Oklahoma universities

hello everyone and welcome. i’m brenda houghand i’m the facilitator for today’s session. we have two very special guests with us today,mick jacobson and toby greenwalt are from the skokie public library in illinois, and they’re going to be talking about staff technology skills and creatinga culture of learning. as we begin, let me quickly tell you about thetechnology we’re using today, readytalk. you should be hearing audio now through yourcomputer speakers or headphones, whichever one you’re using. and if that’s not working, if it’s choppy, or if the sound quality isn’t good enough there is a phone number you can call in to, too. we’ll put that in the chat so you can use that, but hopefully for most of you

it’s working well through your computerspeakers or headphones. i’m going to put a “can you hear us now?”message on there so we can help troubleshoot if there are some people who aren’t actually able to hear us yet. okay, another thing about readytalk is chat.lots of you are using chat already which is great. that’s how we’ll interact todaywith you, and you can ask questions there, share your experiences. if you have a resourcethat you think would be relevant to everyone please feel free to share it there. and we have some time set aside at the end of mick and toby’s presentation for questions,but actually we'd love to have you ask those questions throughout, and we'll answer them as they fit with the flow too.

one thing that people often ask is, “is this session is being recorded?” and the answer is yes, it is being recorded. andlater today we’ll send you a follow-up email, and that will have a link to the recording, it will also have the powerpoint slides, and then any websites that are mentioned todayor that are discussed we’ll include those in the follow-up too. so no need to try to write those down or capture them. anything that’s shared, even the things that are shared by you the participants, we’ll be sure to include them in that follow-up message. okay, as we begin. i’ll tell you about the groups bringing you today’s session. i work with techsoup for libraries which is partof techsoup. and techsoup if you’re not familiar

with it is an organization that helps nonprofitsand libraries use technology to serve their communities. and techsoup is one of the organizations that is part of a coalition called the edge initiative, and that’s what today’s session is about. here it is, the edge initiative and the website for the edge initiative. it’s being funded by the gates foundation, andit’s being led by the urban libraries council. the edge coalition has been developing a toolkit with best practices and resources to help public libraries assess where they’re at with public technology services, and then also make plans for improving.

a big part of this is benchmarks that have beendeveloped. there are 11 benchmarks in three categories. you can see the threecategories here on this slide. and you can see as you look at that it’s not justthings like the number of computers that you have available for the public, or theamount of bandwidth that you have. those things are in there, but these benchmarksare looking much more broadly than that. and these benchmarks are the basis of the edge assessment tool. and that’s something that’s going to be available nationwide in january 2014, but pilot libraries have been testing it includingskokie. and mick and toby are here because they’re one of those pilot libraries.

today’s session is based on one of thebenchmarks, benchmark 8 which says this, “that libraries have sufficient staff withtechnology expertise to help patrons achieve their goals.” so this is benchmark 8,and again we’ll include resources, we’ll include a link to benchmark 8 and we’llinclude a link to kind of a paper version of the assessment tool that you can look at now in order to think about or prepare for that january launch. again, we’ll include thatin the follow-up message later today. but with that i want to go ahead and turn it overto our special guests, mick and toby. i’ll let you introduce yourselves, and have you just take it from here. welcome. toby: thank you so much and thank you for thewarm introduction. it’s really great to be here.

my name is toby greenwalt so hopefully youcan recognize the dulcet tones of my voice. i’m presently the virtual services coordinator at the skokie public library. mick: my name is mick jacobson. i guess i don’t have dulcet tones. i am presently the supervisor of adult computer labs. toby: all of that is changing though. right nowwe are in the middle of kind of a realignment, kind of spurred around some of theassessments we’ve been doing about the library, and some strategic planning stuff. so all of thatis going to be thrown out the window very shortly. we’re trying to build – a lot of the stuff we’ve done leading up to this

has kind of helped contribute to that, and that’sreally kind of what we really want to talk about. but first that it is given halloween, we wanted to start with something kind of scary. so brace yourself. there it is. we tried to think of the scariest things we could come up with. we couldn't come up with anything. we we’rekind of beating our heads against the wall. i came across this image on tumbler, and youknow the rest kind of speaks for itself. so i hope you guys aren’t all so terrified that you don’t sit down and continue to enjoy the rest of the presentation, but we just had to put that out there. but on a related note our efforts to find a scary image kicked things off.

it’s kind of similar to our circle to really saysomething concrete about staff training. we’ve worked really hard to make learning sucha pervasive part of the staff culture here at the library that it’s really often difficult to really separate out what we actually did to get to this point. it’s reminds me of a joke that david foster wallace uses to start his commencement speech “this is water.” in the joke there’s you know these two younger fish that are talking, and an older fish swims by and he asks, “hey guys, how’s the water?” and the two younger fish turn to one another,and go “what the hell is water anyway?”

and that’s kind of a reflection of where we are now. we’ve integrated training and just an approachto learning into just kind of everything we do here at the library. so we had to really thinkback and reflect on what makes the library – how we built a training model. mick: and how do we cultivate a learning culture. toby: exactly. and so hopefully we’ve identifiedsome of those things for you. it’s a little different from what libraries like anythink has done. this is of course kind of the flagship for youknow sort of the participatory librarianship, creating something that’s a very comprehensivemodel for how public and staff interact

with one another. you know they’ve rebuilt their entire organization more or less from the ground up. and different from that we're a big standalone library with a lot of legacy services and staff. so it’sreally been kind of a big ship to turn around. so we’re going to talk about kind of how we’veintegrated a lot of different methods, kind of using the staff we have and then theresources that are available to us, both little things whether it’s just smallquestions that we’re asking people or big large formal training programs that we’vedone that have kind of helped to introduce new concepts to the staff. and just drive homethe fact that trying new stuff that people are in a safe environment to try new things.

from our perspective we try to give people the tools to support one another, and once they get the understanding they can go and run with it. libraries after all are a learning organization, andknowing how to learn really plays a big part of that. we want to reinforce throughout all of this just the variety of methods that we’ve employed. there’s no single magic bullet that works. you can’t even like get a 3-d printer and print out a magic bullet because there’s a good chance that it may not even print out right. mick: right, because you have to calibrate the magic bullet first. toby: yeah, right, the whole thing. rather it’slike this mix of big kind of formal efforts,

and then there’s smaller sneakier methods ofintegrating an awareness of new technology or a way to approach, a way integrated tools into current services that really makes things click. maybesometimes – where was i? so we’re here to provide kind of an overview of how those methods work. and just reflecting on the edge benchmarksbecause this is not – the edge benchmarks aren’t overly prescriptivein dictating how you fulfill them. you know it’s up to you to determine the bestapproach for your organization to meet this goal. so when you say, “libraries will have sufficient staff training,” maybe that means you need a formal trainingprogram where you need staff

that need a lot of handholding or you walk themthrough, first you do this and then you do this, and then voilã  you’ve written a tweet. or maybeyou can do things in kind of a more ad hoc set of discussions where everybody comes inand you say, “show us what you’re good at.” and then let the other staff members learn from one another. maybe all you need is like a technology petting zoo where peoplecan come in and just really get some exposure to the gadgets on hand. so your mileage always varies depending on what you've got. so with all of this you really kind of have to filter it through your own prism. don’t do it just to fulfill the edge benchmarksreally pursue staff training

as a way to make your organization better. so we’ll be going through these examples in a fairly rapid-fire manner. again, every library has its own specificities. mick: and we really want to get as many questions as possible. i don’t know if it was mentioned the twitter hashtag is #techsoup, so we’re going to be monitoring that as well as chat of course. toby: and we’re hoping to leave at least 15 minutes at the end for q&a because we know it gets into that very specificstuff quickly. so we want to be able to respond to as many things as we can. please send yourquestions. don’t hesitate to leave them in chat

now, so you don’t forget them because ourfriends hosting will make note of them and we will bring them up later if we miss them.so and likewise if you see something in the chat and you have your own answer please jump in. a healthy back channel really is the key to enjoying a good presentation, beyond just hearing the dulcet tones of ourvoices. mick: even any presentation because we’re not promising to be good. toby: right. so let’s get started. a big part of training staff on new technologyreally requires making an honest assessment of what it is they need to know before you evenstart. it's like questions, what do we know?

what don’t we know yet? and what is it that our patrons want to understand that we’re not fulfilling? and that’s really the first real secret. you’ve got to talk to people. i know it’s scary, but it’s something you really have to get out there. mick: and not just the people who are coming toyour desk, the 5% of the population you serve. you've got to get out there and really talk topeople, and more so listen to people. toby: yeah, you’ve got ask questions to really kind of prompt a response. the way we do reference interviews to flush out what are the real details we need, things like what does your staff feel nervousabout? what is it that your patrons are actually

using? there's lots of given the move to peopleare bringing in their own devices, what are the devices you see? we’ve seen adefinite transition from people bringing in e-book readers to tablets. you know tablets all the way around. and you can do this in formal fashions, you cando like create some kind of protocol where you have a specific question that you have your staff ask people, or you can design a survey. but i’m reallyactually a bigger fan of using just kind of informal gatherings. with regard tostaff , the break room is just a fantastic place to really talk to people. mick: or the water cooler.

toby: or those hallway conversations that take place. and you can even do this kind of indirectly if you don’t – becauseobviously you can’t be there all the time because supposedly we all have other jobs todo. but you can set up like a graffiti wall, like just get a thing like butcher paper and leave it on the table with a question, and use that to kind of drive some kind of asynchronous conversation when you’re going through things. it doesn’t have to be literal questions you know it’s like what technology are you most curious about? what gadgets are your kids using? you can take a more sideways method. i’m a big fan of brian eno.

he’s a musician, and a record producer. a longtime ago he developed this deck of cards called oblique strategies. and they're basicallyprompts that encourage creativity. it’s like a way of introducing limitations into acreative environment so that your imagination can be sparked. you know when often when you have an unlimited palette, you get frozen by indecision. so that’s whatkind of what informs some of the other questions like what skills do you wish you had? name a technology that scares you? what do you think is going to change aboutyour position in the next five years? sometimes taking a more indirect approach toreally result in some more illuminating answers. you know as far as using this to build a learning culture, your ultimate goal

is to really not just have a direct you talking to them all the time, but more getting your staff talking and sharing ideas back and forth. and with all of this there’s a good chance you’re going to end up being a victim of your own success. to be perfectly honest,you’re going to end up getting a bigger array of responses then you really know what to do with. and that’s kind of the other secret, you don’thave to do everything all at once. there’s always pressure. oh, pinterest is big. let's put it on pinterest. 3-d printers are awesome, let’s buy a makerbot. part of making an effective plan for serving your public is choosing what needs to be given priority,

and what needs not to be given priority, but having these conversations can really go a long way toward helping you set those priorities. and of course keep in mind that just becauseyou choose not to do something now, doesn’t mean you can’t always get to it later. mick: and if you choose not to do somethingdoesn’t mean you can’t learn about it or you can’t research it. i can’t emphasize thatactive researching a topic is the learning as well even if you don’t end up buying 30 chromebooks or whatever it is. toby: exactly, and with that in mind you canthen work on developing a formal approach. i’m actually going to skip a slide.

