Dr. Jeannice Samani of Santa Clara University lectures at Course Hero headquarters on integrated learning.
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Lecturer of School of Engineering, Santa Clara University
PhD in Business Administration; MA in City and Regional Planning-Transportation-Economic Development; BA in Political Economy/City and Regional Planning; doctorate and post-doctorate in Advanced Leadership, Python, Management, Technology, Strategic Management
Dr. Jeannice Samani, Course Hero: Thank you. Wow. What a warm welcome. Thank you so much. I would like to share with you today a bit about integrated learning. It sounds rather, “Hmm…” You take a pause, “Now, exactly what is that?” I’m going to reach out to you to give me a little bit of feedback, and I’ve got my pen here so I can take notes. But we have it [as] live feed and recorded, so we’ll have a history of development around this topic. It’s quite exciting.
It will be engaging. However, I’m going to speak to some key points which I hope that you can use in your industry, in your offices, as well as [when] you begin to build out curriculum and context around education to elevate, if you will, our learners that we’re reaching out to. Is that all right?
Samani: OK, awesome. Again, it’s a pleasure to be here. I’m speaking on this incredible topic—very broad topic. I honed in on innovation, because I truly believe that we can incredibly rock this valley, Silicon Valley. Rock in development and processes, if you will, on product development, as well as looking at educational tools, if we focus on innovation, because innovation can take on a form that is a design directive as well as an individual directive.
We’re going to talk about innovation. Many campuses around the world are actually looking at climate. It’s interesting. Climate checks, as far as exactly how are the universities doing. I’m coming from definitely a higher ed perspective here, but we’re thinking about … it’s very commonplace, and we’re thinking about exactly how these students are learning. Are they learning? Are they prepared to go into industry? What are some of their pain points as they’re getting their education? Are faculty and staff happy?
What a concept. Because if faculty and staff are not happy, they can’t teach the students. The students automatically feel, “Something’s not right here.” Therefore, there’s some resistance—there’s a lack of connection, there’s a lack of belonging—as a student on college campuses. Hence, we’ve had some crises, yes, on these college campuses.
So it came to me as an epiphany, as I’m teaching, that I’m really integrating everything that I know from a business perspective as well as an engineering perspective. I thank you again for the opportunity of putting some of my practice on paper and to share that with you.
Santa Clara recently has gone through some of this climate study. As I mentioned, it’s happening all over the world. I recently was in Amsterdam, and this was a topic that was brought up repeatedly. What is the condition of our college campuses, and how can we better educate and prepare our young people?
Here we are: What to Expect Today. I’d like to actually define it for you, because it is a broad term. We’d like to talk about why it is important. That will be interactive. I will ask the audience, “Why do you think it’s so important?” We’ll talk about the ecosystem and exactly what are the elements that are engaging in this topic, as well as the keys to integrated learning. We’ll look at how to generate this disruptive innovation, because this is definitely, like I said, rocking. This is something that is unbalanced. It’s unstable. It’s new. It’s fresh. And also to analyze, how can we assess if the students are truly learning? If it’s nontraditional, it’s not status quo, and I’m going to put some things out there that are not traditional. So, how can we actually assess their learning? And, truly, what is the impact of this integrated learning from a few use cases?
What is integrated learning? Integrated learning is a method that allows individuals to explore, gather, process, reframe, innovate, and present information about topics to increase their lifelong learning—without constraints. That’s key: without constraints. It actually imposes and changes some of those obstacles. It removes those obstacles from their learning. This is a definition that I have derived, so I’d like to … I’m on the Course Hero website, so please provide feedback on this definition. I would be very intrigued to hear from you.
Why is this important? I’m going to address that to the audience. Why is it important? You have the definition now, so let me know what you think about why this is important. If we are educators … many of you are educators or former educators, or engineers, marketing … you’re interested. You have this value system about elevating education. Why do you think that integrated learning is so important? Is it important? Please.
Audience member: It fosters more diversity of ideas and [inaudible] diversity of ideas by getting [inaudible] people [inaudible].
