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"Effective leaders are like sophisticated viruses: they fool the immune system and are able to inject new DNA without destroying the host." - Michael Watkins
At Arizona State University, you will be hard-pressed to find a group or department discussing education without simultaneously discussing scale. If we are reaching one hundred learners with a product or course offering, can we reach 200? What about 500? At EdPlus, the division which houses Education for Humanity, scale is deeply embedded in our DNA.
Energized about conversations regarding the role of the public university, I find myself reflecting on the role of institutions of higher education more broadly, and commitments to postsecondary access, diversity, and inclusion. There are currently 3,026 four-year degree-granting institutions in the United States. Amongst these institutions are minority-serving institutions (historically black college and universities and Hispanic serving institutions), women’s colleges, small liberal arts colleges, work colleges, and public research institutions to name a few.
The other day I came across a book called Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate and Compete in the Knowledge Economy by Amy C. Edmondson. In the book, Edmondson describes “teaming” as “teamwork on the fly” (pg. 13). It is a set of mindsets and practices that allow groups of people to work together in a fluid environment. The pillars of teaming (pg. 52) include:
A couple of years ago I was at a conference on distance education. In one session Daphne Koller, one of the founders of Coursera, was discussing the rise of MOOCs. While many people in the room rolled their eyes at the idea of MOOCs being the future of higher education, I had a different reaction.
I vividly remember the days of AOL Instant Messenger, or AIM. My screen-name, PurpleWalrus7801, was an attempt at middle-school cool. How clever, I thought, to combine words and numbers into some very non-obvious reference to Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles. The “away message” foreshadowed the status update as a means to self-promote how cool and interesting your offline life was, all in order to receive validation from your friends online. Then, of course, there was the flirting dimension.