i’m a really big fan of experiential learning. i find that people learn best when they actually take the time to do the project themselves. you can sit there and you know it’s like you cangive a man a fish, and teach him for a day. if you teach them how to fish, you know etc.etc. we’ll all have lots of fish. we were big fans of the 23 things program that was started in north carolina, and we implemented one of our own back in 2007 called “10 things” because we just concentrated it down. mick: right, the best 10 things. toby: yeah, and these of course were the things that were a big deal at the time.

but in terms of getting all the facts involved it ended up creating this platform where everybody could trial these things in asafe space, send one another questions, and then also help one another out. knowingthat in week three we’re talking about instant messaging, you could get groups of people to say let’s all get online at the same time and set up a chat. mick: and you’ll see in the next couple slides a lot of the 10 things on here are going to be we will revisit them in a specific project. toby: right, i mean there’s fluidity to all of this. these were all, some of these were social bookmarking that’s with deliciousfading into obscurity, and things like that

with the intent to pull rss away from wider use. mick: my cold dead hands [cross-talk]. toby: it’s the kind of thing that a strongassessment will help you determine which things to really focus on. brenda: sorry, this is from 2007? has it beenupdated since then or is that something that you did at that time, and are now you’vetrying other things since then? toby: we’ve been trying other things in different ways since then. we’re actually working on developing a new kindof staff training to represent the libraries realignment. it will be very different from what it looks like now.

mick: but the 10 things was a jumping off point, and you’ll see from within that was the baseline knowledge, and then we grew the tree from that. toby: right, in library school i was in anetworking class where we built computer networks. and the instructor’s style washe would sit down and lecture. we would each have a computer, we would takeit apart, and then end up with a big pile of circuit boards and ram chips and cables and etc. and he would say, “okay, so now you see all of the parts. go put it backtogether.” and then he would leave the room. and then kind of giving people that sense of working without a net. really it kind of unlocks, it’s an empoweringmove because people realized

that they know more than they think they do. mick: and if they don’t they learn on the fly. toby: right, or they turn to one another. mick: i suppose the biggest take away librariesare an organization that’s learning to learn is the most important thing.the future of libraries is self-learners. toby: right. this is another learning programthat we did called “video boot camp.” that one is blogs.skokielibrary.info/bootcamp. mick: i think so yeah. toby: and that was really one built aroundcreating and editing videos for the library.

mick: so imagine 10 things but just about video production. toby: right, and we had staff on hand to walk people through. we broke it down into simple steps kind of like how we did with the 10 things. instead of one week you did wikis, and the next week you did podcasting. here it’s like one week you write out a script.you learn how to co-create a concise message and focus it down. next week you write a storyboard. so by breaking things down into smaller more digestible chunks, you can help people learn much bigger things. and we actually converted this to a program thatwe did at the illinois library association

conference for two years running, where we hadpeople running through this program in two days creating their own. and we had staff at all levelscoming to us. we ended up making probably a couple dozen videos all together across thosetwo years where people would come in mick: grab a camera and go. toby: yeah, we’d check out flip cameras forthem, and they would go out and do it. mick: so basically we learned all of the peoplewe needed to hire because they’re the ones who came and asked for cameras and wanted to do experiential learning. toby: and then we'd coached them, and it was delightful. moving on though and that goes back to thisidea of really building projects around learning.

the other kind of more insidious motive behind having video boot camp was it enabled us to kind of create a pool ofvideos helping people really build stuff. and you know we’ve looked to other programs.this came from a gallery exhibition we had of caldecott art, and we thought let’s set up aphoto booth where people could pose with their favorite caldecott books, and we can superimpose the stuff. that was a learning exercise where peoplelearned how to create good photos, how to use the green screen, the portable green screen we have. and then how to put all the parts together using gimp or photoshop or the other tools that we have.

mick: right, so this specific project was we had the caldecott display of art, and you would invite a lot of people to come and view this beautiful artwork. and one of our librarians brad jones said, “hey, what if we set up a green screen and took pictures of them and then wesuperimpose the background of their favorite piece of art, and then give that to them?” we got lots of like dozens and dozens of great photos. you can look at our flickr pool if you like. so the whole idea of building products aroundlearning is like projects are patron based. you are building stuff for patron’s delight this is a delightful thing for patrons to do. but within these projects brad and other peoplelearned the basics of green screen lighting,

which is not easy. you do three lamps and stuff like that. and you've got to set up a green screen and you've got to take a picture, and then you've got to edit it. a couple people edited a dozen. now we have a couple green screen experts on staff. toby: we can build on that. mick: right because it was their idea becausethey are self-learners, self-teachers, but other people saw this and thought this was awesome, and they wanted to do it, and they want to learn it as well. toby: yeah, and the nice thing about thisbecause often times when you’re

dealing with staff you’re going to get people thatsay, “well, how is this going to be useful? what are patrons going to get out of this?” this was a case where the service dictated thetechnology as opposed to the other way around. toby: we've got the [indistinct] why don’t we do something fun with it, and that’s where we start to incorporate thegreen screen elements into photography. mick: so i want to be absolutely clear for all thepeople who are starting to roll their eyes, we do not build projects around the tech. we do involve the tech in the project. and i’ll go into augmentation a little bit later.augmentation with technology of projects. toby: let’s go through a couple other exampleson how we’ve done that where the project

really provides the context for learning technology. mick: this is something called bookmatch. so a readers advisory survey sort of thing like quite a few libraries have it. toby: yeah, if you’re familiar with barry trott'swork where you fill out a big expensive survey outlining your reading preferences, this is our adaptation of its. mick: so i was on the reference desk the otherday, and i was talking to one of our colleagues. her name is sophie, she is self admittedly not a tech person. and i was talking about how i was going to use this in this talk. and iwas thinking when you learned bookmatch, you learned how to edit wikis. you learned how to convert things to pdf.

you learned the basics of wysiwyg of whatyou see is what you get editing which is what you need for blogging and everything else like that, so you learned a lot of technology things. toby: you learned about surveys, and skip logic.just to be clear the backend of the bookmatch is once i fill in the survey, we paste it into a wiki, and then staff work collaboratively to make a list of about two dozenrecommendations for the patrons, based on their preferences. mick: and she told me, “sometimes i learn stuffand i don’t even know what it’s called.” because you know she learned how to edit a wiki that is not a small thing

that is web design in some ways. she learnedwhat a hyperlink is and she didn’t even know what it’s called. she just did it because she wassuggesting books for somebody. so this is a perfect example i think, ofexperiential learning and building technology into projects because we could just have a microsoft word document. it wouldn’t work nearly as well, but everybodywould know the technology already, but for me it was a better tool. mick: another project we did, or are in the midstof is called called “skokie stories.” this is an oral history project. a lot of people dooral history projects or some sort of archiving projects. we decided to do ours through videoand audio. and one of the main reasons for that

was we get to keep people’s voices, a lot ofgood reasons for video and audio of course. but one of the main reasons for me, my staff ormy colleagues, would learn how to edit audio. we would buy mp3 recorders and we would learn how to use those. we would learn how to use a camera. we would learn how to use a little bit of, how to upload [indistinct] or how to editsomething in garage band, or audacity, or whatever software, what have you. it doesn’t matter they’re learning. and from here again, we got the video bootcamp and everything else like that so we were building to this all the time this isjust another example of a local history. i imagine you have a local history project. iimagine you’re thinking about a local history

project, how can you build in the tech training?not the tech training into the project, the project and then bring in the tech training. if you get my drift? toby: yeah, this is another example just how reflecting on the video stuff, we did tours of the library, and this was anotherchance to really encourage people to really work on focusing their message. and then how to stand and talk. you know how to work on your elevator speech.how do you talk about the library? how do you talk about the areas that you’rereally responsible for and passionate about? and by putting them on camera, it really drovehome just the way, the idea of how people present themselves. i don’t want to rehash someof the other stuff from video boot camp,

but just another example of things we’ve done. likewise we’ve taken the same approach withour roving. we’re starting to implement roving here at skokie with people walking around with tablets to do service. of course, we have patrons more and morepatrons are bringing in their own devices, and i call them “campers.” they’ll come in, they plug into the outlet, they’ll spread out their books on the table.they’ll lay out their at least one device, whether it’s a laptop or a tablet or a phone, or some combination of the three. and they’re certainly not going to get up tocome see us because they don’t want to lose their stuff, more importantly their spot.

mick: spot, yeah. the outlet, the wonderful, wonderful outlet. toby: right, and so that model of waiting forpeople to visit us at the reference desk just doesn’t work anymore. so we've beengetting people, we’ve been trying to walk around, and kind of show people that we’re available by having a tablet. it helps me. i’ve been able to get people in study rooms. i’ve been able to do some research. i’ve been able to pull the materials from theshelf. and you’ve seen this, other libraries have really gone into a much bigger degree. there’s a library in helsinki that talks with localactors to show them how to walk, like how your body language conveys being available and open.

i thought that was kind of fascinating. but one of the ways we've kind of – because you definitely run into that. you’ll walkaround and if you’re just buried in your tablet or you're just walking past. mick: right, or walking fast. toby: people aren’t going to be as inclined. so you really have to work. so i have been encouraging people to really listen and try to find people who are doing interesting stuff. mick: so bringing this back to learning, we’remaking people walk around with tablets, and they could get any sort of question about atablet because you are an expert on a tablet.

so they have to learn the ipad. now, everyone’s coming in asking for ipad 1 on1 classes, it’s not just e-book 1 on 1 classes is ipad 1 on 1. because every e-book 1 on 1class on an ipad is an ipad 1 on 1 class. so we’ve have an expertise. toby: yeah, it’s building organically. but with thelistening, we’ve identified people like carolyna here who’s actually – what that project is, is actually the background to a website she was building. and so it helpspeople to find really interesting things, and just provides other context things wewouldn’t see if we stepped behind the desk the whole time.