Samani: So how do we actually create … thank you. Any other comments? How can we create? We have Course Hero. How can we create this environment of learning, this lifelong learning environment? You’re doing a lot of that here at Course Hero, which is very exciting, and I’m glad to be a part of it. So with that said, if we’re thinking about how we’re creating this environment, we have to be strategic, yes? We have to think about what are the elements that engage us through this process?
What I’m presenting here is an ecosystem, that this center and the core of it is the integrated learning process itself. Highlighted in the yellow, or the off-white, if it doesn’t view well … in the yellow … are four key areas that are where you want to start in this process. The key elements here are development, assessment, innovation, and technology. This is a two-tier approach. It’s a bird’s-eye view about integrated learning. It actually has four layers, which is very interesting, or subsets thereof. If we’re looking at development itself, there’s a focus on curriculum that will empower the students to learn in their various areas. The development of faculty—to provide access to professional development outside of their discipline—is critical. That allows you to stretch. It allows you to go into the classroom and actually speak about topics and subject matter that your students or the students actually have to take.
To make those connections allows the students to relate and to bring into a concept an understanding that they wouldn’t have otherwise. In the marketplace or in industry, the identification of programs or departments for individuals or resources also impacts the actual product development. Think about how you work on certain projects. If you have the opportunity [to] bring in colleagues from other areas, to ask questions—to get their insight, to have them work directly on the product development—that allows you to develop incredible, integrated curriculum or a product that would bring into the fold success.
Looking at assessment, there are actually seven innovative, formulative assessment methods. One is looking from a multidimensional perspective, content embeddedment … excuse me, context embeddedment, also looking at flexibility, adaptability, product base, transparency, and formulative. I’ll speak more in depth in a moment about those, because assessment is key in education.
Looking at our innovation, we want to think about the aggregation of this interdisciplinary from an academic point of view. We want to think about bringing in language arts, science, social science. We want to think about bringing in the outside environments that were stated—their experiences. A lot of higher ed is now beginning to assess experience as a possible waiver from taking certain classes. They’re allowing individuals to write up their experience, because there’s a lot of more mature students going back to school. They can actually speak to their experience as a course and bring that into not only the classroom but into their degrees.
Also looking at collaboration as part of innovation. Life after education typically requires a student to work collaboratively or cooperatively in teams to actually build product. So integrative learning programs assist students or learners in developing those skills. Students sit at a table, a group setting, and it allows you to speed up the process. And there are certain tools that can be used, such as Six Thinking Hats, that allows you to negotiate who goes next, what they contribute to the actual group, and then you can vet those concepts to see what is weighed out of that, and it can be inculcated or brought into the actual design.
Also looking at your project orientation curriculum. In integrated learning, teachers often take on the role of facilitator, which is great. You take on the role of facilitator in the learning process while directing instruction. It allows the students to take ownership in what they’re doing. It empowers them to actually lead. You’re teaching them leadership without having to teach them leadership, and they not only enjoy that but there’s that sense of success that they feel. Students have often been tested in integrated programs instead of regular and nonintegrated programs. Instead of testing, I like to utilize writing tasks, such as reflections, and allow them to think creatively about why they’re studying certain topics that they’re studying. Because when you’re in college and higher ed, of course they give you a referendum, right? They tell you exactly what you need to take. Why not have the opportunity of saying, “Well, I really would like to take a class that is completely off of my path, but yet I’m interested in taking,” and bring that into your education?
So integrating learning modules—these are the nodes into technology. [It] is my last one here. Thinking about that, from the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, research indicated that teachers who really integrate technology into their lesson plan actually progress in such a way that it’s nonconstruct … that it’s constructed that the students have the opportunity of actually paralleling their thinking process with the teacher, that they automatically begin to think in such a way of how they can actually use technology to get to the end result.
I see that quite often with my business students: I’m teaching them a business course, such as a basic business, where we have them develop a product, but yet, without me telling them, “You need to actually program an app in order to facilitate the product that you want to develop,” they come up with that idea, and they also reach out to develop what they need to develop. They may go to the engineering department or the computer science department and actually have someone there that knows how to program to make their prototype. So it allows the students to actually engage in a certain way, that the class actually becomes student-centered, which is a wonderful place to be, because that’s where you maximize the learning.
