Nebraska Summit on Career Readiness

a project of the Nebraska Department of Education in partnership with the Department of Labor, Future Force Nebraska, and Partnerships for Innovation

Take-Aways and Idealized Design

For our first round of work, we are going to do an activity where half the groups will do a Take-Away activity and the other half of the groups will do an Idealized Design activity. Each team will be given a different scenario for 2015, and you will be asked to develop a system for career readiness that works in that scenario.

Short cuts (jump to the team work and the conversation that followed):
Team 1
| Team 2 | Team 3 | Team 4 | Team 5 | Team 6 | Team 7 | Team 8 | Team 9 | Team 10 | Team 11 | Team 12

Part 1: Concept Cards

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This activity has 5 parts. For part one, your group has been given a set of Concept Cards that describe trends and concepts pertaining to various aspects of the future of our society.  In this activity you will work with these cards to explore what the world might be like in 2015.

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Please discuss and document how the trends and concepts described on your concept cards will influence life, education, work, and society in 2015.

What do they tell you about the future?

Please identify what you feel will be the 5 most important trends or themes in the world of 2015 to influence students, families, job seekers, and employers, and write about them on the white board panel labeled Part 1.

 

This work sets the stage for the next several parts of the activity. After you have completed this part, please ask Michael for the instructions for Part 2.

Team One - No Spending on Remediation

 

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Part 2 of this activity is focused on challenging our thinking about the future in another way. Each small group has been given a different scenario of the future (2015).

Your group’s scenario:

Suppose that in 2015 Nebraska businesses spend no money on new hires for remediation training for general career readiness (employability skills), because all new hires arrive career ready.

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Develop the story about how this scenario works – and works well. Use the following questions to help stimulate your dialog and develop your response:

  • How does this work such that all new hires in the state of Nebraska become career ready?
  • What are the keys to making this system work?
  • What systems and infrastructure are in place in 2015 to make this happen? 

Report Out - Carol Andringa, Jeff West, Karen Stohs, Marty Mahler, Micki Hernandez, Rebecca Wrede

Regional Partnership – regions as sub units of Nebraska.  Get units to become part of the regional structure.  More is going on in Western Nebraska than other areas.

How does 2015 work?  There would be no remediation.  The only way it can be done is if businesses better define what they need.  Better communication with workplace as to what should be delivered K-12, as well as developing people as people instead of as robots. 

Maybe education needs to be repackaged?  People don’t care where the get their skills, but the do care about getting the skills they need to get a higher paying jobs to support families.  Is a degree universal?  Colleges want to put all education under a degree, but it may be outdated and there might be different ways of accomplishing the same thing. 

Another problem is this: once the button is pushed on funding there is zero reason for school districts to work together.  How can we operate 90,000 people versus 30-40 small communities?  Two levels need to be included- the regional and state level.  The strategy is for the State to set out plans and regions execute along with other regional goals.

The question to ask is “how is that working for you?”  Communities and school districts need incentives to work together.  Funding will be delivered to a regional interest that will set the standard for districts to work together.  There is more to this than geopgraphy.  Also included should be universities and high schools and colleges.

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Team Two - No Secondary School

 

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Part 2 of this activity is focused on challenging our thinking about the future in another way. Each small group has been given a different scenario of the future (2015).

Your group’s scenario:

Imagine in 2015 that there is no secondary school experience as we know it in 2009. Formal schooling ends at age 14. Learning for teenagers takes place throughout the community and yet all young people are college and career ready by the age of 18.

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Develop the story about how this scenario works – and works well. Use the following questions to help stimulate your dialog and develop your response:

  • How does this happen? How do all young people become college and career ready by the age of 18?
  • What are the keys to making this system work?
  • What is in place in 2015 to make this happen? 

Report Out - Bill Eakins, Carol Renner, Gregg Christensen, Joe Higgins, Kelly Christensen, Stacy Athow

How do we get a school out of the school building?  What does education have to do with it and how do we make it happen?  We came through with a bunch of ideas:

How do we teach core base?

Get rid of Grades? Evaluate rather than grade

How to get partners on board?

The pluses are:

This will not be less expensive.  Need to take time to strategize how to spend the money and not rely on traditional expenditures – textbooks, etc. 

