The publicist sent an early copy of a book for me to review– Wisdom Factory: AI, Games, and the Education of a Modern Worker by Tim Dasey, Ph.D. He is an MIT professor (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) thinking about the future of work.
Let’s consider some what if statements regarding current and future workers education requirements in order to contribute and thrive in the new workplace. I think both factory work and so-called knowledge work (there is no reason factory work shouldn’t also be called knowledge work, but that may be another argument for another time).
- What if teaching detail knowledge isn’t the right objective?
- What if student mental health problems are partly a symptom of school pressure and classroom mismatches with the real world?
- What if students were set up to collaborate with AI rather than compete?
- What if schools were wisdom factories rather than expertise factories?
Two underlying premises:
- Wisdom is learned through experience.
- The foundation of prosperity is education
In the genre of criticizing our education system and then suggesting alternatives, this book complements some other of my current reading such as from Seth Godin (see his blog and latest book The Song of Significance) and Range by David Epstein who discusses the success of generalists relative to specialists.
Considering the media hype about AI and Dasey’s background working in AI, and that the book’s subtitle includes AI, you might think this is a book about AI. You would be wrong. Yet, he ties his work in artificial intelligence, role-playing games for strategic thinking, and studies in psychology to throw some ideas for improving how we train the next generation of workers.
He seemed almost apologetic about using term factory in his title (I’d bet that was a publisher decision) as well he should be. He’s definitely not talking about a traditional factory/assembly line model for future schools.
If you want some ideas to further your thinking about educating your next generation of team members, check out this book. I’ll be referring to it at times in my future writing.
Publisher Awarded Exclusive Google Ad Grant; Appeals for Donations to Reach Distribution Goals
This press release appeared in today’s email deluge. I’ve checked it out as much as I can. It appears to be worthy of consideration. Check it out and consider if you’d like to donate.
beanz, the award-winning magazine bringing educational and inspirational content about science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) to children, adults and teachers, is expanding its distribution to reach more children in at-risk communities.
Published by Kids Code & Computer Science, Inc, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, beanz is a community of teachers, technologists, and writers who love the challenge of exploring technology in ways kids enjoy and understand.
Beanz has received an exclusive ad grant from Google which is given to a select group of non-profit organizations who demonstrate a high level of value and integrity. In order to get a full year of beanz into the hands of more children, requests are being made for donations. Donors play a pivotal role in broadening kids’ access to STEAM education and digital literacy, regardless of their life circumstances. The magazine is also currently sent directly to schools and through MagLiteracy.org which distributes free magazines throughout North America.
“We’re excited to expand beanz magazine distribution to kids in at-risk communities around the country, but can’t do it alone,” said Tim Slavin, Publisher. “In order to get beanz into the hands of more children, we need more support. Exposure to STEAM is proven to help kids develop problem-solving skills, encourages creativity and collaboration, and teaches technologies like coding,” he added.
For more information and to make a donation. If you’d like to apply to have your organization added to the distribution list, please send an email to [email protected].
beanz is an award-winning magazine published by Kids Code & Computer Science, Inc, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit dedicated to inspiring kids with the endless opportunities of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). beanz is a quirky, fun and thoughtful way to expose readers to STEAM concepts, programming, and issues around technology use. beanz follows many of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) curriculum guidelines and makes technology fun and easy to learn for kids ages 8+.
There are no ads on beanz. We rely on subscriptions and donations.
Quite by accident the second edition of “Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling,” by Edgar H. Schein and Peter A. Schein appeared in my mail the other day. Reviewing some older notes, I saw the recommendation. When this book arrived, I discovered I had the first edition on my bookshelf. The second edition was worth the refresher.
Do you know any long-time elementary school teachers? Ever listen to them? Do their questions sound often like a prosecuting attorney going after a criminal suspect?
Do we catch ourselves asking questions to test other people? Or questions where we wish to discover if they are for us or against us? Questions meant to trap us—like often were posed to Jesus in the Christian Bible?
The gentle art of asking questions instead of telling people reveals true curiosity. We want to know what someone else is thinking—really.
The gentle art draws people in rather than establishing a barrier between people. Its foundation includes trust, sincerity, mindfulness. I would add intention.
So often we ask, but then we fail to listen to the answer. Listening, that is, that involves our complete attention.
I wrote about this book five years ago. It’s one of those books that requires a reread periodically. It’s brief. Readable. New insights will pop out each reading.
How about another take on digital transformation? Festo has made a great investment in education through Festo Didactic. While remote, digital learning has had mixed results for elementary and high school students, this tool for continuing education for professionals proves itself a valuable adjunct to hands-on training.
The company points to trends such as mobile, micro, adaptive, and virtual reality learning. To further these and other trends, Festo Didactic developed a digital learning portal – the Festo Learning Experience, or Festo LX – to make it easier to create individual learning experiences for trainers and trainees.
The premise in launching the portal is that in today’s industrial world, the knowledge and skills acquired to launch one’s career will not be enough. New technologies will emerge, changing job requirements and challenging employees and managers to keep current.
Digital enables a variety of learning experiences that can tap into individual learning styles.