mick: right. another thing, and this is a way of showingtechnology training or learning culture. toby: and just integrating it into our everyday work flow. mick: right. so we have a statistic module. webuilt a statistic module using a firefox add-on, and what this taught people is that there’sanother web browser not called internet explorer which is only good because internet explorercannot always do what you need it to do. from someone who developed websites, i hate internet explorer. but what they've been told there is more thanone browser which is a huge step for many staff members because if something doesn’t work inone web browser, try a different web browser

and it works magically. so now they understand the web browsers. toby: they just look different. mick: right, all that code stuff. and also theylearn how to add add-ons to firefox. so we’ve got people with their [indistinct]popping up and everything else. they’ve learned that your browser is not something given to you, it’s something you can build. toby: yeah, we built a staff, a statistics module logging questions at the desk. mick: yeah, instead of using google form whichwe could have totally done just a google form. one of our people built an add-on and it’sinstalled onto your firefox toolbar.

toby: and that way it’s always available. and then there’s other things where you don’talways have the skills to learn from within. we’re going to talk about some of those resources. mick: right, formal learning. we do a lot. we also do formal learning. it’s not all holistic zen learning. we’ve done formal learning. and some of the tools we use are online. well, lynda.com is one of the resources we've used a lot, and something i use for almost all of my own technology training. i’m not joking, i do almost all my trainingsthrough lynda.com for software, obviously hardware you can’t really learn that well through a website.

i don’t know how expensive it is for everybody. it can be a bit pricy for libraries, but for an individual account which you mightwant to get for yourself is not too much money, 25 bucks a month or something like that. and ithas software training for all kinds of topics. you can learn anything from photoshop, theremust be 50 hours of video on photoshop to 80 hours of microsoft word 2013. atomic learning is another solution very similar.i don’t like it quite as much as lynda.com because... toby: honestly, it’s not as thorough, not as well fleshed out. mick: for me, the speakers are wooden, a little bit wooden. it's like they’re reading.

toby: no dulcet tones. mick: no dulcet tones, exactly. another tool i mentioned. toby: what’s that obscure one you use? mick: yeah. toby: your free one. mick: can someone help me with this, youtube? have you guys heard of youtube?yeah, youtube is another obscure technology training tool that we use all the time. toby: and you’d be amazed at how many like very specific questions

have like these walk-throughs of people just recording the screen, and letting just sort of follow along. mick: so in my staff training, when i ordersomething, we have something called a digital media lab here. it is space wherepeople can create digital media creations so we have to support that to some level. andwhen we buy new software like [indistinct] or i don’t know, something like that, we have to have a baseline knowledge and that’s where lynda.com, mostly lynda.com or atomic learning have it. so this is one of our online formal training tools. toby: safari books.

mick: safari books is another one. i forgot to mention that. safari books is online books, e-books but notdownloadable, more like streaming e-books. we also train in office 2010, and we use a classroom. sometimes you just have to use classrooms. iknow for a lot of your libraries a classroom is not going to work. you don’t have aclassroom, or if you have a classroom you can’t spread the staff for one personteaching and a bunch of other people to attend. but if you can do it, it it can work. it’s a little bit boring, unless the instructor isgood. so i recommend if you have the instructor, go ahead and make it a little bit light, make itlearning together when you’re up there.

the words of wisdom that i’ve heard for a teacher is it’s not what you teach that matters, it’s what they learn. so if you’re teaching office 2010, what is the most important thing to learn? f1, isn't that right? toby: alt + ctrl + z mick: alt + ctrl + z that’s right. those are veryimportant tools when you’re in microsoft word. how do you download a resume template? so what is it that they really want to learn? toby: all of this is meant to reflect it like teaching as a process. like mick said, it’s not what you teach it's howthey learn. and you know in some cases,

you’re the one doing the learning. we end up –we teach. the number of classes we’ve taught has gone up, has skyrocketed in the last couple of years. and as a result we’re kind of learning, we’re using patrondemand to kind of define what we're learning before we go into it and tying it into existing library resources. this is a mobile phone class i did a couple years ago. you can tell because the phone has among its features is a hinge. mick: that’s my phone. i’ve got a hinge. toby: but one of the reasons we wanted to do this, we had a big demand. the class was full. we’ve offered it a few times,but it also enabled us to talk about

what library services we offered for mobiledevices. we built a mobile website. you start offering text messaging services.we had a new mobile catalog, and we wanted to show all of this stuff off. so it gives staff a chance for some realdedicated one-on-one time with the public who’s receptive to those products that they havebeen working on. if somebody’s interested in – like we have some people who got really intomaking a pinterest page, so we had them teach a pinterest class. thatenabled them to expand our audience. mick: we actually turned that around a little bit. toby: yeah.

mick: one of my main tools ofmaking people learn a technology is that i make them teach a technology. forinstance, we just hired somebody new. his name is michael. he’s a very enthusiasticguy. i'm making him teach audio production. he’s never done audio production. i'm notmaking him teach advanced audio production. i'm making him teach thebasic audio production. or like toby said, pinterest. there’s people whowould say, “show an interest in pinterest.” and then there’s people who don’t show much ofan interest. and we say, i think you need to teach a class on tumblr and then eventuallythey learn to pick their own topics. toby: and because there is – if a class goesnowhere. you know you’ve spent several hours

sometimes 8 to 10 hours researching the topic,learning the ins and outs, writing slides, writing a handout, and it’s like 2 peoplecome up you know that makes it tough. so if you can really build it aroundthings that can be replicated whether it’s through other classes orif it’s handouts that can be handed out as a means of promoting a servicethat it’s tied to do. mick: along with that is screen casting. screencasting is a video of a computer screen. you’re basically taking a video of the computerscreen in order to teach somebody an asynchronous sort of information need. andhaving someone teach a screen cast, for example from like reference usa or anotherdatabase, means they're going to learn it,

and learn it really well. it’s a goodthing to have new people come in who you’re not quite sure are goingto learn that database or whatever. another thing we started doing is 1 on 1 – well,we’ve been doing 1 on 1 classes for a long time. we have staff teaching tons of 1 on 1 classes. ithink we're going to probably break over to 600 to 700 1 on 1 classes this year, andthese are all technology 1 on 1 classes this is not include the referenceand [indistinct] 1 on 1 classes. so what i started doing, and what i’m kind ofplaying around with is, we encourage staff. we have a slew of stuff we teach. we teacheverything from the introduction of mouse to photoshop advanced. so staff can choosewhat they can teach. i’ll only teach ipad

and android or i'll only teach microsoft word orsomething like that. i’m trying to get people to level up. i’m still playing around withthis idea of making it a game of vacation. toby: yeah, just put some [indistinct] intoit. again, building on that process. we started taking photos of giving people thesecertificates, and then throwing them up on our facebook page and the other spaces.and we always get this tremendous response where people go, “oh, welcome tothe internet.” this is [indistinct] 92? mick: this is actually a patron,not a staff member. toby: right. mick: the culture of learning in the community.

toby: right, but it reflects the library’s overallmission of helping to encourage people, being a platform for personal growth,and community engagement. mick: absolutely. brenda: can i ask a quick question? a questionthat came in is, what percentage of your staff do this or are able to, or do this 1 to 1 type oftraining? what percentage of the staff does it? mick: that’s a good question. for adultservices, where most of the training takes place i would say 75%. toby: we have a fairly large staff, and i shouldreinforce that. we have about 156 total staff members, and we're a standalone location.but yeah, i'd say all together

i would say it’s like 30 people. mick: 30 people contribute to this, andnot to mention eight or nine volunteers. mick: so we teach a lot of these classes. toby: you don’t have to scale thisout so big because obviously and particularly in smaller librariesit’s hard to get time off staff. if you can schedule a, if you make just liketuesdays at 3 pm every other week is the 1 to 1 appointment window thenyou can actually start making some time. you may not be able to meet sort ofeveryone, but it can at least give you a chance to get started.

mick: yeah, and when you teach 1 to 1 classes,and when you ask staff and say, "staff, you're going to teach 1 to 1classes they will learn the topic in order to teach the 1 on 1 classeven if patrons don't show up. if i’m telling a staff member you’ve got to learnwindows 8 because you’ll be teaching class, a 1 on 1 on windows 8 in three weeks,they’re going to go down and teach it because you can’t argue with patron services.you can argue with me about what’s important and what not, but if a patron says,“i want to learn windows 8.” we're teaching them windows 8.there’s just no argument about it. toby: there’s a chicken and egg scenario there,you know what comes first the knowledge

or the teaching? and in this sense we’re kind ofdoing both. we’re putting staff out there in the egg, and forcing them to grow a beak. brenda: and then one more, one more follow-upquestion, and is it staff at all levels, all classifications or job titles,is it all levels teaching classes during this sort of 1 to 1 training? mick: yes, all levels are teaching. toby: not all. mick: not circulation. toby: right now its adult serviceslibrarians and the tech help.

mick: and the volunteers. but within adultservices that’s mostly everybody. toby: one of the things we are looking out for inthis realignment is helping expand that. mick: we don’t see why circulationpeople couldn’t be teaching these or why tech services couldn't be teaching onehour every two weeks or something like that. we have a waiting list, and as isaid we’re teaching almost 700. we can have a month-long waiting list for theseclasses because they’re so popular. toby: and if they have the knowledge, and thedemand is there. i mean if we have patrons coming in asking about mark, how to edit amark record. we could find somebody to pull someone in.

and that speaks to another one of our goalswhich is to let the library be sort of the conduit through which people can talk to one another.we really worked with that with the staff model, and we’re starting to move thatinto some of our other classes. there’s kind of this appy hour, we’re calling our“come on, get appy” where people come in and bring their mobile devicesand talk about what they like, and what they have questions about. it givesthem a real chance to share their perspective. because tablets and phones have moved to apoint where everybody has this very intimate and personal connection with their devices, it’shard to teach these in a very general sense. it’s like have you ever grabbed yourneighbor’s phone or your spouse’s phone

and you just like “none of these appsare in the right place. everything’s weird. the screen is too bright.” so ratherthan try to teach some very homogeneous, in a very homogeneous generalized way, it’smore just create the space and let people really talk about what they’repassionate about. that same intimacy leads to people todeveloping their own creative solutions. it’s like “oh if i create this folder for my appsthent i have something i can quickly – all the things i access most frequently i have inone spot.” so if you take advantage of this it’s that other case where patrons,and people who participate know a lot more than they think they do.