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Team Three - All Business’s Responsibility

 

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Part 2 of this activity is focused on challenging our thinking about the future in another way. Each small group has been given a different scenario of the future (2015).

Your group’s scenario:

Imagine in 2015 that the business community is responsible for all ‘career readiness learning’ for teenagers. The locations for learning varies yet all teenagers become career ready by the age of 18.

Objective
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Develop the story about how this scenario works – and works well. Use the following questions to help stimulate your dialog and develop your response:

  • How does this happen? How do all young people become career ready by the age of 18?
  • What are the keys to making this system work?
  • What is in place in 2015 to make this happen? 

Report Out - Jean Brown, Jeff Cole, Liane Philmalee, Mike Wortman, Pat Timm, Donlynn Rice

By 2015 business communities are responsible for all career readiness.  Areas:  Globalization, student involved in learning, info explosion and management, Resources scarcity, creativity.

Schools would be more responsible for young people in their early years so businesses can take care of them in teen years.  A crisis would help us to focus, like World War II, Terrorists, China, etc. This would bring national and bi partisan success.  This would lead to legislative measures including the removal of Issue 10. 

In its place would be an framework of what kids would need to know to be career ready.  New commitment from all  - including students.  Parents would be the fundamental drivers to pursue new opportunities.  All kids are not born into the same opportunity, so how do can we be competitive in this new environment?  At least create an environment where parents can do no wrong.

Because state budget would collapse there would be no department of education and rely on business people and educators to make this happen.  Provide people with lots of choices.

An apprenticeship model which was presented might be a move to the past, but may be a good option versus a traditional education path.

Need a system that allows for creativity and failure in order to succeed.

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Team Four - Augmented Virtual

 

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Part 2 of this activity is focused on challenging our thinking about the future in another way. Each small group has been given a different scenario of the future (2015).

Your group’s scenario:

Imagine in 2015 that technology is the vehicle for all career readiness learning. All learning is contextual, real world, community based, and problem based learning. It is a virtual high school augmented with things in the community. Learners receive little or no face to face interactions with ‘instructors’ yet teenagers become career ready by the age of 18 and learners of all age groups receive the career readiness training they need.

Objective
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Develop the story about how this scenario works – and works well. Use the following questions to help stimulate your dialog and develop your response:

  • How does this happen? How do all young people become career ready by the age of 18?
  • What are the keys to making this system work?
  • What is in place in 2015 to make this happen? 
  • What’s in place to insure all career training works in 2015?

Report Out - Dean Folkers, Jane McClure, Bob Hastings, Peter Kotsiopulos, Sue Burch, Tim Erickson

Our focus was career-readiness through technology. All students would be career ready by the age of 18. We need to use online instruction – this includes classes, games, social media, YouTube and other methods. Right away, we need to make the technology available to everyone. We need to retrain our instructors. We need to integrate the business sector into virtual internships. We need to develop teams that include instructors, students, businesses and communities based on problem-solving methods. We need to integrate social events and activities (like virtual field trips). Dances and athletics may need to become community programs rather than school programs. We need to teach business skills, critical thinking and abstract thinking skills.

We need to prepare businesses to adapt, plan and implement technology efficiently – this is critical for the future of small and medium-sized businesses. The community and government need to be involved and supportive (including funding). We may save some funds by demanding less physical infrastructure, but we will require a much stronger technological infrastructure. Retraining must be constant and consistent for the entire workforce – you are never “done” with schooling and learning. We need to engage the next generation of workforce in this conversation.

One of the big barriers is the attitude – we need educators, businesses and students to change their attitudes. We need to help all stakeholders to talk with each other better. Students have never felt as though they had any privacy, so they don’t feel as though social media threatens their privacy. This is very different for older generations who are very protective of their privacy. Our entire culture in Nebraska tends to be pretty risk-averse – we need to encourage entrepreneurship and risk-taking in all sectors of our community, economy and government.

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Team Five - Mentors, Apprenticeships and Internships

 

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Part 2 of this activity is focused on challenging our thinking about the future in another way. Each small group has been given a different scenario of the future (2015).

Your group’s scenario:

Imagine in 2015 that all career-oriented learning is delivered by mentors, in apprenticeships, and/or in internships and all young learners become career ready by the age of 18 – and all age groups are served in this way.

