The 2012 Content in Context conference (June 3-6, 2012) will feature expert speakers on globalization, innovation, and the digital transformation for the learning resource industry. Below are interview highlights from a few of the speakers. For more on the CIC go to www.contentincontext.org.
- Karan Khemka, Partner and Head of the Emerging Markets Education Practice, The Parthenon Group (India), keynote speaker, International Markets Forum, Keynote II: Global Markets, Content and the Globalization of Education
Khemka, asked to discuss one idea that could jumpstart the global economy and provide lasting returns, advocates for investing in for-profit universities in emerging economies. He argues that developing nations need skilled graduates to move them forward: “…the economic necessity of expanding higher education in the developing world makes it essential for political leaders, educators, and the investment community to work together to fill the great global education gap with private, for-profit institutions.” (“Enroll the World in For-Profit Universities – Growth and wealth will follow” by Parag Khanna and Karan Khemka, Harvard Business Review, Jan.-Feb. 2012)
- Harry Patrinos, Education, World Bank, keynote speaker, International Markets Forum, Keynote III: Where’s the Money?
Writing for the World Bank blog, Education for Global Development, Patrinos examines global education issues like assessment, accountability, and teacher pay and how these topics affect schools around the world. Recent articles have looked at the school autonomy approach for improving student/school achievement and the success this approach has had in a variety of global contexts. (Education for Global Development)
- Fernando M. Reimers, Ford Foundation Professor of International Education, Director, International Education Policy, Harvard University, CIC keynote speaker, Make a World of Difference by Thinking Globally
In an interview for AEP, Reimers talked about the role of technology in advancing education, the greatest challenges for the future, and the growth of social innovators and entrepreneurs working in education. “The current generation around the world is infinitely more educated and more savvy,” says Reimers, “in part because of the good work of schools but also because of the many good opportunities for learning that exist outside of schools.” He adds that current promising innovations “give us a lot of hope that in the next 50 years we will see even more progress, that educational progress will also move at an exponential rate.” (The Association of Educational Publishers, YouTube)
- Claudio Sanchez, Education Correspondent, NPR, featured speaker, Weekly Reader and Scholastic Student Publishing Luncheon
As the education correspondent for NPR, Sanchez provides frequent commentary on education and school reform in the United States. During an interview with Michel Martin on the program Tell Me More, Sanchez spoke about President Obama’s proposed budget, including the education initiatives, and how the Administration is redefining the federal role in education, especially with the NCLB waivers. “I should say, though, that groups both on the right and the left aren’t thrilled about this waiver business because conservatives say the waivers themselves, they’ll come with too many strings attached. Liberals, especially in the Civil Rights community, are afraid that the states will use these waivers to mask what some view as the feeble attempt of states to raise the performance of Latino, black, poor kids, special education students.” (“Big Changes Ahead For American Schools?” Tell Me More, NPR, Feb. 15, 2012)
- Andrew Hsu, Founder & Chief Brain, Airy Labs, panelist, Innovation: Lessons from the Front Lines & Game Changers: Pass or Play
While studying for his doctorate at Stanford University, Andrew Hsu received a $100,000 grant through the 20 Under 20 Fellowship program, started by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel to encourage young entrepreneurs, and left Stanford to found Airy Labs, an educational gaming company dedicated to creating the next generation of mobile and tablet learning games for kids. In an interview with AEP, he talks about the ups and downs of his tech start-up and why social media gaming has the power to change education. (“Andrew Hsu: Harnessing the Power of Educational Gaming,” Educational Publishing, April 10, 2012)
- Din Heiman, General Manager, BrainPop, panelist, Innovation: Lessons from the Front Lines
For Heiman, even though the educators and the parents are the ones who are paying for the instructional materials, the learner is the most important customer. Speaking with the website SMATOOS, Heiman said, “…Outstanding educational products don’t lose sight of the importance of appealing directly to kids and to the teachers that are there in the trenches with them. Treat learners like your customers. Respect their input on what they’re expected to learn from.” (“We Ask A…General Manager,” SMATOOS)
- Jay King, COO, StudySync, panelist, Innovation: Lessons from the Front Lines
Acknowledging that technology can often be oversold as a panacea to schools, King believes that technology is now being integrated more thoughtfully into curricula, reaping benefits for students and teachers. For King, the integration should extend to mobile devices—currently seen as distractions—using lessons learned from the professional world. “Mobile devices can be a distraction in the workplace as well and we all need to learn from experience how to optimize the use of those devices in our productive lives. Mobile devices have a real opportunity to shine, to be that great educational asset, by incorporating both the tool—the platform—and the content in a single package.” (“Engaging with Jay King of StudySync,” EdTech Digest, Jan. 13, 2012)
- Dan Caton, President, McGraw-Hill Education, panelist, Game Changers: Pass or Play
At the 2011 Content in Context Caton participated in the session “Eavesdropping on the Experts,” where industry leaders gave their personal views on the future of the learning resource industry. One segment focused on whether a hot trend was a fad or “for real,” and Caton gave his opinions on Common Core, Bring Your Own Device, Open Source Materials, and Virtual Schools. “Fad or For Real? Eavesdropping on the Experts at CIC,” Educational Publishing, July 26, 2011)
- Greg Grossmeier, Education Technology & Policy Coordinator, Creative Commons, panelist, Metadata Lab, The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative—Everything You Need to Know
Whether with his work on the Orphan Works project or as co-chair of the Technical Working Group for the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI), Grossmeier sees metadata as a key to organizing and accessing materials online. “Currently we have a smorgasbord of education-specific search engines that attempt to give learners access to the world’s knowledge but they routinely fall short due to technical limitations. If the metadata applied to these resources is consumed and used by popular search engines, learning management software, and even the student’s own computer then, I hope, big advances in education can be made more easily.” (“[Re-]Introducing Greg Grossmeier, Education Technology & Policy Coordinator,” Creative Commons, July 21, 2011)
- Lee Wilson, President, PCI Education, panelist, Metadata Lab “Where Do We Go From Here?—An Open Discussion on Obstacles and Opportunities”
Entering the debate about the possible cost-savings (or not) for schools that switch to digital texts, Wilson offers a cost-comparison of print texts versus an Apple iPad. Looking at the categories of content, management, device, network, and training, Wilson says “it will cost a school 552% more to implement iPad textbooks than it does to deploy books.” However, he later adds, the case could be made that “an interactive digital experience is a more powerful learning tool.” (“Apple’s iPad Textbooks Cost 5x More Than Print,” Feb., 23, 2012, and “True Cost of iPad Textbooks – Readers Respond,” March 6, 2012, The Education Business Blog)
For more information on the 2012 Content in Context conference, presented jointly by AEP and AAP School Division, or to register go to www.contentincontext.org.