Students gain enjoyable skills, the twenty-first century skills for adaptability for today’s students need to be successful in their careers—I call them employable—are broken down into three areas: learning skills, literacy skills, and life skills. In learning skills, critical thinking is at the top of the list. They need to be able to think. In many, many cultures and over the decades, it’s always been, “Let me teach you,” as opposed to you thinking about the actual subject matter. But I recommend in integrated learning, that they push to the forefront their actual critical thinking skills. Creativity is critical. Collaboration—working in teams—is critical. Actually being able to communicate is also very important. Information literacy: knowing how to get information, where to get information, and if you need to research. How can I actually learn to research?
I have my engineering students meeting with the librarians, because they don’t have to meet with the librarians—business students, English students do. Social science students do. But most of the engineering departments do not request that, so they actually have a session with the librarian for their research.
Literacy skills: looking at media literacy, as well as technology, and learning flexibility. Flexibility … and I usually teach from an Agile Scrum perspective. It is coming out of the Waterfall approach to process development in engineering, and it allows for business development to—excuse me, product development to be made quickly and to be made in sprints, so it is a very smooth process for developing products. Life skills, such as leadership, innovative and iterative, as well as productivity and social skills, are part of life skills now. So, being flexible.
So here is the key. There are many subkeys in here, but this is the key. Looking at our knowledge cell, what comes to mind when you think of knowledge cell?
Audience member: [Inaudible.]
Samani: That’s our subject matter. That’s our expertise area. That’s the area that you want to focus in. At the end of the day, that’s where your goals are set, based upon that subject matter. You began with your knowledge cell. Then I move into the concept of innovation, beginning to think about the nodule or the node, if you will, from the ecosystem … keep in mind that ecosystem that I showed you. I’m bringing in those particular nodes, and innovation is at the key, because it allows the students to come out of their norm. Remember that, that was two-prong. You’re developing a product for innovation, but yet you’re innovating and you’re evolving yourself. So innovation is at the forefront, and it allows them, again, to build.
If we’re looking at development, we want to develop our own curriculum. We want to develop curriculum that has been dusted off, tested, prototyped, and then tested again. And then you can really find out if you’re meeting the needs of the students, because I feel as though … this is my bent … that if you’re in class and you’re paying money to go to that class, to go to that university, you should have some buy-in. You should actually be satisfied. Those are our customers. Those are our clients. So at the end of the day, you need to be satisfied with what your product is that you’re getting out of.
So I have them develop the curriculum along with me. The curriculum is done, but I’m testing it along the way. I’m tweaking it, I’m pivoting, I’m adjusting it. In some cases, I may throw out a module, because it may not be timely. It may have timed out. And then bringing in another module. Again, development, from the standpoint of looking at curriculum, is just as though it’s a product. Yes? OK.
Then we’re looking at assessing. When we’re thinking about assessment, we’re thinking about drilling it down to the area of making sure that the students are tested or assessed in certain ways that they’re not … I’m not teaching to the test, that the students are actually learning the material. How does that happen? Anyone have any … how can I make sure or guarantee that the students are actually learning?
Audience member: They have to teach it back or do some sort of practicum.
Samani: Yes, a practicum is always good. What do you mean by practicum, for those that may not know practicum?
Audience member: Maybe they’ll do a practical, hands-on project, or they have to demonstrate their skills in some way to show that they have achieved mastery.
Samani: Yes. Yes. A product or a project of some kind. Good. Any others? Sometimes we have a reflection paper. I have them make videos. They’re really excited about that. Anything on social media is great.
It allows for the students to be assessed in peer review as well as by the instructor, and quite often, they’re harder on themselves than the instructor would be. So looking at the context of systems, actually creating systems in which you can … your curriculum is flowing and adaptable. Some of my engineering students … one of my classes that I teach for engineering, I would basically bring in the project. They wouldn’t know in the beginning about what is due. The syllabus is presented. But yet about midway is when I’d really begin to talk about that final project, because I’m, “OK, put this into your calendars. This is coming down the pike, and this is the deadline.” But what I’d done was, because from the development standpoint, I’m testing the entire time. I realized that the engineering students need to know at the beginning about the product that’s coming at the end—in depth—so that the six-week checkpoint that I normally would go into depth with, they needed to know [about] in the beginning.