Objective
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Develop the story about how this scenario works – and works well. Use the following questions to help stimulate your dialog and develop your response:

  • How does this happen? How do all young people become career ready by the age of 18?
  • What are the keys to making this system work?
  • What is in place in 2015 to make this happen? 
  • What is in place to insure all age groups and backgrounds are served in this way?

Report Out - Bart McCoy, David Gordon, Dave Buchholz, Terry Snyder, Julie Sorensen, Rich Katt

In our scenario, all career learning is delivered by mentors and apprenticeships in 2015. We started by exploring the ideas that came out of our Concept Card discussion. The population is aging but not retiring. There is a growing gap between those with access to technology and those without. These trends create an opportunity to incentivize businesses to participate in a mentoring program. We can draw on an aging workforce to serve as mentors. We will need to use technology to connect mentors in one geographic area with apprentices in other areas. One of the challenges is that the apprentices need hands-on experiences.

Students need to be exposed to multiple career clusters. We should discover what the student’s interests are, and develop a pathway towards a concentration of careers.

Today, we manage the system to herd large numbers of students into predetermined boxes. We need to dedicate time for each student to experience this exploration of work and skills – this must be an expectation for graduation. The students will go out into the communities to get this work experience, but we will need to leverage technology for schools in smaller communities. This will require a change in our training program for teachers, but the curriculum can leverage the existing teacher education model. Business and Industry will have input into the students’ grades. We would need to coordinate our model with national and federal policy trends as well. This could even become part of succession planning programs in businesses.

Businesses facing a labor shortage will be more intrinsically motivated to participate in a program like this. We will need to develop incentives to encourage all businesses to participate.

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Team Six - All Postsecondary

 

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Part 2 of this activity is focused on challenging our thinking about the future in another way. Each small group has been given a different scenario of the future (2015).

Your group’s scenario:

  • Imagine in 2015 that all career-oriented learning is delivered at and by postsecondary schools. This results in all young learners becoming career ready by the age of 18 – and all age groups being served in this way.

Objective
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Develop the story about how this scenario works – and works well. Use the following questions to help stimulate your dialog and develop your response:

  • How does this happen? How do all young people become career ready by the age of 18?
  • What are the keys to making this system work?
  • What is in place in 2015 to make this happen? 
  • What is in place to insure all age groups and backgrounds are served in this way?

Report Out - Bonnie Mayer, Jill Finkey, Jim Scheer, Richard Ross, Steve Joel, Willie Barney

We need to converge our competing systems into a single system. On the college path, students who reach university spend the first two years doing general education. In our model, kids finish formal education by age 14.

The education for young people would be based on skills and standards, not ages and grades. Then they spend two years in a “finishing” program, and then working on selecting an area of focus. We would change colleges from a system in which all of them do everything to a much more specialized system. This would focus our resources on developing the best programs in focused areas, rather than the highly duplicative system that we have today. College would be very career-oriented instead of generalist.

A lot of institutions like Carnegie used to be more specialized institutions, and many of those that have survived are really trying to find more specialized niches in the education market.

Students would have fewer choices of locations to get their education. Fewer colleges would offer training in any given area of specialization.

Someone in our group pointed out that public education is competing, in a way, for “customers” with social services. Students get no resources for staying in school, but if they drop out and have children, they suddenly get access to funds from social services. We would need to address this apparent conflict in incentives.

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Team Seven - All Job Seekers

 

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Part 2 of this activity is focused on challenging our thinking about the future in another way. Each small group has been given a different scenario of the future (2015).

Your group’s scenario:

Imagine in 2015 that all job seekers have access to quality job training. Your group has a blank slate and can design the ideal system to accomplish this. 

Objective
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Develop the ideal system for making this scenario work – and work well. Use the following questions to help stimulate your dialog and develop your response:

  • What does this system look like?
  • How does it work?
  • What are the keys to making this system work?
  • What is in place in 2015 to make this happen? 
  • What is in place to insure all age groups and backgrounds are served?

Report Out - Cindy Johnson, Dave Gee, Don Johnson, Joan Modrell, Linda Peters, Nicole Coffey

Our task was to create an ideal training center. We looked at K-12 all the way through mid-life training to learn a new career.

