November 14, 2007

Anthony Salcito on Innovative Schools

Anthony Salcito, the General Manager of US Education for Microsoft is presenting on innovative schools. I am just going to blog my notes as he goes.

Series of slides...
Students today can't prepare bark 1703
Students depend too much on paper 1815
Students depend too much on ink 1907
Students depend too much on store-bought ink 1928
Students depend too much on ball point pens 1950

This generation...
6 apps running on pc
4-5 email addresses
26% use foreign news service
fastest growing segment is 5 to 7 year olds

Transformation in Skills

Trends in the Workplace
Companies like Microsoft hire based on your ability to change


25% of population of China with highest IQ is great then population of North America

China has labor surplus and is number one English speaking country soon.

Top 10 jobs in demand today didn't exist in 2004.

Our Collective Challenge

produce highly educated and technologically capable people

US Workforce Crisis

300,000 skilled IT jobs have gone unfilled

Education is Everything

(all slide material is available)

Technology is not the issue

"Still in the acquisition-age in technology" - I like this one.
We have to take it off the table. Ask questions first. How do you want to engage students on new content? How do you want to use assessment to drive a real learning experience? Typically the answer is allow the technology to support that process.

School of the Future
Initially was that is was going to look like a "classroom" of the future, but then they changed the conversation. District built the building and Microsoft only guided the process.

SOF Project Principles
Learning first, technology later
Language is Paramount...
Lack of process impedes success...
Be comfortable not knowing...
Identify the questions and answers will come...

Success factors.... (5 total)

It was built on a public park.

Thinking of schools as assets for economic development. School buildings as community hubs. School becomes a destination.

Showing a video. The facility is awesome.

Class start at 9:30am but the kids show up early, application to college is a requirement for graduation.

Use competency wheel for everyone. Administrators, Teachers, Parents, and Students.

We don't embrace how to scale innovation of education. They have a tool for how to scale innovation.

Many of the kids were at a 3rd or 4th grade level and their "seriousness of purpose" has changed.

Question from audience... when will you invest in WV? Microsoft did not fund the building. Many examples take the best of the best, this project used existing teachers and the cost was less then refurbishment of other schools. MS invested in human capital and technology. Their are many ways to move forward.

Question... can this work without a new facility. Yes... the reality is that all text are online and teachers use a virtual teaching assistant. SOF used feedback all throughout the class (student response from group) the tool created an individualized lesson plan. Used it for a year and pulled it out. Now MS is going to release it as a product soon.

Question... competency wheel. MS hires on capacity to learn... trying to introduce competency-based learning, success is more broad. The wheel is the same for everyone, just have different levels. Idea is that by reinforcing this creates more agile learning. That's the hope. There are a lot of educational resources that support this model, but they are very open to failure. Look at the tools and adjust them to what you most need.

Thank you.


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