In creating Festo LX, Festo Didactic realized that different learning tools, vehicles, and methods are required. Festo LX focuses on the growing need for more individualized learning. It provides modular resources for various technical training professions that can be individually assembled into courses and entire learning paths. Varied formats, such as videos, animations, simulations, and text units, ensure participants remain engaged. Existing courses can be modified as desired. New content in text, image, or video format can be easily added and assigned to the learners. Available online, independent of time and place, Festo LX fits in with the habits of young learners, who are well versed with technology such as smartphones or tablets.
One way to address the trainees of today is micro learning, where small, self-contained portions of knowledge are taught. Festo LX learning units are very short with a clearly defined learning goal. They can be grasped quickly and assembled in modules, so trainers and educators can address each learner’s needs from different starting points. Using smartphones or tablets, lessons can be taught any time of day from anywhere. Virtual reality and augmented reality can be incorporated into lessons. With VR glasses, a learner dives into a virtual learning world. Augmented reality folds in information via a scanned QR code.
Trainees can be catapulted into future roles via VR. Digital formats complement in-person, hands-on learning. The latter remains essential.
Check out how it works here.
Festo has made significant investments in education and training over the past few years in Mason, Ohio just outside of Cincinnati. This news notes the next step.
Festo Didactic Learning Systems North America and its partners announced plans for the Mechatronics Apprenticeship Program (MAP) at its Regional Service Center (RSC) in Mason with industry, education, and government coming together.
And a word from a graduate.
“Festo’s side of the apprenticeship provided an affordable, unique, hands-on approach to learning mechatronics. This program taught me the very basics of electrical power up to advanced industrial troubleshooting,” said former Festo Didactic Apprentice, Kenneth Bibb. “I was able to gain more learning and experience with Festo than I would have in a traditional four-year university. Festo has set my life up perfectly by providing the skills I needed through the apprenticeship to begin a successful Mechatronics Engineering career.”
The award-winning mechatronics program has been a growing collaboration among Art Metal Group, Clippard Instruments, E-Beam, MQ Automation, Nestlé, Festo Didactic, and others. At its core, MAP supports manufacturers locally and nationally in training and retaining skilled workers. Heading into its sixth year, MAP will begin accepting apprenticeships on a rolling admission basis instead of a semester schedule. The program will consist of 57 weeks of training instead of five semesters. This transition will allow for more apprentices to enroll faster, train faster, and get to work faster.
My grandfather launched a solid career in manufacturing through an apprenticeship program in the early 1900s. Companies stopped doing that for a long time. I’m happy to see a rebirth.
Nationwide, apprenticeship continues to experience strong growth. On September 1, 2022 the White House launched the Apprenticeship Ambassador Initiative—a national network of more than 200 employers and other organizations who signed on to create almost 500 hundred new registered apprenticeship programs. Through the new federal initiative, companies agreed to build new programs across a wide range of industries and to hire 10,000 new apprentices in the coming year. The Department of Labor also announced plans to invest over $330 million through grants to states, employers, labor organizations, and workforce intermediaries to expand and diversify Registered Apprenticeships.
According to apprenticeship.gov, managed by the Department of Labor (DoL), 93% of apprentices who complete an apprenticeship retain employment, with an average annual salary of $77,000.
Potential NSF investment of $52 million over 10 years funds convergent research, workforce development.
News about funding for an advanced manufacturing research center.
The Ohio State University will lead a multi-institutional engineering research center to develop and deploy revolutionary, intelligent autonomous manufacturing systems and educate a future manufacturing workforce. The center will create approaches central to next-generation manufacturing to create jobs, train a diverse workforce and ease supply chain issues by growing a new American industry.
The National Science Foundation announced funding for the Hybrid Autonomous Manufacturing, Moving from Evolution to Revolution (HAMMER) Engineering Research Center, for five years at $26 million with the ability to renew for another $26 million for an additional five years. If fully realized, it will be one of the largest research investments in the last decade for Ohio State.
Ohio State will partner with Case Western Reserve University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Northwestern University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville along with more than 70 industry, educational and technical organization collaborators to develop and implement new manufacturing technologies for agile, high-performance and high-quality components.
Glenn Daehn, the Mars G. Fontana Professor of Metallurgical Engineering, will serve as the director of the center.
Through basic, applied and translational research, HAMMER will accelerate the development and deployment of intelligent autonomous manufacturing systems that will use multiple processes to control material properties and component dimensions to allow rapid customization. These systems will learn from each operation, improving themselves over time.
In addition to the collaboration with the four partner universities, HAMMER will include convergent research across colleges at Ohio State. The College of Arts and Sciences, College of Medicine and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs join the College of Engineering in supporting the new engineering research center.
The NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) program supports convergent research, education and technology translation at U.S. universities to lead to strong societal impacts.
Each ERC has interacting foundational components that go beyond the research project, including engineering workforce development at all stages, a culture of diversity and inclusion where all participants gain mutual benefit and value creation within an innovation ecosystem that will outlast the lifetime of the ERC.
Since the program’s start in 1985, NSF has funded 75 ERCs throughout the United States. NSF supports each center for up to 10 years. This investment has led to many successes, including:
- More than 240 spinoff companies
- More than 900 patents
- More than 14,400 total bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees to ERC students
- Numerous research outcomes enabling new technologies