That’s what I learned, so I adjusted my curriculum to actually share that with them in the beginning so they can break up into groups. I do the algorithms—make sure that they are in the right group. I have an algorithm that I utilize that actually analyzes their background and their career interests. Then I drop them into groups … and their personalities, too. I drop them into groups, and then they’re actually able to work with one another in an effective manner. If I’m teaching Agile Scrum, which is what I’m doing, they’re running through this process in such a way that it flows. It allows them to learn in a painless, effortless modality, which is pretty amazing, because then they’re bought in and they actually learn, which is great.
This is part of the systems. In the utilization of technology, which is here, as well as one of the nodes, is utilizing the technology that is needed. That can be anywhere from a language to any other resources that they may need. Sometimes I have to get hardware, I have to purchase software, or they create their own. They program their own, but it allows them to actually develop and to work with people from outside other disciplines—and with me as well, so I can monitor their progress.
This is innovation. We’re looking at innovation and how we can think outside of the normal concept of what innovation is. This is breaking it down into key areas that I’ve identified for success: one being empathy, understanding who their customer is that they’re actually creating for, who their customer is that they’re actually creating for and developing the product, looking at it from a timely standpoint of knowing when the product is due end to end, developing the concept, and then to launch. Or in the case of academia, knowing how to actually program and schedule their day down to that point. How much time will it take for me to develop certain deliverables?
I have them work in a format of a business setting. They come into class and we actually have a huddle, which is very interesting. In that huddle, they’re already in the industry. They’re in the marketplace. They’re putting on their professional hats. And they can be freshmen, but I allow them to step into being a professional. That, in itself, also gives the latitude of them being bought into the class that they’re taking and to learn.
Intent: Intent is looking at purpose. It’s very interesting because the Latin word for intent actually literally means purpose. So when you think about the intent of the class is to say, “Why are you taking this class?” “Well, Dr. Samani, it’s required.” OK. So to those students that they tell me it’s required, I tell them, “Well, let’s make it the best it can be as a required class.” No, I’m just kidding. I tell them, “OK, this class is required, but what do you want to get out of it? Because you’re going to sit in this class for the next 16 weeks, on time. So how can we make this the best learning environment for you?” I actually get feedback from them.
This is part of the integrated learning process: [It] is [about] bringing the customer into the classroom. Then we want to look at how we’re going to look at the methodologies of teaching the class itself. What type of learner … that used to be the old adage. What kind of learner are you? Now I just focus on all the learning processes, especially in integrated learning. Each lecture I give, it touches all points. Tactile: They’re doing something. They’re building, whether it’s a little tchotchke box or a paper airplane, they’re building something. There’s some visual that goes with it. If we don’t have it in the classroom, they go offline onto our portal and actually look at the video that accompanies the lecture.
We have interaction in the classroom. There’s always that dialog, that question that may come up. I may give it at the beginning—some offbeat question that has nothing to do with the class that day, but it allows for them to open up. At Carnegie Mellon, I would actually have carpool karaoke on when they would get in, so you have the students … and most of my students were international students, but they knew the songs, so it was really amazing. We’d all just sing along for about five minutes till everybody came into the classroom, and then they were ready. It was amazing. Absolutely amazing.
Now, when I’m teaching the undergraduates, they [need] a little more stealth. I have to be cool. I can’t rock out too much. So in that case, I just have them talk to me. “Tell me what projects you’re working on.” I try to engage them in a hack-a-thon. “What’s going on in the business school?”—if we’re engineering. “Are there any competitions or challenges that you can engage in?” Or I’ll bring in outside information from a conference I attended or an article I read. There’s that dialog and that interaction.
Utilizing all the capabilities you possibly can … I like the big-brain idea. Breaking the box is thinking about things that are outside of the norm. It’s not so much thinking about coming out of the box—I want to break the box. As engineers, we like to break things and then recreate, so let’s break the box. Let’s think about how radical we can be in our thinking. If we can think it, we can build it—and bring them in on the process.