mick: and it creates community as well. toby: and we’ve done this as well withsome things like we had a program called tech munchies for a while which was kindof a lunch program where people would come in and talk about, and staff members would sharewhatever tool they wanted to talk about. yeah, ted talks was another. mick: yeah, we haven’t actually done that herebut i’ve heard and read about other libraries during lunch hour or whenever having a ted talkmeeting where they listen to a ted talk. if you don’t know what a ted talk is,do google it and look up sugata mitra. it is one of my favorite ted talks where they’retalking about technology, education and design

which are what you’re doing. what ted talks, and when you say,“oh, i don’t have time for that.” well, maybe stop going to somany webinars everybody, but if you listen to one of these 15 minute talksor 20 minute talks you’re going to be inspired to have a conversation about whatever it is,technology, education or designed which is what we are doing in so many ways. toby: and that brings us to kind of the nextphase of where we’re going with all of this because we’ve worked really hard to get peoplemore comfortable trying new things, and to kind of talk with one another as opposedto just one or two people on staff

being the ones who handle stuff that hasflashing lights and goes ding. you run into a point where you know what do you do when people start taking yourtraining resources to heart? you’re kind of becoming a victim ofyour own success in a good way. now it’s like once people learn “hey, i don’tknow everything.” i can look for support and tools, and i can go to youtube and find aresource there. i can create my own solutions. you need to be able to find ways if you’re amanager to support those endeavors, and sometimes to find ways to kind of cast thesomewhat critical eye on what they’re doing to make sure that what they’re doingfits into the organization’s mission.

say like they someone’s gotten really intotumblr . how do you determine there’s an audience for it? how do you makesure the library can help support them in their efforts to speak to that audience? mick: but beyond that like, okay let'ssay you create a tumblr account, and not many people who are on it happento be librarians who are following you, what is the learning goal of tumblr is aquestion as a manager that i ask myself. i have a staff member who’s reallyinto tumblr, what’s the learning goal? what’s he learning by doing tumblr? toby: making gifs

mick: beyond an animated gif.that’s one thing. toby: that’s a class. you can harness that. mick: we'll get into what a success is. toby: right. so here’s some examples of wayspeople have taken their skills and kind of run with it. this comes from our school servicescoordinator. she had been working really hard to cultivate an ongoing relationship with allof the teachers in the five school districts that we have in skokie because we’rein illinois and we have a bureaucracy on top of another bureaucracy. and she neededto create a way to reach them more consistently

to make sure that certain instructorsdidn't fall into the gaps. so first we create a blog called library linkswhich is strictly devoted to reach library resources for educators and parents. and thenwe realized a lot of the teachers didn’t always come to the library to seethis, so we put in a wordpress module that allows us to send it out as an email. soanytime she updates it people get like this email newsletter with the latest blogpost and all this information. we’ re now working to – we’ve always doneteacher bags where a teacher comes in and says, “hey, i’ve got unit on ancient egypt,can you put together a packet of books for me?” well, we’re getting more and more e-books. alot of the youth e-books are kind of unlimited

users. it can be viewable on screen by anynumber of people. so we’ve been building, so she’s been taking that to heartand building kind of digital book bags where if there’s a unit on the revolutionarywar we can send them this list. and she’s been working on this through,she’s been using pinterest actually to create those lists because it’s anice way to make it visually appealing, and driving home a variety of differentresources whether it’s our stuff or whether it’s legitimate stuffout on the web. mick: once you start getting successful,your staff members might want to augment themselves withcameras on their head.

toby: that’s the real extreme librarian. mick: that's extreme librarianshipwhich is what we’re all about. toby: it’s too bad you can’t seethe animated gif version of that. mick: if you go google it, or maybewe’ll put out a link on twitter. but all joking aside, like we’ve been sayingwe’re taking projects and augmenting them with technology. and when you’ve doneeverything and have been successful and people really learn, they’re going to startaugmenting their own projects with technology such as holly jen who did a techsoup... toby: that’s right she did a techsoup webinar.

mick: she did where is thumbkin youtube. andshe got what, 30,000 views on it. toby: one of the go to fingerplays that are out there. mick: it's a definitive where is thumbkin,and this is what we should be doing. toby: yeah, yeah. that’s kind of how thesethings kind of feed into one another, there is a cycle to this process of once you’recomfortable with learning you can start building it into other existing library servicesor create other library services. mick: and become extreme. toby: that’s right. so we want to leave time for questions so wewant to kind of wrap with some of the core

concepts that bring, we’ve got to earn our keepas liberal arts majors, both mick and i do, so we want to bring it back to the concept. oh look! someone on twitter found the link. mick: thank you lisa j. toby: first thing, it’s kind of leap then look.we’ve been talking about a lot of these sometimes the only thing that’s keeping peopleback is just the fact that they haven’t tried it. we’ve had these classes where people arelearning how to do it sometimes the week before or even the day before or in my case sometimesthe hour before. i need to plan better. but the more you get used to this stuff thequicker you realize how much it builds on itself.

yesterday it was mobile devices and things likethat. there’s an intuition that’s built into a lot of these projects. the knowing ofthings like ctrl+z, the undo button is more or less a universal commandacross every piece of software. mick: like i mentioned with screencasting,you can learn screencasting and you can automatically, well notautomatically but you have learned audio production and video production. andyou've learned it, you just have. one of the other rapid fire tips, who is your keyperson? who is some of your key persons? i call them the pollyannas. the people whoare going to be positive about change, about site training. if you can’t name theperson off the top of your head right now

then maybe you’re that person which is great.i’m not talking about department heads. i’m talking about people like imentioned before like sophie. people who make the cookies. toby: who are the connectors? mick: who do you need to get going on this?who do you really need to work on? identify them, work on them. toby: sometimes it’s going to bethe same person all the way through, and sometimes it’s going to be someone whoonce you introduce the project they take to it and realize that it's something they reallylike and that they really want to do.

and you can build on that enthusiasmand use it as a way of demonstrating, again context for how this works. mick: and your key people are not toby andmick. like we are already on board, get us on board but we’re alreadyhalfway there. we were there yesterday. now one thing you gotta know about isfailure. failure begets improvement. toby: you gotta be willing to essentiallyfail fast. if a project doesn’t go off, if a project doesn’t work, take the timeto reflect on it and ask yourself, “well, is there something here that wedid learn from this that we can harvest? what can we change to make the next time wetry something like this function well?”

mick: and be willing to admit failure, likedon’t pin failure on people out loud. try to learn from your failure. for example,there’s a baseball team in chicago called the chicago cubs that doesnot generally improve from failure. toby: you’ve might’ve heard of myfavorite team the boston red sox. and they have gone from last to first.so people can iterate and move along. and then finally, you have to treat this all like aprocess whenever you introduce a new thing it’s not like this is going to be the same all theway throughout. you’re going to make a change, you might iterate it, you might phase it outaltogether and introduce a new learning module like the same way delicious faded.

mick: but if you learned delicious you knewtagging, you learned a whole bunch. there is no endpoint. toby: and again it’s all about building a reallystrong positive attitude toward learning. and once you have that you canreally start, you can tackle anything. toby: so that’s kind of our spiel. mick: thanks everybody. toby: yeah you can get in touch with ouradorable children if you’d like or go through our contact informationthere, but we wanted to leave some time to take your questions because i know there’slots of specific instances where smaller libraries

or libraries with different organizationalstructures or certain people can raise certain questions. brenda: okay, that was great and i dohave a lot of questions from the audience so let’s just start going through some of them.one of them is just tech resistance, and you talked about staff doing teachingor requiring people to teach, do you run into resistance there? and what’syour advice for tech resistance and dealing with that? mick: i’ve been thinking about this a lot.but one of the things i’ve done is that you’ve got to imagine a bankaccount, and you’ve got to put money

into the bank account and then takedeposits from the bank account. so when i’m helping someone with aprinter jam, when i’m helping someone with one of these tech problems, i’m puttingmoney into that bank account. and they have to understand that i’m going totake money out of that bank account eventually, and we’re going to ask them to learn something.some people won’t see it this way. i hate to say it, but if you really have a toxicperson on your staff and you have the ability to let them go, you’ve got to let them go. toby: there’s, i mean exactly. somepeople are going to get it, some people are going to need some coaching, andthey’re going to need to see what context,

what’s the bigger picture about learning aboutan e-reader. the fact that the way people are reading is changing. why do we need toteach people how to use tablets? because they’re not coming to the deskanymore. if you can put it in that context that can help. there are going to bepeople who they’ll refuse to do anything, and there’s a point where you have tokind of say, “you need to do this. this is part of your job.” mick: and we are very lucky because ouradministration of our organization is very supportive of this, but wehave worked at other organizations that are not quite as supportive, and sometimesyou just kind of leap. what’s the saying?

ask for forgiveness not permission. toby: yeah, exactly. it’s easier to beg forforgiveness than to ask for permission. brenda: have you added, have job descriptionsactually been changed to make teaching and training part of the rolesand responsibilities for staff? mick: welcome to my lifeeverybody this is mick. toby: this is the realignment. mick: we are realigning because we seelearning and community and other access as vital, and they need to be their owndepartments. they can no longer be dovetailed into children’s, adults, whatever. it’s going to be,and i’m sure we’ll be doing a talk about this.

toby: yeah, there will be a lot of crossoverbetween where the concept of learning spiders into adult services, and youth services,and you know the computer lab, and circulation, and all of those things. mick: and it’s not just us, it’s the anythinklibrary, arlington heights memorial public library, i’d look at them. i would talk to themabout it. there’s a lot of libraries. we’re seeing that learning is going tobe something that butters our bread so to speak ,forever. toby: so take a more flexibleapproach to all of this. mick: so does that answer the question?

brenda: yeah, i think it does. weknew that question would come, that's something that always comes up withthis topic, and that’s a good response. i think your whole presentationhas given a lot of good ideas. mick, can i ask you to type the nameof that ted talks speaker into the chat. people were asking, and i didn’tcatch it either. mick: okay. brenda: yeah, the ted talk. you said therewas one you really recommend. mick: did somebody tweet that? brenda: technology learning,or did somebody tweet it?

