THE ART OF THE FUTURE
On April 8, 2011, I was invited to address the NSBA Network (legislative) Luncheon on April 9, 2011. This is book written in response to a question asked of me by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) after my luncheon keynote during the Summer…
On April 8, 2011, I was invited to address the NSBA Network (legislative) Luncheon on April 9, 2011. This is book written in response to a question asked of me by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) after my luncheon keynote during the Summer of 2011.
The question is: "Why should policy makers, educators, school board members and students care about the arts and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)?"
While I was attending the annual conference of school board leaders, I listened to Daniel Pink’s keynote address—based on his new book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Drive elaborates on Pink’s 2006 book, A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers will Rule the Future, by adding decades of social science research related to what motivates us in creative and complex cognitive tasks.
The answer, according to Pink, is not money, rewards, or the carrot and the stick. Rather, “autonomy,” “mastery,” and “purpose” are the motivators for human creativity and performance. I have found my purpose through autonomy in writing this book. Daniel Pink and his books are an inspiration to me; however, I see the future as ruled not by right brain or left brain thinkers (metaphorically), rather, it will be created and sustained by those who have the richest connections and integration across the proverbial right and left brains. I believe the future belongs to those of us who can throw off these kinds of labels all together and see that left brain and right brain, emotion and reason, art and science, technology and humanity, design and creativity are all “one”.
I have heard the calls for greater technological capacity, innovation capacity, and STEM capacity for the past 25 years. As someone who operates across educational technology markets, schools, workforce organizations, economic development organizations, industry, defense and security, and science and technology research and development, I can tell you that “STEM” is here to stay—but if we want to get serious about learning, innovation, and enhancing student outcomes, we have to rewire what defines educational excellence, expand our concept of creativity and the arts, and begin "active listening" and dialogue in working together toward the future. Ultimately, none of this matters unless we can build human networks of collaboration—school-to-school, community–to- community, state–to-state, and country-to-country. What does this have to do with STEM? Everything. Although STEM is often the focus of educational reform, innovation, adaptation, creativity, and civil and economic development are the end goals.
WHAT IS INNOVATION?
Innovation is where ideas connect with human need; in market terms, innovation is where ideas meet markets. Philosophically, innovation encompasses cultural, social, and biological expressions of what is next—what is new and what is in demand. There are many definitions, books, and processes that explain innovation; however, when it comes to schools, we all speak a different language and have different ideas related to innovation.
The Art of the Future offers some answers—not the answer—to the question: "Why should policy makers, educators, school board members and students care about the arts and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)?"
The stories presented about these topics are meant to be a collective answer to the question posed by the NSBA Network. In this free book draft, you will find more free resources for continued professional development including videos, articles, and free and open source educational resources to share with your community. You will learn of pockets of innovation in educational practice. You will discover the art, poetry, and doctrinal proclamations of teachers, students, and communities ranging from Pre-Kindergarten to Ph.D. stakeholders from "Full Spectrum Learning" workshops designed by Bob Allen from IDEAS Orlando and myself (See School Futures Chapter).
The Art of the Future is a best effort to tell stories to address the following questions:
1.What does emerging educational innovation and practice look like in US schools today?
2.What is next in technology?
3.What is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and why do the arts matter?
4.What's next in educational technology and ed tech markets?
5.Where can schools get funding and free or inexpensie software and web services for STEM and the arts?
6.What are the emerging job categories and skills in critical demand for employers today across economic sectors related to STEM and innovation?
7.Why does Sputnik matter today and what lessons are there for us from the Silent Generation about how to respond and organize for change driven by science and technology?
8.How is the Technopolis organizing regional economic development, workforce and education practitioners in the 21st Century?
This text is both an exercise in eXtreme writing and it is drawn from a body of writing and analysis from previous published and unpublished works for the Innovation, Creativity, and Capital Institute, University of Texas Austin, Texas State Technical College Program for Emerging Technologies, Market Data Retrieval Ed Net Insight News (formally the Heller Reports), ED TECH Digest, Tech Ed Magazine, and conference papers and presentations, most importantly for Solutions to the Energy Crisis and the Financial Crisis presented at the International Conference on Technology Policy and Innovation in Norway (2008) and Portugal (2009) respectively.