October 15, 2008

Liberal Skills in the 21st Century: Moving to Routine “Leapfrog� Knowledge Production and Innovation

By Arthur M. Harkins, Ph.D. & John Moravec, Ph.D.

Leapfrog means to jump over obstacles to achieve goals. It means to get ahead of the competition or the present state of the art through innovative, time-saving means.

One example of leapfrog is Finland’s jump to wireless phones, saving that country the cost of deploying an expensive copper wire system. Another example is present in the Kent, Washington, public school system, which now permits students to use wireless Web devices to help them access information to better pass tests. Leapfrog has also become a major strategy of developing countries wishing to avoid catch-up efforts that otherwise portend a high likelihood of continued followership. A similar approach to gaining the lead rather than assuming a persistent runner-up role has been adopted by many industries, colleges, and individuals.

As do many others, such as Friedman (2000; 2005), Pink (2005), and Florida (2004; 2005), we see a trend toward the expansion of applied knowledge production and innovation within burgeoning global trends, cultures and markets. Knowledge based work is now regularly conducted by design and innovation workers, some exemplars of which are creative teachers, designers, artists, storytellers, game developers, webmasters, and media content creators. These capabilities are expressions of the liberal skills, or applied derivations of the liberal arts and related disciplines and subject matter fields.

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September 21, 2008

21st Century Education: Fostering Creativity and Innovation in the Classroom

By Brenda Natala

What happens in classrooms is often disconnected from what students experience in their technology-rich daily lives. Students need to know more about the world, learn how to find patterns in chaos, be smart about new sources of information and think outside the box.

In Time magazine, Wallis & Steptoe (2006) articulated the need for public education in the United States to shift from the current agrarian model to a 21st century model focused on creativity and innovation. Workers of today and tomorrow must be able to work in large teams of diverse people and adapt quickly to changing information. This is vastly different from the agrarian culture many current educators came from where independence, repetitive physical labor, concrete solutions and isolation from the larger world were familiar.

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June 26, 2008

Leapfrog Institutes Bringing Creativity and Innovation to Education

Join us in our discussions on building positive futures for PreK-21 education!

The Department of Educational Policy and Administration’s new Leapfrog Institutes mission is to build positive futures for human capital development through the infusion of creativity and innovation in education. We accomplish this mission through collaborative delivery of services with educators, industry and the communities we serve.

Leapfrog Institutes members are school districts and other organizations that aim to lead a paradigmatic jump into best case uses of existing and cutting-edge technologies in hardware, software, and intellectual formats. Learn more about leapfrogging online by clicking here.