TIES Day 1: Milt Dougherty

4 Dec 2006

Milt Dougherty, The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be

A solution only makes sense once you understand the problem.

Milt is a consultant at Milt Dougherty and Associates (and fellow ADE) who also works as a Superintendent in a small Kansas district.

The purpose of his talk is to convince us that the world has changed. That shouldn’t be too hard at a technology conference. Here’s a good example of a flattened world: the largest private employer in Afghanistan is a discount online retailer in Utah.

He points to the static nature of our school curriculum. In 1892 a group called the Committee of 10 at Harvard saw the need to establish a uniform curriculum in order to ensure that future Harvard students would be well prepared. We’ve still working with the same basic curriculum today.

In 1950, 80% of workers were classified as unskilled. In 2000, 85% of workers were classified as skilled. Is the grocery store checker who’s teaching customers to use the self-checkout aisle working herself out a job? Milt says that you can’t just take that checkout clerk and have him or her begin designing and building automatic checkout machines. Different jobs require different preparation.

What skills are required to work effectively in the 21st century? Thornburg says technological fluency, verbal proficiency, collaboration, solve complex problems, creativity, analytical and thinking skills, and gumption.

The curriculum of the past is an information curriculum. The curriculum of the future is a personal development curriculum. Leadership is the key ingredient to successful use of technology in school (Milt is referring to some research from CoSN).

ties, ties2006

One response to TIES Day 1: Milt Dougherty

  1. Tim,
    Great summary. I think for the most part that Milt was preaching to the choir here. Most of the people who go to an edtech conference are early adapters and know that we can’t keep doing the same thing we’ve done and expect our results to improve.
    An open question – How do we get educators to reevaluate what they do in the classroom and really reform when so much of the general public only expect/want schools to provide the same thing they had in school? “It was good enough for me…” In an age of overtesting, standardized school reportcards, and mandated mediocrity, how do we initiate the change we all know needs to happen?