Being creative. Allowing students to be creative in the classroom. Quite often, we’ve said, “Well, we want this assignment to be like this, 12-[point] font, margins an inch from the corner or edges. We want one page…. ” Let them be creative. Let them think about how they want to present their information. You want to use a Prezi—you don’t have to use a PPT or PowerPoint presentation. Use a Prezi. If you don’t want to use a Prezi, do a skit. Do something crazy and radical. I get really excited.
Be adaptable. Adaptable and flexible are critical to Lean development, as well as Agile Scrum. Adaptability allows the students to think outside of their norm. I have mechanical engineering students, and they’re coming in and they’re thinking, “OK, I want to actually build something. I’m a mechanical engineer.” Why do you have to be a mechanical … be an electrical engineer. Think about how you’re going to wire that potential product. Change positions. Allow yourself to grow. And quite often, they like the challenge, because I’m not judging [you] on whether you’re a mechanical engineer, and you didn’t do well. I’m judging you on the creativity that you’re bringing to it and the thought process that you’re bringing to it, and the excitement that you bring to it.
Let’s look at value. How does value work? Good question, you may ask. Value looks at integrated learning from the perspective of saying, “Let’s move in the direction of whether or not it’s actually going to benefit society.” Think of it from a humanitarian perspective. How is it going to change the world? I told you this was going to rock the Valley. How is it going to change the world? What value can that bring to the generations after us? Can we actually make some change? I’m hoping that this brings hope to our engineers and our business students, that they can actually contribute to what is coming after them. And they can contribute in such a way that is measurable, because it brings value, and [by] also taking risk. Why is risk on the innovation? Anyone know? Please.
Audience member: There’s no such thing as a safe innovation.
Audience member: Because it’s never been done before.
Samani: Oh. Hmm.
Audience member: It’s not a known quantity.
Samani: OK. Is all innovation new innovation? You say no. OK. Why?
Audience member: Well, the idea … the bigger problem [inaudible] different [inaudible] in that space. The bigger problem [inaudible].
Samani: And taking it to the point, perhaps, of sustainability—looking at all of the aspects of sustainability, not only … the statement was about clean water [and] approaching it from a different method. Think about that particular problem in a different light or in the context of sustainability. It’s not only an environmental issue, it’s a political issue. It’s a societal issue. Looking at it so it will actually … when you make change and you change the dynamic—the methodology, the process in which you’re creating the new product—you actually … it will be elongated, and it will carry on for generations. It will be permanent, more so.
Is all innovation disruptive? This is a tag onto your statement.
Audience member: Not necessarily.
Samani: And your colleague is shaking his head no.
Audience member: [Inaudible] optimization, too, right?
Samani: Optimization is innovation. Address the comment about being disruptive. If not all innovation is disruptive, tell me why. Why isn’t it disruptive—if it’s new, right?
Audience member: [Inaudible.]
Samani: Good, good. Thinking about optimization, disruption, new innovation, not so new innovation, reframing, how do you think it’s best … how can we best apply integrated learning? I’ve given you lots of tips. Three bullets. Just give me three.
Audience member: [Inaudible] the environment where [inaudible].
Samani: Absolutely. And always keeping that customer, that end user in mind, right? Excellent, excellent. So we’re back on assessment. I thought we were done, but guess what? Now we’ve come up with all of these incredible thought processes and systems, so let’s analyze [them].
Multidisciplinary or multidimensional. Again, looking at this interdisciplinary, identifying patterns and connections. I say, “Pulling the thread through,” identifying those patterns. Nothing’s linear, but they’re connecting pieces which you can pull from.
Looking at it from the context of embedded identity or objectives: In integrated STEAM education, it is an effort to combine science, technology, engineering, math—and I say music; I have a double M in my STEAMM—as a key part of integrated learning. I have a STEAMM program that actually was kicked off this past summer, which was pretty phenomenal, and I had first gens that actually attended. It was a completely different, nontraditional approach to what they thought they were going to learn. They actually came in … they did a business huddle, so I’m already introducing … it was high school students … introduced the business huddle to them, and then after the business huddle, they actually had an art class. Boy, they thought they were going to be techies.