brenda: another question, do youuse volunteers for training and if so do they get training on how to be trainers? toby: yes for the first part.what do you say for the second? mick: do they get trained to be trainers?we have them sit in classes by experienced trainers. so yes, theydo get training. if you’re coming in and you’re asking to be a technologytrainer, generally we're pretty safe. we do it. we interview them to make sure that –we interview them in a serious interview maybe a 20 minute interview to see who theyare and what they’re going to be all about. and we have them sit in a couple classes,and if they keep coming back

we know they’re going to be good. but a volunteer has sort of a six month shelf life,a lot of students are wonderful volunteers. if you’re near a library school, now it’s all onlinelibrary schools, hit up san jose or whoever, north texas or whomever. toby: recent college graduates from non-libraries departments. if there’s somebody who’s a graphic design department or peopleworking. it’s going to take them a while to find a job within their field, and youcan kind of set up some mutual exploitation where they can build their portfolio and do stuffwhile they're looking for a career gig. mick: and teacher retirees have been very usefulas well. people who were instructors

at some point or were teachers and are retirednow have come and they work out wonderfully. toby: yeah, absolutely. mick: and they could teach me about teaching. toby: yeah, and that really goes along way. what else do you have? brenda: this is something you mentionedearly on toby, was prioritizing and how you have to prioritize, and then it cameup with technology training for example. how do you decide what classes you’regoing to teach or how do you decide what you’re going to prioritizeand are so many possibilities? toby: well, no matter how many libraries,no matter the size of your library,

you’re going to always want to do more thanyou’re capable of doing. i’m a really big fan of, there’s an exercise from web design called“divide the dollar” where basically you make a big list of everything you want to do,and then you get all the stakeholders involved. so it could be the staff members who are doingthe training or it could be your public. and you say, you each have three votes ordivide it all and you have 10 votes. you have like $.10 a piece. and thenyou vote on which things you want and very quickly it helps you identifywhere the actual demand is, so what it is people want to know about. and it also helps in some cases it means,the thing that wasn’t the clear favorite

was often times – it’s like everybody's secondchoice is overwhelmingly more popular than everyone’s first choice. so it’s,and that can also help you make a plan. say, i can only do classes on three differenttopics. i know what the first three are very obviously are, but i have aninkling as to what the next set might be. brenda: okay good. let’s see, we’re gettinga lot of questions and discussion about technologies skills and competenciesand finding those for job descriptions, finding those to use in an assessment, and ithrow that back out to the participants in today’s session too. just what resources areyou aware of for assessing competencies? and the edge initiative people have mentioned isone resource, but if you have anything to add

to that toby and mick that would be great too.lots of discussion around that. jean says, web junction, yeah they’ve done alot of work pulling together competencies. mick: for us we’ve kind of started workingon it. it hasn’t quite coalesced. mick: right, because it keepschanging so quickly. toby: and so, creating a job description whereit says you know photoshop and indesign and these things, that could change in twoyears like the way the adobe creative suite changes. so we’re really more interested infinding people who have the open mind about doing stuff, and knowing that if igive them a task it might take them some time to figure it out, but they'redefinitely capable of going there.

mick: so we’re always testing people. it’s notlike an official test, but we’re always looking for people to say, “hey create a poster about thenew drums we’re going to circulate.” and i want to see how – what they’re going todo, how long it’s going to take them to get it back to me, what it’s going to look like, theirdesign skills because i’m no designing expert but i kind of know what i like,and leave it open-ended. are they going to ask me a bunch of questions,are they going to do it by themselves and give me something real quick.and you really do learn quickly like who are your learners.who is going to teach themselves. so when we advertise for a job, and i know everystate is different, but when we advertise for a job

we have those bullet points“has audio knowledge” almost never do i have specificprograms on there, but i put down something likea graphic design ability. toby: more and more general. brenda: okay, well, we have one morequestion. i do want to mention to you this is the top of the hour. and ifyou need to leave that’s just fine, remember we are sending you a follow-upmessage today with the recording and slides and any links that were sharedso we’ll have that. the last question that i have toby and mick,is just about outreach and marketing,

and what you’ve done to bring peopleinto your technology programs? do you have a little bit, not technologytraining related, but you mentioned so many great programs throughout thesession, any special things you’ve done with outreach and marketing? toby: i mean, that’s another oneof those this is water things. we’re very driven toward making sure ourmessage is out to as many places as possible. and we focus a lot of community partnerships.you know, we have a lot of area organizations. most full-time staff have a workingrelationship with at least one group, and we really try to leverage that just thepersonal networking to help identify other people

who might be a good match for a particularprogram. but beyond that we have our traditional marketing mix.we have a newsletter, facebook. we have social media stuff.so that really varies. that’s almost a whole otherwebinar to be honest. mick: like i said, there’s no silver bullet forthat either. we struggle getting the word out about our programs. some of our programsthat we think are great ideas, and five people sign up and we’re like what?so there’s no silver bullet on that, but the more the better. toby: yeah, definitely.

mick: we do talk to a lot of communitygroups like toby said. i’d go talk to kiwanis or the chamber. toby: take your pick. brenda: i know we're at the end of our session,and we’re getting rave reviews in the chat so good job toby and mick. this has been reallyuseful, very interesting, really useful. and i thank you so much for sharing your timeand experiences with everyone. again, we do this every month and next monthwe’ll be talking about assistive technologies, so hope to see you again on november 20th,and we’ll talk about that which is benchmark 11. we’ll include info in thefollow-up email on that too.

we want to thank readytalk for beingour webinar sponsor today. there is an evaluation form that willpop up as we close out of the session, so please take some time and let us know whatyou liked and what you would like us to do in the future. so again thanks so muchtoby, and thank you mick. this has been great. thank you everyone for your questions andresources, and we’ll call it a wrap. toby: thank you guys. you're a great audience. captioning by youronlinescribe.com

