Why The Time For Flipping The School Day Is Now

Plus, Homeschooling, Purpose Of Schooling, And A Higher Ed Roadmap

I first got to know Bob Harris when he was the head of human resources in the local school district where I live. He had helped usher in an innovative learning program in the public high school that he showed me, but he also had bigger ideas.

He wanted to flip the school day for high schoolers—an idea I wrote up for Forbes back in the fall of 2019, before the pandemic hit.

This idea of flipping the school day—where students would start their day at 9 a.m. at the earliest by reporting to a workplace in their community, followed by lunch, then some time on campus for extracurricular activities and projects, and conclude with online learning at home—makes even more sense now, as I detail in this piece for Forbes, “For High Schools, Let’s Preserve Variant Of Hybrid Learning After COVID.

As the Delta variant wreaks havoc on many schools’ plans for the fall, it’s also one to experiment with sooner rather than later. And in the article for Forbes, I share a bit more how to operationalize the online learning aspect so as to create more opportunities for deeper learning and mastery-based learning.

What Will Homeschooling Look Like In The Future?

There are a number of intriguing pieces soon to be published about homeschooling that I’ve had a chance to review recently. I’ll link to them as they appear.

Among these interesting treatments of homeschooling is Mike McShane’s new book, Hybrid Homeschooling, which I reviewed recently for Education Next. The idea that McShane writes about combines at-home learning with in-person schooling (note: it’s not about the notion of hybrid learning that gained traction throughout the pandemic) and is an innovation worth watching, as it could make homeschooling far more accessible to families by reducing costs and helping to eliminate parents’ logistical challenges around childcare.

For funders or entrepreneurs looking to reinvent schooling, McShane’s book provides a great place to start.

Resetting Schooling

On the topic of resetting schooling and the purpose of school, I recommend two great conversations. First, Donna Orem, the president of the National Association of Independent Schools, and I were the first guests on the new podcast, “New View EDU,” in which we talked about the purpose of school. You can listen to it here, as well as read the transcript.

And Macke Raymond, the director of CREDO at Stanford University, joined me to talk about two new chapters she wrote for the recent book that the Hoover Institution published, How to Improve Our Schools in the Post-COVID Era. In our conversation we addressed everything from learning loss to accelerated learning and from redesigning high schools to mastery-based learning. Check out the conversation here.

Finally, I really enjoyed my conversation with Mark D. San Marino about “Next Steps on a Long-Term Vision for Higher Ed,” which you can read here. I’ve become increasingly convinced that third-party credentialing organizations—in many cases tied to industry certifications—will be key to help higher education move to a mastery- (or competency-based) learning system and to enable a skills-based hiring system.

Live From ASU-GSV

Last week I traveled for the first time for work (and on a plane) in roughly 18 months to the ASU-GSV Summit. It was a terrific conference as always—and, for me anyway, being back in-person and on a plane was also somewhat jarring. But I picked up a lot of insights from the panels I moderated and conversations I had.

As always, the one-of-a-kind Bror Saxberg, the VP of Learning Sciences at the Chan Zuckerberg Institute, dropped a few gems during our conversation, with which I’ll leave you:

·      Did you know that problem-solving ability increases by roughly 25% if you are well hydrated?

·      An extra hour of sleep, according to one study, means the difference of one year of problem-solving ability in math for sixth graders.

·      Those with low-incomes and pressing financial concerns exhibit a drop in cognitive function equivalent to a 13-point dip in IQ—but when their immediate concerns are benign, they perform at a level similar to those who are well off (see report here).

·      And in a related and sobering strand, courtesy of John Bailey’s must-read daily newsletter (sign up here) on all-things COVID and education: “In the decade preceding the pandemic, the mean IQ score on standardized tests for children aged between three months and three years of age hovered around 100, but for children born during the pandemic that number tumbled to 78” (study here).

As you rush to get a drink of water to process all of that, thanks as always for reading, writing, and listening.