It was difficult for them. It was abstract art. It was not coloring or painting trees or drawing trees. They actually had to think outside of that norm and break the box. It was difficult, and I have to admit, it was difficult to think abstractly. But I wanted them to, number one, empower themselves with art—something that wasn’t judged, something that was pretty, attractive, something that was soft for them to enjoy and to share with others. It was an opportunity for them to slow down their thought process and for it to be non-techy. Hands-on, remember?
Then after that, the students actually had one tech session that would introduce a concept. Then they had a break to talk—had lunch—and it was interesting. Guess what the conversation at lunch was? About what they were doing. Wow.
You could imagine the first couple of days when I started analyzing this and assessing what was going on, I was beaming because I’m thinking, “This is working. This is amazing.” And then the last session of the day was the application. That was part of the contextual embeddedness. Looking at flexibility, if the students had difficulty in certain areas, they could especially work in teams. So many of the students hadn’t programmed … I’m using the STEAM program as my example here … they hadn’t programmed prior. So what we did … it was very interesting. It was almost Fourth of July, and so everyone is excited about fireworks. So in Alviso, which is very close to here, there [are] traditional fireworks. The city puts them on. So we had the idea to let the students create a fireworks show. So they actually got to program a fireworks show. So they program the fireworks show, and they’re excited, and then we threw in … the first day, they’re mapping it out. They created the actual fireworks show, and then we threw in a wrench. We said, “Guess what? City council said you can’t use those colors because they affect the environment.” There’s certain colors that actually, when they’re disseminated into the atmosphere, impact our oxygen levels, the ozone.
So we threw that—and that’s a reality—and actually the city of Alviso … we wanted to make it real, give them a context that they said, “Oh no, Dr. Samani, it’s not right.” But this is something that they could look up to. So, they came back with a solution. They worked in teams at that point—because they had to strategize—and they came up with the solution to actually change their programming. They went back and built out another fireworks show, and it’s actually on YouTube. You can see their fireworks show. It’s incredible what the students…. Flexible. They learned how to be flexible with something they had passion for. It was fun.
Project-based. Looking at project-based and allowing them to create their own projects. Whether those projects are … generally I give them a subject matter. It has to be something that is innovative. I just throw it out, whatever context you want it in. I usually do not give them too many constraints, as I’ve been sharing with you. I’m showing how I’m applying this.
They come up with the project, but they have to do a project, because that’s their final assessment, and then they figure out how they’re going to present it. I teach them how to pitch. Many of them have not done … they can be seniors in the engineering department, but they have never stood in front of an audience to pitch. I teach them a bit of public speaking. So throughout the course of the term, I allow them to stand in front of their class and actually share an expertise that they’re comfortable with. And then I begin to hone it in on three-minute pitches, five-minute pitches, 10-minute pitches for their final. Again, that allows them to develop and to grow their knowledge base and their experiential opportunities.
Being transparent. Everything, especially with an engineering class, needs to be specified. In my business class, too. Business classes—they want to know and be very transparent as to what is going to be taught and when. And you had mentioned being able to ask questions. Absolutely, being able to ask questions. The rubric dives in deep to be as explanatory as possible, so that transparency … well, the funny thing is, I think it may be transparent, as the educator. I’m saying, “Oh, they’ve got this.” But you know what I have to do? I have to assess to make sure that they understand. Now, that’s a challenge for an educator, and to humble oneself to say, “Maybe this isn’t as clear as I think.”
Integrated learning allows the educator to actually assess their teaching modalities, to make sure that how they’re teaching the students is actually coming through. I’ve grown. Looking at it from a formulative standpoint, again, we’re honing in, here. There are many ways of approaching this methodology. There are charts, and they’re called round-robin charts, and there are strategies where four or five students can actually chart, based upon open-ended questions that they can pose, that the instructor can pose to them, or amongst their peers.
Strategic questioning is another way of assessing. Giving a question in a small group or as an individual or as a class, and asking the why and the how is extremely helpful.