We decided to build our system like a department store. People come into the elevator and select the floor that meets their needs. We start with K12 with a heavy focus on awareness.

In the next stage, the person can go to one of several “floors”. So we need to evaluate their strengths while also incorporating business development for Nebraska. How do the personal strengths that we measure align with our state strengths or needs?

When people come into the system later in life, we do that same evaluation. We look at retraining opportunities as well as financial advisement. If someone lost a high paying job and that salary level is not available in the current market, they may need some help learning how to live on a new budget.

We want this model to replace the “going onto welfare” route that most people take. That means that we need to focus on skill building and problem solving. Every job is related to core skills that have to become the foundation for our educational system. Employers are using problem solving to select applicants and we need to prepare our employees to succeed.

Our model works at all levels and provides support and development for people at every stage of their career.

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Team Eight - A Guarantee

 

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Part 2 of this activity is focused on challenging our thinking about the future in another way. Each small group has been given a different scenario of the future (2015).

Your group’s scenario:

Imagine in 2015 we have a guarantee that all high school graduates are college and career ready. Your group has a blank slate and can design the ideal system for accomplishing this. 

Objective
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Develop the ideal system for making this scenario work – and work well. Use the following questions to help stimulate your dialog and develop your response:

  • What does this system look like?
  • How does it work?
  • What are the keys to making this system work?
  • What is in place in 2015 to make this happen? 
  • What is in place to insure all HS Grads are college and career ready?

Report Out - Cherie Larson, Elizabeth Mulkerrin, Erika Volker, Marty Gilson, Patty Campbell, Steve Hollinrake, Summer Stephens

We never resolved any concrete answers for what things look like for the future. But we did talk a lot about the connection between education and the world. We have students/people leave our system every day and we have not mastered the process to stay connected with them and use their feedback to improve the way in which we work.

We want to create a structure that does a significant overhaul of K-12. Some studies that we looked at ranked a lot of the current curriculum as less important. Meanwhile, critical skills like strategic thinking go largely absent in the K-12 program.

We also discussed an individualized education plan that marries personal interests with market needs and educational opportunities.

Our generation experienced school and work in two totally different phases of life - typically separated by a diploma. We would like to have an integration of the two to use  real work opportunities to teach and develop during the education process.

Finally, we think that there needs to be a focus on developing our teachers. How do their experiences relate to the work environment? What can we do to better equip them with real world experiences that become powerful teaching tools for all of their students? By giving teachers an understanding of how skills are applied and valued in the work place, we can empower our students with that same information.

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Team Nine - A Safety Net

 

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Part 2 of this activity is focused on challenging our thinking about the future in another way. Each small group has been given a different scenario of the future (2015).

Your group’s scenario:

Imagine in 2015 we have a safety net for all HS and College Drop Outs as well as all Job Seekers to receive the career readiness training they need. Your group has a blank slate and can design the ideal system for accomplishing this. 

Objective
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Develop the ideal system for making this scenario work – and work well. Use the following questions to help stimulate your dialog and develop your response:

  • What does this system look like?
  • How does it work?
  • What are the keys to making this system work?
  • What is in place in 2015 to make this happen? 
  • What is in place to insure all high school and college drop outs as well as all job seekers are career ready?

Report Out - Becky Golden, Catherine Lang, David Gordon, Julie Hippen, Kandy Imes, Kelly Means, Vicki Scow

We looked at several future trends and selected globalization, genomics, technology (both web development and tele-presence), urbanization and experiential education as the most influential.

It is clear that the world is getting smaller and possibly less personal as we use more and more technology to connect with others. There are also potential impacts on privacy as a result of technology and globalization.

We were to create a career readiness program for all high school/college dropouts and job seekers. We want to find a new word for dropouts because of the negative connotation. All suggestions are welcome!

There will always be an element of economic reality for this group – we need to teach the skills that have market demand. Multiple disciplines are also critical for these people, which can be a big challenge given that they did not personally connect with the learning programs they experienced so far.

We have to do a lot of learning from this group: What works to build skills? Why didn’t past education programs work? What are the characteristics that make them most engaged? What can we leverage to make them marketable?

To achieve our vision, we need new technology to deliver programs. We also talked about a big idea of removing all social welfare programs – can we make those programs earned rather than entitled?