education online

(applause) - well it's a real privilege to be here. stanford's technology ventures program has been an inspiration to generations of people. and tina in particular is my inspiration. she's the go-to person about learning about creativity, which is really critical for what we're doing. so, i wanna talk to you today about olin. where it came from,
and what we've learned. so, it's sort of the outline for the talk. and the first is about the founding of olin. and let me point out that this is a picture of franklin olin, who's the guy who created the revenue that generated olin college. he's a cornell graduate, 1880s. he retired in 1938 from the olin corporation, and he died in 1951.
but his legacy is what created olin. so, for example, there are 78 buildings on 58 university campuses that say olin hall. so there's an olin hall for example, at vanderbilt. there's an olin hall at cornell. there's an olin hall at university of southern california, and dozens and dozens of other places. the olin foundation decided to end that grants program and to start over
in higher ed entirely. because there was a great deal of unhappiness about the way engineers are prepared. you see, there are lots of surveys that show that if you talk to presidents and professors at universities, about whether the graduates are well prepared to enter the workforce, there's a very high percentage of them that say of course. we've never done a better job of preparing
graduates for the workforce. but on the other hand, if you talk to people in corporations about how well the graduates are prepared for entering the workforce, they have a different opinion. and these opinions are sort of diverging because they're not talking to each other very well. that's what the olin foundation was worried about. so this is sort of a timeline for how this school started.
1997 they came up with the charter. 1999 first employee, that's me. so when i showed up at olin, it was not yet a place. it was an idea. the olin foundation consisted of four people and me. none of them is an engineer, and none of them has ever worked in higher education. but they had very strong ideas about what needs to change. what can go wrong with this, right?
so, it was a very interesting couple of years as we worked through this. now, they had a lot of experience in working with buildings. and so, they basically said, i'll do everything else. so, go find the people, figure out what the curriculum is. by the way, you need to rethink what it means to be an engineer.
and rethink what it means to be educated in the 21st century. and let's do it all over again. oh, there's some other things. no tenure. no departments. everything has an expiration date, including the curriculum. and students won't pay for the educational experience.
that was the original plan for the school. the most important thing on this is 2001, the olin partner year. that's probably, and it's sort of accidental, the way it worked, but it's the most important thing we did. so, what happened is we brought in 15 boys and 15 girls who lived in construction trailers on a parking lot for a year. they were not taking courses, and they were not employees.
so we just called them partners. and we have to have them because you can't pretend that you don't know how to solve the calculus problem, and make a judgment about whether method a is more successful than method b. you actually have to have some people who've never solved the calculus problem, so you can talk to them while they're doing it.
and we did experiments during that year. that's what changed everything. the most important thing we learned? almost without exception, young people are more capable of learning things on their own than we ever expected. and we basically structure the educational program, probably everywhere, probably in every grade, too much, it begins to put people in boxes
and extinguish creativity. so, the person who was most responsible for starting this school is larry milas, who said, "there's a lot of unhappiness today "about the way engineering is taught." the principle advisors for this, at the beginning, were joseph bordogna, who was the chief operating officer at nsf, who had run something called the engineering
education coalitions program for a decade. spent over 100 million dollars trying to motivate universities to rethink engineering, and gave up. because the data showed it doesn't work. they're not changing. the other person is john prados, who was the chair of the accreditation board, that changed the entire accreditation criteria, because universities have forever said,
well, we would change but, you know, the accreditation board wouldn't give us accreditation. so you can't do this. so john re-engineered the accreditation criteria so that's no longer true. olin is fully accredited. we've never had any problem with abet accreditation, so that's not the issue. so, in the founding precept for the school
is this description of why these folks spent almost 500 million dollars to start an entirely new institution. and basically what they said, the college "is intended to be different, not for the mere "sake of being different, but to become an important "and constant contributor to the advancement of engineering "education in america and throughout the world." in other words, olin college is intended
to be an education laboratory. so we're basically a privately funded national laboratory for stem education re-design. that's what the school is about. what does that mean? i think this picture captures it. higher education is this giant aircraft carrier that's hard to re-position. olin is a tug boat that's pushing it 90 degrees,
trying to get it to move a little bit to the left or a little bit to the right. and that's what we do. so, we've been visited by 640 universities since 2009. we've had significant partnerships with everybody on this page and many others as well. and as a result of that, for example, our partnership with the university of illinois at urbana-champagne, resulted in a complete redesign
of their undergraduate program. all 1600 incoming engineering students at illinois now take a different program that was co-designed with olin. and that resulted in this book, which is co-authored by a senior faculty member at illinois and at olin. okay, so that's an illustration. that's enough about olin. now i want to tell you
what we've learned about engineering education in about 15 years of experimentation. this is a very different kind of set of messages. the first thing that's happened is that we've noticed that there's a trend in higher education. over time, there's changes going on at this sort of mega scale. the first one is what has often been called the knowledge economy.
so, at olin, we've noticed that there's an unspoken assumption about education, probably for 500 years. and it's simply the more you know the better your life will be. okay, that's why we send our kids to school. so if we just send them to school, and they learn lots of stuff, trust me, their life will be better. however, that's actually a testable hypothesis,
and james heckman who is a nobel prize-winning economist, university of chicago, has tested it. the correlation between how much you know and how well your life turns out to be is not very good. in fact a three times better predictor of positive life outcomes than either knowledge or intelligence is what is called grit. what is grit?
it's a combination of passion and perseverance. it's attitudes, behaviors and motivations. it's not knowledge. but, nevertheless, everybody does this. the knowledge economy is about putting content into kids heads. that's what we do. that's why you have a phd cuz you're the expert. you stand in front of people in a classroom,
they take notes, and at the end of the day, this is the sage on the stage model. rows of seats and a blackboard is how you organize them. you know if it worked by finding out what they know. so we sort of imagine this as testing at the end a little bit like a giant jeopardy game, okay. so everybody raises these questions. if you get most of the questions right, we put a big check in the box.
higher education, it's done its thing. we're doing well. there's a problem with this. it's called google. now, while you're taking the jeopardy exam, somebody's googling the answer and they get it before you did, and they didn't go to school at all. this changes everything.
now the value proposition of just knowing stuff has changed, probably permanently. and we're in the middle right now of a transition to what i call the maker economy. so it's not about what you know, it's about what you can do with what you know. this is a completely different paradigm. so we're now not just putting stuff into kids' heads, we're expecting some stuff to come out too.
and so you might think of this maker economy. you're learning how to play the clarinet. so as a result, you watch somebody play the clarinet, and then you try it. it doesn't sound the same, so then you iterate. you try to do it a little bit better, imitating what they did until you build the skill to where you can replicate what they do. or maybe integrating by parts,
and you're watching khan academy. they did this 17 times with these problems, and i got the pattern, i'm gonna do it myself. okay, anything you can do by watching somebody else. maker economy. so what happens now is the teacher's not the expert, the teacher is the coach, okay. this is actually very important. you wanna have a coach.
the coaches are very important to football, for example. so is basketball. the best organization of students in this case is not in a large auditorium sitting in rows, but in small groups talking to each other on some kind of a maker project. you know, it could be building a robot. it could be writing a book. by the way, life is a maker project.
so learning how to do this is an important thing. now it's not about what you know, this isn't the end. we can foresee what's happening in the future, which is more important. it's what i'd call the innovation economy. now the value proposition is completely different. it's what comes out of kids' heads that's important. it's not, i mean, obviously you're still putting stuff in,
but what you're paying attention to is what comes out. it's the new ideas. we don't actually know who does the best teaching here. whether it's the teacher. whether it's peers. whether it's mentors. it's a whole environment. why? because creativity has less to do
with your dna than it does with your environment. it's the community and the ecology of the environment that really matters. and the method of teaching is probably associated with intrinsic motivation and design thinking, is our best guess at this point. it's still part of the research agenda for the future. and now, it's about what you conceive. now, you can complain and say,
aren't all these things important? of course, but i can tell you the evidence that i'm seeing by talking to our placement office. if you look at where the graduates go, and how much money they get as a surrogate for the demand, the students who get the largest salaries, guess which one of these three areas they come from. it's the one on the far right. it's about the most creative people
who conceive new products, who do the developing new markets, is where the market is. okay, so that's where this is going. now i want to talk about why education must change. what's driving all this? have you seen this graph? this is the graph of human population over all of human history. two and a half million years ago all the way though,
you can see where the black death was, or the bubonic plague. in 1920, i think there were two billion people on the planet, or 1927, something like that. today there are seven billion, we're on the way to nine billion. i don't think there's a single aspect of human existence on the planet that won't be affected by that graph. the education system that we're using, by the way,
was designed way before the peak in this started. it's not taking into account these changes. that, by the way, that graph, is an existential threat. population biologists have seen graphs like this before. like the explosion of population of rabbits on the plain in australia. what do they know? when it gets to a graph like that, about one generation later there aren't any more rabbits.
usually the species is extinct. if we're gonna avoid that, we're gonna have to use the stuff between our ears, and to do things differently in order to manage what we've created. so, the national academy of engineering in the us has been looking ahead at the kinds of challenges that our species is going to have to deal with. and these are the sorts of things that they found.
by the way, these all fit into four major areas: security, sustainability, health and the enhancing of life as the number of people grows. these problems are not technology problems. technology has something to do with all of them. in fact, some of the challenges are here because of the technology, the unintended consequences in the previous generation. nevertheless, they're about human behavior.
and we have to take human behavior into account if we're going to solve any of them. so that, we have to have the right people in the room to frame the problem. we can't just have engineers talking about this. we need a broader community. so this involves coupled scientific, social, economic, political, even religious dimensions. because the population has to accept it or it doesn't work.
what this really means is that we need a new kind of engineering innovator. other populations have faced extinction, and so one of the research projects we've had is, so what did they do? how did they get where they are? so some folks think that maybe the dinosaurs had trouble with their diet. others think maybe they had some behavior issues
with alcohol, tobacco, other sorts of things. they also didn't really anticipate security very well. so this particular group said, "all i'm saying is now is the time to develop "technology to deflect an asteroid." and obviously they didn't pay any attention to that. and finally, maybe they missed the boat. they just were distracted. noah took off and they had all the other animals
but the dinosaurs are sitting on the shore, they were playing basketball that day or something. we need to pay attention. which raises the question, what exactly is innovation? now there are lots of definitions of this. so the one i want to talk about is the kind of innovation that changes the planet. this is not just the kind of innovation that develops a new product, or a new industry,
but it changes the way people live on a very large scale. so, if you have a very profound innovation, it changes the way people live so profoundly that people can't remember the way life was before it happened. so my kids, for example, can't imagine how the cave man lived before the cell phone. i mean they've sort of always been here. so, how could you possibly make that work?
the point of this is that you have to implement ideas or you don't change the way people live. so, without implementation, it's just an idea. ideas are cool, but innovation requires adoption of the ideas. it requires people on a large scale to choose it. now, if you think about this, i think our traditional model for education may actually be preventing us from producing innovators.
let me explain why. so, if you graduate from high school, and you go on to college, you need to choose a major. this might be a map of a large state university campus. maybe the dimension of the whole page is a couple of miles in each dimension. and then once you go to, say the engineering school, you're going to spend four years in that little region of that map,
which is called the engineering quad. okay, that's where people learn engineering. by the way, for accreditation, you're going to spend 75% of your time taking courses from people with phds in science, math and engineering. if you look at the kinds of questions that they examine in all of those courses in science, math and engineering, they're about the feasibility of ideas.
what we really study is is it feasible to do this based on what we know about the natural law? almost exclusively. and on the other hand, if you went to the business school, on the other side of campus in the green circle, they have to spend half of their time, according to the accreditation standards, studying things like management, marketing, organization, accounting, and that's all about viability.
what does this do to producing dollars? do you have enough capital? is it legal to do this? how can you sustain it over time? it's a very important set of questions. they don't spend much time over in the blue circle learning about science. what about the people in the middle, in the red circle? i know about this, cuz i have
a couple daughters that did this. so, in the red circle, this is where everything else in the university sits. the main campus library. people who are majoring in psychology, in arts or humanities. so they have a different kind of question. questions like what is the meaning of love? what is the meaning of truth?
