Around the World in 30 Days - May 2016

05/30/2016 11:22 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

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C. M. Rubin's Global Education Report

"Robots that care for us as we grow old. Cyberattacks against our homes. Extinct animals brought back to life. Ubiquitous sensors eliminating privacy as we now know it. Everybody will have a scandal! In ten years, a small earpiece will whisper what is being said to you in your native language near simultaneously to the foreign language being spoken." I agree with Alec Ross, author of The Industries of the Future, that the most important job I have is being a Mom. My kids are growing up with challenges and opportunities my generation thought were fantastical themes in movie scripts.

What does this all mean for how we prepare our kids in school? What do we teach them about the innovations that are available right now and what do we teach them to ensure they are part of the innovations that are coming soon? For five years, The Global Search for Education has been exploring those questions; once again this month, we share more fascinating insights from around the world. Michael Sweeney, CEO of Steinway & Sons, talked to me about the impact his new concert pianist - a robot called Spirio - will have on the world of music. Executive business leader Roland Kupers in The Netherlands wants us to focus more on systems learning. Director of Infinity Learn Limited, Dr Brian Annan in New Zealand, shares his vision for the future of schools, including why "some students will not see the need to go to school at all." Last but not least, our top global teacher bloggers share tested tips for cultivating readers, and I reflect on my newest adventures in Wonderland as the book I originally published over 5 years ago goes back into stores just in time for Disney's new film, Alice Through The Looking Glass.

Imagine Lang Lang performing Chopin at Carnegie Hall, but you live in Dallas and can't make it to New York. With Spirio, there is the potential for the concert to be live-streamed into your living room. Michael Sweeney, CEO of Steinway & Sons, discusses the miraculous capabilities of Steinway's Spirio (a new high-resolution player piano that provides an unrivaled musical experience, indistinguishable from a live performance) and offers some insight into the future of music.

Dr. Brian Annan's company, Infinity Learn Ltd, explores the merger of learning and wellbeing. In his interview with The Global Search for Education, Brian envisions a future for schools that will extend the boundaries out into museums, libraries, the corporate world and environmental communities. "[These] places are potential sites for learning and development whereby our youth contribute to community and environmental improvement. So the community at large rather than the school or network of schools is seen as the vital engine room for integration of technology and media."

Roland Kupers wants students to develop the kind of habits conducive to understanding their world in all its complexity. We need a new science that is capable of explaining the intricacy that has been introduced to the world by globalization and technological advances. For example: "Understanding the influence of climate change on the crises of agriculture, urbanization and poverty in the Middle East casts a different light on the links between environmental policy and terrorism, and our choices therein"; and "Understanding that a human body is constituted of 90% non-human cells sheds a different light on the nature of our individuality."

Language is the ultimate tool of humanity. Our Global Teacher Bloggers are pioneers and innovators in fields such as technology integration, mathematics coaching, special needs education, science instruction, and gender equity. This month we asked them to share answers to the question: How do we do a better job of cultivating young readers? Our experts from very diverse schools around the globe agreed that reading should be more fun and fulfilling than forced and tedious. We should not only teach reading but engender a love of literature. "As educators, we should be role models. If we want our students to love reading, we need to love reading," notes Todd Finley.

And speaking of books.... did you know that after the bible and Shakespeare, Alice In Wonderland is the most quoted book of all time? It's been five years since my daughter and I self-published The Real Alice in Wonderland, a book which tells the actual story behind the publication of the handwritten, hand illustrated original manuscript, Alice's Adventures Underground, which Lewis Carroll gave as an early Christmas present to our relative Alice Liddell in 1864. A simple question - "Mom, how are we related to Alice Liddell?" - made us very curious. This led to research, a successful school book day presentation, a series of creative book workshops, and then meetings with booksellers which culminated in the production of our lush coffee table book now in stores again 5 years after it was first released. As Alice would I am sure agree, curiosity is a truly amazing gift - it takes you down rabbit holes where you are able to explore fantastical problems and learn important things in the doing. And when that curiosity is nurtured, who knows how far you might go? What new opportunities might present themselves? What life changing experiences might be had?

Our thanks to all our friends and supporters around the world - Always be curious!

(Photos are courtesy of CMRubinWorld)

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C. M. Rubin

Join me and globally renowned thought leaders including Sir Michael Barber (UK), Dr. Michael Block (U.S.), Dr. Leon Botstein (U.S.), Professor Clay Christensen (U.S.), Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (U.S.), Dr. MadhavChavan (India), Professor Michael Fullan (Canada), Professor Howard Gardner (U.S.), Professor Andy Hargreaves (U.S.), Professor Yvonne Hellman (The Netherlands), Professor Kristin Helstad (Norway), Jean Hendrickson (U.S.), Professor Rose Hipkins (New Zealand), Professor Cornelia Hoogland (Canada), Honourable Jeff Johnson (Canada), Mme. Chantal Kaufmann (Belgium), Dr. EijaKauppinen (Finland), State Secretary TapioKosunen (Finland), Professor Dominique Lafontaine (Belgium), Professor Hugh Lauder (UK), Lord Ken Macdonald (UK), Professor Geoff Masters (Australia), Professor Barry McGaw (Australia), Shiv Nadar (India), Professor R. Natarajan (India), Dr. Pak Tee Ng (Singapore), Dr. Denise Pope (US), Sridhar Rajagopalan (India), Dr. Diane Ravitch (U.S.), Richard Wilson Riley (U.S.), Sir Ken Robinson (UK), Professor Pasi Sahlberg (Finland), Professor Manabu Sato (Japan), Andreas Schleicher (PISA, OECD), Dr. Anthony Seldon (UK), Dr. David Shaffer (U.S.), Dr. Kirsten Sivesind (Norway), Chancellor Stephen Spahn (U.S.), Yves Theze (LyceeFrancais U.S.), Professor Charles Ungerleider (Canada), Professor Tony Wagner (U.S.), Sir David Watson (UK), Professor Dylan Wiliam (UK), Dr. Mark Wormald (UK), Professor Theo Wubbels (The Netherlands), Professor Michael Young (UK), and Professor Minxuan Zhang (China) as they explore the big picture education questions that all nations face today.
The Global Search for Education Community Page

C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, "The Global Search for Education" and "How Will We Read?" She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld, and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.