There needs to be a very positive vision and perspective for this program. We need to start focusing on this group as success potential rather than just dropouts.

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Team Ten - An Idealized System

 

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Part 2 of this activity is focused on challenging our thinking about the future in another way. Each small group has been given a different scenario of the future (2015).

Your group’s scenario:

Imagine in 2015 we have the ideal career oriented learning system for teenagers AND job seekers. All learning is contextual, real world, community based, and problem based learning. Your group has a blank slate and can design the ideal system for accomplishing this. 

Objective
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Develop the ideal system for making this scenario work – and work well. Use the following questions to help stimulate your dialog and develop your response:

  • What does this system look like?
  • How does it work?
  • What are the keys to making this system work?
  • What is in place in 2015 to make this happen? 

Report Out - Beth Haas, Cynthia Baum, Janet Drudik, Matt Hatings, Melissa Hansen, Pat Roschewski

We worked on the ideal career oriented learning system for teenagers and job seekers.

We had a bank slate to design the ideal system.  We felt it was important to definitely combine the learning with the application.  We discussed some scenarios where you have academics in the morning and some sort of apprenticeship in the afternoon.  It is not system-driven, but takes students from where they are to where they need to be.  It provides a lot of individualized attention.

We need to have safe environments within a community.

Teachers are facilitators in this system.  It is a partnership for learning, and we are erasing boundaries within the school day.
Legalities are questions that need to be addressed.
Most of all its about breaking down the barriers in the system.  It's a life-ready model.

Every agency has its own agenda.  So what’s necessary is to break all that down, and focus on life readiness.  There is a difference between college ready and career ready.  We want everyone to be life ready.
Alternatives are developing whether we want them or not.  If we don’t do it, change will happen anyway.  Kids will find other ways to learn, they will adapt.  In 5 years, if we were GM we’d be out of business.  But we're education. So we have to adapt. 

If all the stakeholders give a little we can get there.  We need to define what’s necessary and all work toward that.

There are some things we’re already doing today, but with more of a concerted effort we can do all of this.

When you say internships, do you mean that every student would be in the community?  Yes, both.  Offsite, off school.

Is that senior year?  We want it during sophomore year to expose kids to everything early on.

We want to help kids identify what they’re really good at, and foster that. Looking at the skills they possess, to lead to what they’re talented at.

In our group we were talking about an even more extreme idea.  You wouldn’t have the year grades any more.  Schools would facilitate the learning of the competencies you would need according to your plan.   Our systems are keeping us form changing to a student-centered model and way of working. 

To make effective use of time, we need to get out of the 8 am – 3 pm structure.

We look at a specific mission of what we’re supposed to do, but we don’t look at career ready.  We need to do that now.

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Team Eleven - An Idealized System

 

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Part 2 of this activity is focused on challenging our thinking about the future in another way. Each small group has been given a different scenario of the future (2015).

Your group’s scenario:

Imagine in 2015 we have the ideal career oriented learning system for ALL teenagers. All learning is contextual, real world, community based, and problem based learning. Your group has a blank slate and can design the ideal system for accomplishing this. 

Objective
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Develop the ideal system for making this scenario work – and work well. Use the following questions to help stimulate your dialog and develop your response:

  • What does this system look like?
  • How does it work?
  • What are the keys to making this system work?
  • What is in place in 2015 to make this happen? 

Report Out - Donna Vrbka, K.C. Belitz, Kathy Shirley, Larry Johnson, Ron Hanson, Scott Swisher, Sue Heine

I’m Larry Johnson with the Nebraska Trucking Association.
Our scenarios are about trends and concepts in our concept cards that would influence life, education, work, and society in 2015.

We discussed everything from global warming to smoking cigarettes.

One trend is that it is a challenge to redevelop trust again in society.  Trying to do that through the education system is the best place to start.

Adaptability is important.

Creating life long learning opportunities is important.

Industry needs more efficiency.

One of the challenges is security.  Now it drives us in our daily lives due to the threat of terrorism.  We’re probably going to be more fearful in the future.

We need to get more back to self-actualization, and teaching people not to be afraid to take risk vs. the entitlement mentality.

And how do we bring family connectedness?