what is the meaning of beauty? these, by the way, integrating by parts doesn't help you in this set of questions. neither does having a spreadsheet. are these important questions? answers to those questions determine motivation at the deepest level for all of humans. if people don't choose to do things, nothing happens on a large scale.
so this is actually about what people desire, what drives people from the center. and the observation is, you have people that we separate that just look at feasibility. other experts that we separate that just look at viability. and then we have the people who just think about what's desirable. the problem with that is very obvious. and that is, based on work that was actually done
at stanford, all innovations, the kind of innovations that change the way people in a large scale, only happen at the intersection of all three. i'll bet you can't think of a single innovation that isn't simultaneously feasible and viable and desirable. so if you're going to be an innovator on a large scale, you have to be able to see all of the pieces of the jigsaw to put them together. and if we only study one kind of piece of the puzzle,
it's going to be a rare person who understands how they all fit. and if we're going to create innovators, we need to do a better job of integrating these in the same head so that one person can see the whole picture. the big message for engineering schools? no amount of doubling down on math and science courses is going to improve the output of innovators.
we're just going to produce experts in science and math. those are cool, we need them, they're not innovators. now, 20th century innovators require a lot more than technical knowledge; this is a really important point. so for example, attitude plays a really key role. entrepreneurial mindset is a really important attitude. this is an old cliche: more often than not, your attitude determines your altitude in life. this guy doesn't even have legs, and he's climbing
mountains a lot better than i ever could. by the way, it's not about your aptitude. it doesn't matter how good you are. it really matters how determined and how committed you are to making a success. this is the grit part of what we were talking about. this is what heckman found is three times more likely to produce positive outcomes than what you know. so there's this whole thing of mindset,
attitudes, behaviors, and motivations, which is critical to producing innovation. what do you mean by mindset? well, there's a whole list of them. i'm not making these up, this is a compendium of what we're finding from different industries that are identifying them. entrepreneurial mindset, ethical behavior, teamwork and leadership, global perspective, interdisciplinary
thinking, and so on, and so on. by the way, the national academy of engineering in the u.s. did a study recently called "educate to innovate". this was the primary conclusion. this is what's missing. they're not alone; the council on competitiveness has been putting together a series of national meetings on the national engineering forum, many different cities. the main outline for this is capacity, capability,
and competitiveness, and what's missing in the capability is this set of mindset skills. stem connector which is a really interesting group of about 5,000 corporations and organizations working together to define the workforce for the 21st century. their conclusion, in particular, is employability skills and innovation excellence is critical. if we unpack that, what's it about?
mindset, almost all the things they call for that are not in the curriculum now. and then ibm has been doing this for at least 25 years, this sort of t-shaped person, and the t-shaped person is what? it's a person who has technical depth, but has a mindset, a set of attitudes and abilities to work across disciplines and with people in different fields, in order to integrate
those three circles so you can find the intersection in the middle. that's the idea. so all of them are calling for the same change. so what are the other lessons learned that we've found out? well, in the u.s., do you know what fraction of the bachelor's degrees that are being awarded in the next couple months across the united states, go to students who study any kind of engineering
on any university campus in america. any guesses? 4.9%, 4.9% the bachelor's degrees in america that go to kids that get any kind of engineering degree. by the way, about half of the gdp in this country over the last 30 years, has been produced by those 4.9%, and this is a bit of a risk there, don't you think? and if you look at it a little more, so why 4.9%? what's happening, and you'll find out that the students
who leave engineering, they come in, they're prepared according to their test scores, and they choose to leave, which is actually 60% of the freshmen who come in nationally to study engineering, never graduate in engineering. they might graduate in something else, they're not in engineering. almost half of the ones who leave have higher grades than the ones who stay.
they're not flunking out, they're choosing to leave. because of the way we teach it, okay, it's been described by a number of our friends as the math/science death march. look to your left, look to your right. it'd be better if at least one of you wasn't here for the next semester, we just keep winnowing it down cuz it's technical superiority that really matters, right, that's what we do, from the 1950s. so how do you fix this?
after 15 years at olin, we've concluded the best way to do it is to work on three things. how we teach, we're teaching the wrong people. so we're teaching the wrong people to start with, we're teaching the wrong stuff, and we're using teaching methods that are known to be largely ineffective. otherwise though, we're doing a great job. so how do you deal with this? one of our colleagues, tony wagner at harvard,
recently wrote a book on "creating innovators:" "the making of young people who will change the world". tony's done case studies on this, research-based. the bottom line, the skill that you need is learning how to improvise. it's the sort of question that doesn't have a unique answer. it's the question that has lots of answers that we don't emphasize enough in the engineering education. so, who we teach.
are we attracting the right people? 4.9%. what about people like bill gates? you heard of microsoft, what about people like steve jobs, you've heard of apple, what about folks like mark zuckerberg, you've heard of facebook. by the way, what does facebook sell? think about that. it's not a thing.
what facebook sells is an opportunity to tell your personal story to a group of people who you really care about. who knew that there's a business model in there. i'll tell you who knew: maslow. have you heard of maslow, the psychologist? he did this study on what are the most important human needs? it turns out that after oxygen and after water,
the next most important need is to be the most important person in somebody else's life. the way we have structured our society today, and the way we are genetically wired, has made that very difficult. you prove that you are the most important, the tool you use for creating the community and the belonging is telling your personal story. and yet, as people move away on the other side
of the country, and families have more kids coming from single parent homes, there's a lot of need for this. it's basically the insight that made facebook work. didn't come by the way, from a nobel prize in physics. it came from that red circle on desirability. by the way, how many of these guys were engineers? zero. none of them majored in engineering: math/science death march.
didn't seem like it was relevant to what they wanted to do. maybe we're not attracting the right people. we need, by the way, if we're going to attract the right people, we need a broader definition of what it means to be an engineer in the 21st century. if you look at definitions in the dictionary, it says engineers are people who contrive a solution to a problem using science. how many kids are going to wake up in the morning and say,
"that's what i want to do." our definition of engineering, by the way, engineering is not a body of knowledge. our kids taught us that. it involves knowledge, there's no question about that. it's not a body of knowledge, engineering is a process. have you heard of the aircraft industry? you know the guys who developed that were the wright brothers.
the wright brothers were actually two bicycle mechanics in ohio. how did they do it? they jumped off a hill a zillion times with these wings on their back, and they kept crashing. they said, well there must be a better way to do this, so they changed something and they keep doing it until they get a little farther down the hill. eventually they developed the field of aeronautics,
who then the physicists in university said, oh i guess you can fly when you're heavier than air, i wonder why, and they began to ask the questions that developed the theory. so experimentation often precedes theory in the development of new technologies. engineering is the process of iterative improvement on ideas. we do this in one course, usually at the end of year,
which we call the capstone. kids are supposed to have an epiphany and understand, oh that's what all this was about and do this for the rest of their life. you know at olin college, the average graduate completes 25 projects before they graduate. they start a business, and they also work for a company for a year. they do this all in four years,
and by the way stanford is one of the most popular places for olin graduates to go to continue their graduate work, which is not the same in their undergraduate program. so they make that transition with much less concern then you would think. we need multiple intelligences. so an engineer at olin is a person who envisions what has never been and does whatever it takes to make it happen. by the way, i'm here because of
my math teacher in high school. she said, you know, you're good at math, so maybe you should be an engineer, whatever that is. by the way i had never met an engineer or a person with a phd, until i was a freshman at the university of california, so i ran into one. i'm still not sure what they are, honestly, but apparently it has something to do with math. our definition, it doesn't even mention math.
it starts with vision. if you can't envision it, you will never make it. you might be a terrific applied scientist or applied mathematician, but you're not going to change the world if you don't have vision. secondly, you need to have the determination of whatever it takes, the grit, to hang in there, to get the funding for it, to get the team together, to get the prototype to fly, and to sell it
to the rest of the world, else it's not good to work. that's what an engineer is. they start with vision and they have drive. that's the people we need. secondly, what we teach. but wait a minute, if you're trained as an engineer, you know what we teach, right. this is about statics and dynamics, it's about strength and materials,
it's about stress analysis, it's about basic electrical circuits, it's about thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, all that stuff. that's what it means to be an engineer. well, is this the right stuff? who knows the answer to that? the people who are practicing as engineers, who were our students and are now out in industry. it turns out that recently for example,
a thesis at mit, kristen wolfe, did a study of the alumni from their engineering department. what did they find out? i don't have time to go through the whole thing. in this they found out that what they did not learn at mit, but was used pervasively in their career within five years, were these things: teamwork, communications, professional skills, personal skills, independent thinking. does that look familiar?
did we see that before, on that list of mindset skills? this is not what they were taught. this is what they were actually required to be expert in. this is how their career advancement goes forward. by the way, these are not technical subjects. this is what they taught at mit in mechanical engineering, and their graduates said, well, we learned this but only really seldom do we use this stuff. unless you're actually going to be
a professor of engineering at mit, this might not be the right list of stuff that you should learn. i happen to also be on a panel at the national academy of engineering right now, looking at the engineering/education workforce continuum. what goes forward, there's data where you ask engineers across broad industries, so this is not mit. the number one thing, if you asked them, how do you spend your time?
designing. the number two thing, managing people. solving equations and dealing with the physics is way down the list. now, it's important, don't get me wrong, i'm not saying we don't teach that stuff. i'm saying we're emphasizing the wrong stuff, and by omission, we're sending the message that they're not important.
these are hard sciences, so maybe we should rethink what the content is. and finally, i'm almost to the end here, how we teach. let's agree that we need to attract the people who are not normally attracted to engineering by starting with vision, and expecting them to be innovators. secondly, let's assume that the curriculum content needs to be revised somehow, so that we still have rigor
and we still have science and math, but it has 25 projects involved, rather than one at the end. still have the question of how do you teach? what's the best way to teach today? there's lots of information on this. what i will focus on is one of the books that i think is really interesting. this is a book that has as a co-author, john seely brown. has anybody heard of john seely brown?
yeah, he's from the valley, right. this guy was the chief technology officer at xerox, and the founder of xerox parc, the palo alto research center where personal computing was invented. in his years after xerox, he's been really consumed with understanding how people learn and what technology can do at the intersection. so john's book, "a new culture of learning" kind of lays this out.
if you look at the old model and the new model side-by-side, one of the things that you find out is the old model was about transferring knowledge. remember that picture, with the arrow going into the kid's head, that's what this does. the new model is about teaching people to construct knowledge in their head. so it's new to them, it may not be new to the world, but they learn how to construct these models day after day.
in addition to this, the old model is about sending a message, you have to have the pre-requisites. you have to do it this way, in this order. you can't do that yet because you haven't had all the right courses. so that's why we have the capstone course where you actually design something in the senior year, cuz apparently you break some kind of law of nature if you pick up a wrench before you've had
two years of calculus and physics. can't do, that's the main message, subliminal message. the new model is about can do. it's empowering you to try things. the old model said, follow orders. put your pencil down, test is over, don't talk to your neighbors. the new model is about following your passions. this is about, you envision something
that you're really interested in, and then you empower yourself to go and find the data and make it work. the old model is about learning in class, that's why it's important to show up on time and to attend every class. this is why attendance is so important. the new model, you learn 24/7, the class is just one of the places that you learn. the old model was you learn alone,
don't talk to your neighbor, don't share your data, that's cheating. the new model is about teamwork. it's about learning from others and building communities of learning. and finally, the old model is about problem-based learning. that's important right, solving problems. the new model is about design-based learning. well what's the difference?
they both involve making things that don't exist now. problem-based learning is what i would call painting-by-numbers. you remember those kits when you were a kid? it's like a coloring book, black and white with lines, they put little numbers in the boxes. you put the right color inside the box, and you make a painting. that's project-based, somebody had to pre-digest it,
know how many parts there were, make sure your kit had all the stuff you need. that's better than not doing any kind of construction. it's not the same thing. design-based learning is a blank sheet of paper. you have to decide what to draw, how big it should be, what colors it should be. it exercises, in fact, a different part of the brain. it's that creative visioning part of the brain
that's missing right now. that's what john seely brown says. by the way, i claim that's not new. we've been doing this for generations. that's very much the template of what we do in graduate school. that's how a phd program works. you do a little bit of coursework, then you do this weekly independent study, you talk to the faculty member,
