinated Chief Albert Luthuli (who won the Nobel Peace Prize 1960) addresses the Summit. Nomhle is American born (educated at Emory University), returned to South Africa, after a successful career in finance in Atlanta and NY, in 1993. She recently joined and is the CEO BlueIQ Holdings. Working in Gauteng in South Africa, she has undertaken the roll out of broadband services in support of community priorities starting with health care. The initiative is known as B-Link (blink) and while being rolled out in the smallest of South Africa's jurisdiction it is being conceived as a national pilot project. Blue IQ attempts to attend to the market failures that has missed 97% of the population that is neither connected nor in a position to take advantage of services enabled by the Internet.

The overall strategy is comprehensive from build out to adoption of the broadband technology and involves both public and private sector. The outcome is going to be measured by percentage growth of GDP.

Interesting, as outlined Blink will involve a significant emphasis and investment in fiber along with wi-mesh. South Africa 'leap frogged' a lot of the wire-line challenges of Africa by becoming a massive adopter of mobile phones over the past 20 years. Given the adoption of mobile phones, interesting that BlueIQ is investing in fiber and PC-based internet in terms of both infrastructure build out along with application development. She also noted that television set top boxes may end up being the endpoint solution. Perhaps these are synergistic opportunities between the investment in the future through fiber and wi-mesh along with the current generation and user base of mobile phones. The drivers for fiber-based solution appear to be based on a sensibility that next generation uses will be based on rich media and functionality will demand more bandwidth than currently available in mobile handsets. The investment currently committed to is 20 billion Rand (10m Euros) making it one of the more ambitious infrastructure roll out projects of the current decade.

Lev Gonick
Stockholm, December 9th, 2007

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Blogging Nobel Public Services Innovation Summit (2)

Cisco has co-hosted an annual global leadership gathering in Stockholm in celebration and sponsorship of the Nobel Awards.

Yvon Le Roux, a Cisco director for the European theater strikes a very interesting cord around technology innovation and the need to reduce corporate and government carbon footprint as a global human imperative. As Yvon points out, this contrasts with the historical focus on public sector investment and technology giants in big and often times energy consuming infrastructure. To change the course of the history, we have had our wake up call. Le Roux calls on the delegates as leaders, elected officials, and catalysts of change to come together in Stockholm as part of Nobel week to create the conditions alive for a sustainable future for this and future generations.

Lev Gonick
Stockholm, December 9, 2007

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Blogging Nobel Public Services Innovation Summit (1)

Stockholm (December 9, 2007): Over 300 invited delegates have gathered in Stockholm for the annual City of Stockholm and Cisco Systems' Public Sector Summit in celebration of Nobel Week. This blog captures my reactions and thoughts regarding the Summit's proceedings.

Simon Willis (Host) opens the Summit this morning. It's 2:30 am in the morning in Cleveland and just after 8:30am and it's as dark in Stockholm at 8:30am as it is at 2:30 in the morning back in Cleveland. Breakfast table conversation this morning brought along conversation from Dubai, England, and Spain. Common interests in using internet technologies to support policy goals of education,health, and cultural sharing.

Kristina Avendal, Vice Mayor City of Stockholm open. Stockholm striving to become the Internet capital of Scandinavia. Challenge to do is real as Internet and Internet economy is a relatively inexpensive and commonly available infrastructure investment. The central differentiators come down to the willingness and openeness of the public leaders to transform the traditional cultural and norms of public services towards e-services. IT can improve the public sector, vitalize democracy, tie the city together, and open city hall to everyone. IT makes the contact opportunities practically unliminted.

Interesting enough, as an inside, today, 70% of all Swedes have access to computers and internet access. Sweden's biggest challenge is in many ways attending to its contracting population base. In Universities today, Swedish Universities are now systematically attempting to leverage ICT to attract students from overseas. Students from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh are now collaborating with Student peers from Sweden over the Net. Swedish economy has begun to shift. Gaming economy and gaming curriculum is deliberate and now the gaming economy in Sweden is larger than the consumption and/or production of music.

Next up... Yvon Le Roux from Cisco Systems.

Lev Gonick
Stockholm, December 9, 2007

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