Globalization will be affecting us.  Is it a good thing that we're seeing jobs outsourced?  Is that a threat or an opportunity?

In our part 2, to developed the ideal career oriented learning system for all teenagers.  We had a blank slate.

We thought we needed to start with early childhood.  The group thought there should be a national standard for pre-schools, with equal access for all students.

We need more engagement from parents, and we need to start them with an early start program so they know how to help their children.

All students have their own IEP or PLP, and teachers serve as consultants and resource providers.

The teachers’ roles would need to change to become designers of education plans.  This would have to start in the college level for educators.

It would be a data driven system.

Learning could take place anywhere.  For a more efficient use of resources you might be sending kids to community colleges, to universities, to industry.

There would be more cooperation between education and business and industry. Industry would be a part of skill development. 

We would measure what we value instead of valuing what we measure.

There would be some kind of a national core competences system.  Who ever provides the money is going to decide that.

Perhaps there will be a more efficient use of resources through regionalization. Schools would make students more aware of career options. We would work ever more with effective needs of students, including mental health.

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Team Twelve - An Idealized System

 

Context
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Part 2 of this activity is focused on challenging our thinking about the future in another way. Each small group has been given a different scenario of the future (2015).

Your group’s scenario:

Imagine in 2015 we have the ideal career oriented learning system for ALL job seekers. All learning is contextual, real world, community based, and problem based learning. Your group has a blank slate and can design the ideal system for accomplishing this. 

Objective
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Develop the ideal system for making this scenario work – and work well. Use the following questions to help stimulate your dialog and develop your response:

  • What does this system look like?
  • How does it work?
  • What are the keys to making this system work?
  • What is in place in 2015 to make this happen? 

Report Out - Carolee Ritter, DeLayne Havlovic, Donelle Johnson, Karen O'Conner, Kate Bolz, Pat Narouth, Rebecca Valdez

As we looked at the concept cards we looked at common themes.  They dealt with technology innovation vs the human aspect and human interaction.  At times those things are competing.

Next we looked at social and environmental consciousness vs the need for energy.

We talked about the emotional responses to environmental change, vs mental health.

The speed of technology and communication and how that creates the need for individualization to deal with it.

Competing with that is the need for teamwork and a different way to look at team building and working together.

We spent time talking about how communication works now.

Our second task dealt with creating an education system for everyone.

We value human relationships, and we need to respect diversity, and include everyone.  Everyone is a life long learner.

The qualities are a system that is collaborative.  The system has to be fluid, evolving, and flexible depending on the need.  It has to have multiple options for everyone.  Multiple access and exit points.

Are there standards that need to come in here?  It should be standards based and performance based.  Academics and the practical skill set are both needed.

Global citizens and quality citizens are both needed.

It should be a community based learning system.

Appropriate resources are individualized with individual success plans.  It does not have to be in a formal setting, at a school system per se. We have to keep pace with change, and have high expectations.

From there we moved to what we think the system ought to look like. It is not traditional.  The environment is also not traditional.

There are foundational skills and core standards.  There has to be a lot of cross training.
Maybe there doesn’t need to be a so-called math or science class, but perhaps it is dealing with a career pathway that ties it all together? It should be connected to real life situations.  It should have exposure to community based situations. 

We need to talk about soft skills.  We talked about the kindergarten model.  When we start kids in school at kindergarten we do a lot to tie their world together, but we move away from that until college, when we do it again.  We need to retain that model throughout education. Schools need to be taken to the practical learning environment, not taken away from it.

It needs to be small steps, thematic, with a lot of social interaction and support.  Business and industry are partners.

Students have to have ownership in the process itself, and it needs to be individualized to them. The odds of staying in the same career over the course of your lifetime is slim, so education has to be sustainable and deal with relationship building.

In 2015 there is a shared vision.  We have to prioritize education, and all aspects have to work together – education, business, and government.

How do we begin?

We talked about a group of agencies and institutions working together.  Who goes first?  Do we change to go to competence based learning?  Will the post-secondary people accept them when they get there?  Who goes first?  I think you all have to jump in the pond at the same time.

There needs to be a bridge, allowing everyone to make the changes.

Did you talk about changing the calendar from the traditional agrarian calendar? We did talk about it being non-traditional. 

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