Application is yet another form of assessment, looking at how you can truly test this … I believe you can truly test the meaning of learning when you can apply it. I don’t assess through testing necessarily, but application is key and foremost.
There are three things you can ask questions [about] or applications, such as, “What are the three things that you’ve learned through this particular module?” and having an open forum. Quite often, you know what students do. It’s human nature. We piggyback off someone else’s comments. So what you could do is actually have them write it down and then present it. Take a moment. Take a pause. You can do this in your staff meetings or in your small-group meetings. “What do you think about this proposal or this suggestion? Give me three things that you like about it or you don’t like about it, or you think will work or not work.”
Two things you could also have [are] the things that surprise you about the topic that allows you to learn. It’s very interesting. This isn’t on script, but the other day I went to a workshop on juicing and health, and I eat plant-based. I’m giving too much information, I know, but it was fascinating to me because, “Oh, I think I’ve got this. I know all about this, so I’m going to sit here with my laptop open and discreetly do work.” But toward the middle, I actually closed my laptop. I thought, “Oh my goodness, I’m learning something.” What was surprising to me was certain supplements that I had never heard of, and they began to talk about them, and I thought, “This is fascinating.”
So I challenge you. When you’re in your staff meetings or taking a class, if you’re a learner, current learner, or will be a learner—we’re all [life]long learners—you can think about those little things that surprise you. Take notation. Put a note in your phone and reflect back on that. It’s an opportunity for you to continue to grow in that area or to expand your knowledge.
Another thing may be to think about what you started doing differently and how you want to learn, which would be interesting. Yes? Because you’re all here, so that automatically tells me you’ve hit that last point—the latter point is that you all want to learn something new. So think about sharing those comments, think about writing a blog, think about maybe sending some interoffice memo or a note. “Guess what I learned today?” It’s kind of fun, kind of cool.
I also assess from the standpoint of Twitter summaries. “Tell me what you learned in 10 to 15 words.” I call them Twitter summaries—10 to 15 words, 30 to 50 words, or if you really want to go for the gusto, 75 to 150 words. Summarize that lecture; summarize that broadcast; summarize that conversation. What I found is that it allows you to wipe away the minutiae. You get out of the weeds, and you actually get into what you really got out of it. Was it effective? Well, yes. No? Why not? It really hones in those great aspects of learning.
Here, we just have the culmination of the talk, which is really looking at the application. I shared with you my process, so we’re at the end here. We know that there needs to be a human connection. We’re Course Hero. There has to be that human connection where the student and the educator are engaging. The educator and other educators are engaging. The students and the students are engaging. That cross-functional web activity is what is going to build the synergy, build the innovation, and build the lifelong learning.
Then, of course, AI. I have my tech in there. AI is looking at the future of how we can actually view and learn information [by] using APIs—using certain technologies that are very available to us, holding up our cell phone and knowing what the composite of a chair is or the dimension of a room—through applications.
Then, we have Course Hero. We have our portals and our online systems that allow for us to learn online. And then we have, of course, devices. Devices is a very sticky area, because what I found in my travel is that the larger countries and larger cities around the world are actually being identified as the actual—I call them BI centers—business intelligence centers. Why? Because they have large populations. Businesses are looking at those cities and those countries to say, “If I can sell in these cities with populations of 10 million people…. ” Case in point: cell phones. China in particular has the use of smartphones—1.3 billion smartphones. That’s incredible.
So if you can develop a product that will sell in China, it will sell anywhere. Lagos, Nigeria has one of the highest populations. So many countries, especially China, [are] investing in Lagos, Nigeria. They know for a fact, if they can create and build a product that citizens and residents of Lagos, Nigeria will utilize, that it will sell elsewhere. That goes on for Delhi and Mumbai, India. Same thing. Those cities and in those particular countries, they are using BI: They’re using the data from those populations to actually create a product, and it’s being projected on various devices.
I’m going to end with a quote here: “Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will learn.” Benjamin Franklin stated that. I’d like to thank you for your time and for your attention, and your great questions and comments. I really appreciate it. Thank you very much.