you're the one who generates the vision and the drive, you care about this, you learn it independently, you talk to the other graduate students, and you eventually present your work. that's not new. oh, but you say, that'll only work in graduate school. you have to be really advanced in order to be able to learn this way. i have a question for you.
have you ever heard of the montessori schools? those are five-year-olds. by the way, did you know a disproportionate number of ceos of major corporations are graduates of montessori schools? apparently they didn't get damaged too badly by this process. what's missing is in the middle. it's the bachelor's degree, the under-graduate program,
where we're losing, remember, 4.9%. that 95% of the kids who are not doing it, are being structured out of it because of the math/science death march. okay, my most favorite quote from the book is this one: "for most of the 20th century, our educational system "has been built on the assumption "that teaching is necessary for learning to occur." it's not.
you're able to learn on your own without any teachers. that's why kids don't come to class, and they still pass, because they know how to learn on their own. is that a bad thing? finally, one of my favorite quotes from dr. charles vest, who was one of our heroes. chuck was not only the president of mit for 14 years, he was also the president of the national academy of engineering.
his thinking on this, "making universities "and engineering schools exciting, creative, adventurous, "rigorous, demanding, and empowering milieus", in other words, the culture, is far more important than specifying any curricular details. so my message is, don't copy what olin does. invent your own process, make sure you create the culture where that's what people say. at olin, what we've discovered, if you buttonhole kids
at the water cooler and talk to them, they'll tell you two things, almost without exception; i've never worked this hard in my life at anything. olin is not a party school, by the way. princeton review ranks olin number two in the u.s., for the students study harder than others. so it's just a drudgery, work course, right. no, the second thing they tell you, there's nothing else i'd rather be doing.
when you get those two things together, i've never worked this hard, and there's nothing else i'd rather be doing, you've now lit the fire of independent learning on their own. that's the culture we need to be building. so what's happened at olin, and this is the last slide. olin, turns out, princeton review last year, identified olin as having the best classroom experience in america. this is not just engineering schools,
this is all universities. so nbc today show had a segment on olin and so forth. number two for the students study the most. that was what i was just explaining. number 19, the happiest students. i think we're the only engineering school in the u.s., that has been ranked in the top 20 in both of those things. there lots of schools that have hard workers. there lots of school that have happy students,
but not at the same time. that's what you need to be working at. you might wonder, you must be losing something. i've given these talks before, particularly with faculty members: "look if they did "25 projects, they can't have as many technical "elective courses with the advanced pre-phd graduate work. "they're not going to be prepared for doing "the really rigorous science and math."
well, maybe not. last spring, one year ago, one of the olin graduates from austin, texas, was the first olin student to win a marshall scholarship. now, a marshall scholarship has the same statistics as the rhodes, they're 34 of them in the u.s., they go to the uk, the difference is in the marshall you can study at any university. with the rhodes scholarship, you study at oxford.
what this guy did, is he went to cambridge university to study physics in the same lab as stephen hawking. interesting thing, olin doesn't offer physics. we don't have a degree in physics. he prepared himself for that through this engine of learning how to study on your own, and he convinced the folks at cambridge that he's ready to do this. so maybe teaching is not necessary for learning to occur.
maybe students are capable of learning on their own. okay, with that, i think i will stop, and i will answer any questions that people have, if you're still awake. - [voiceover] so this all sounds fabulous. what are the barriers that you see to implementing these ideas in other schools? - that's a key question, what are the barriers to implementing these ideas in other schools.
well every school is different, but all of them seem to have some similar concerns. it's basically faculty attitudes. here's the thing, in every university that has tenure and has academic freedom, you don't change the curriculum unless the tenured faculty vote on it. those are the people you need to persuade. faculty members, in spite of the fact that they have academic freedom, are not prone to take risk.
it's not that they're not concerned about change and about innovation and creativity. i think they're rightly worried that to make such a radical change, we might be losing something really important to the students. so, one of the things that we need is better assessment data on this kind of a model across other universities, so that you can be really confident that if you prepare them in this new way,
you didn't hurt them in some way. they are, in fact, advantaged. the assessment data is still in process, so that's one of the most important barriers. yeah? - [voiceover] i also think the tenure structure is not aligned with other greater education. at the top research schools, i've noticed that most of the faculty are focused on research and writing grants,
and they don't really pay any attention for other graduate classes. i've just heard horror stories from--. - yeah, so this is a very good comment. he says, in addition to the fact that they may be worried about outcomes for students, that faculty members are not incentivized and rewarded for working on teaching, as much as they are, for example, working on research, and i think that's right.
one of the things that we've been worried about, this happened at olin, "if i do this, will it count? "are you going to punish me?" by the way, this is also a little bit of a red herring. this is not how innovation happens. let's make the whole world flat, and then we can design a car. what you do, the pioneers are people who know that there are barriers, and they put themselves at risk,
and they prove against all odds that it does work, and then people reluctantly say, what are we going to do about john, i mean, he changed the world. it's not in our manual, we're not supposed to reward that. well, maybe we need to amend the manual to take care of john. if you look at case studies, that's how it actually works. there are ways to fix this. the most important work that happened at olin
in the last two years, is re-inventing the faculty manual. every university that we've been to, including the four that i've been at in my career, has a promotion criteria that involves three things: teaching, research, and service. this is documented in the dossier which is a three-ring binder that has three tabs. our folks said, this is not well-aligned with what needs to happen. let's throw it away,
and let's redesign it from the beginning. so at olin what happened, we don't have three tabs. we have a venn diagram that has three circles that intersect. instead of talking about service, which usually means working on a committee, we talk about building the institution. instead of talking about teaching, we talk about building student success, whatever that means.
it includes mentoring and it includes even working with alumni. it's not just about teaching scores in your teaching portfolio. and the most important one, about research. so we've replaced research with nationally visible impact with what you do outside of the community. now, researching farc is one of the ways you can do that, working on committees is one of the ways
you can show service, and getting good teaching evaluations is one of the ways that you can show that you're building student success, but there lots of others. case in point, one of our faculty members built a case for promotion by in fact, generating letters from deans and presidents of three other universities, who said that because of this person's work on their campus, they were successful
at changing their whole undergraduate educational program. it would not have been possible without this person's leadership. do you think that's nationally visible impact? so in our case, that's equivalent to a faculty member who got a letter from a journal editor, and from three department chairs who said, john's work was among the five best in the world in his age group.
we're not breaking any natural laws, as far as i can tell. newton's laws still work, the only barrier between this is the will and the creative impulse of the folks who have to make decisions. yes. - [voiceover] k-12 schooling has been trying to teach 21st century skills, which include most of what you said, for a long time, and have not really succeeded. you're even saying further you want to do it
without teachers in a sense, can you maybe explain a bit how your college did it. - yes, so the question was, well some experience in some k-12 schools trying to teach these mindset skills have not been successful, at least people don't believe that they're successful at this point, so what is olin doing that succeeds? well number one, we don't have enough time for me to give you a complete answer,
so my answer to that is come and visit us, number one. so we've got 640 universities have done it, let's make it 641. the only way you're going to really know it, is to talk to the people and see the students themselves. it's a culture thing. it's the last slide from chuck vest about creating this milieu. that's about values, that's about alignment of purpose,
that's about relentless focus on student success along the way. there's a lot of answers in terms of total immersion. for one of the things that we do, i'm sure that a lot of things that olin does are not necessary. because we've seen a lot of this change happen at the university of illinois, at urbana-champagne, and they only made 10% of the total olin kool-aid that they institute there, so i'm kind of reluctant
to go through the outrageous things that olin does from candidate's weekend in terms of selecting the right people, to the total immersion environment. every student is required to live in the residence hall for all four years. it enables teamwork on weekends. so the simplest thing i can say to any university who's serious about improving the quality of teaching, does not cost a dime, and you don't need geniuses
in students to do it. the two things, ask the faculty members to sit through the courses they assign the students to take. isn't that amazing. this is a yogi berra thing. it's amazing what you can see by looking. all of that coherence and the way the jigsaw all fit together, that you deduced from looking at a small paragraph in the catalog that describe
what the course does, actually doesn't work as well, if you're sitting in the seat of students. the second thing that we ask every time you bring a new faculty member in, before they've been deployed on their own to teach their specialty, for the first year, they should be assigned to teach in teams, with faculty members from another discipline. the only thing they have in common
is teaching and the students. it's not about being the expert on the stage. this change is 50% of the problem that needs to be dealt with. it changes the culture. yes sir. - [voiceover] i'm curious about what were some things that you tried during your partner sessions with those 15, 30 kids that you thought would work,
and then it ended up really not working. - so here's the first thing that we did. we got the founding faculty members together. small room, we said we got this big job, we have to re-think what it means to be educated, engineer, so forth. we asked them what could you remember from your own undergraduate experience. that was an interesting question.
little embarrassing. i remember i had physics, but i'm not sure, i think it was halliday and resnick, don't ask me to do quantum mechanics today, it's been a long time. but everybody, without exception, could remember in stunning detail, the senior project that they were working on, decades afterwards. in fact, i can even remember what i was eating
at the time the breakthrough idea occurred to me why it didn't work, all these years later. so we said, geez, the difference in retention and real understanding of what you gained from the project was orders of magnitude greater than the coursework. okay, so why did you wait until the senior year to do this project? cuz everybody waited until the senior year. there wasn't a single person in the room
that had that in the sophomore year. well, there must be a reason, probably it has to do with that if you picked up a wrench before you had two years of calculus and physics, it could cause a black hole or something that would absorb the earth, some really disastrous thing would happen, because nobody does it. so we decided, okay, we'll do an experiment. let's try this, so we had those 15 boys and 15 girls.
they don't know that you can't do this, so let's see what happens. we assigned them a challenge, right after they came. they had just graduated from high school, they had no college at all. we said, we want you kids to design, build, and demonstrate a pulse oximeter, and we want you to do that in five weeks. they said, excuse me, what's a pulse oximeter?
so we spelled out the word, we said this is a medical instrument, it's that thing you find in the hospital, where they clip it on your finger and it measures the pulse rate and the oxygen content in your blood. oh, by the way, it doesn't have a needle, it doesn't stick in you, it has a light, looks through the skin. if you want to know more about this, we suggest you go to the internet and look it up on the patent literature.
the person who invented this has to have a little schematic diagram in a one-page description of how it works. they said, okay cool. we'll go off and start to do this. you've got five weeks to do this, and then we're going to move on and do some other experiment. if you have questions, we're here,
but we're not going to give you lectures on how to do this. there's a shop over there that has soldering irons and transistors, whatever those things are, and it's up to you. so, we figured five weeks is enough time to get in serious trouble. after five weeks, they're going to be so frustrated. we will end it in five weeks, we sort of considered a mercy killing, and then we'll do the post-mortem.
where did they get stuck on semi-conductor physics, they didn't even know what physics is. turns out in five weeks, they had one working. they built it. so we brought in a hospital version and calibrated them next to each other. they're doing the same thing, it was amazing. don't get me wrong, they weren't physicists, and they weren't really technicians either.
it's kind of a miracle that this thing worked if you looked at the soldering, drops of stuff all over. they had a box full of fried transistors that all blew up, cuz they had "why is that three wires "sticking out the back?" they couldn't explain a lot of this, but they could make it work. now, we should have known that they could do that. if we had been real engineers and not academics,
we would have expected them cuz that's the way all engineering works is by trial and error until you get something to work. we expected you needed to have all this theory first. there was something else we learned which was way more important. what we learned is that this experience of exceeding their own expectations and making something like that work, changed who they are.
it was if they were two feet taller now. there was this sense of can-do, a sense that i can change the world now, if i have a group of people like me, and a shop to go experiment, and a couple old guys to ask questions once in awhile, anything i can imagine, i can do, and then we compared that with the way we felt as first-year students in an engineering school. it was not a can-do attitude. it was as john seely brown says, it was a can't-do attitude.
for me, not even knowing what an engineer was, i thought they were people who made stuff. when i enrolled at the university of california in those days, i was amazed the first year that we never made anything. it was go take all this physics and calculus, all right, so they moved the goal posts. we're going to do it in the second year. come back in the second year,
go take some more physics and math. they kept doing that. so it was an attitudinal thing which fueled the change in culture and the development of these students. - [voiceover] i'm sure you all agree this was totally inspiring, please join me in thanking.