Episode 055: Steve Hargadon, Director of the Web 2.0 Labs and Host of the Future of Education

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In this episode of MEP, Steve Hargadon,  the founder and director of the Learning Revolution Project and Web 2.0 Labs, and host of the Future of Education interview series, shares his insights on the current state of education, what he thinks of the future of education, and what we can do to move learning forward.

Guest Bio:

Steve HargadonSteve is the founder and director of the Learning Revolution Project and Web 2.0 Labs, the host of the Future of Education interview series, and founder and chair or co-chair of several worldwide virtual events, including the annual Global Education Conference, the Library 2.0 Conference, and the School Leadership Summit.

Steve pioneered the use of social networking in education by creating the Classroom 2.0 social network in 2007, and supported and encouraged the development of thousands of other education networks, particularly for professional development. He blogs, speaks, and consults on educational technology, and his virtual and physical events build community and connections in education, with over 100,000 participants annually.

Steve is the co-host of the annual Edublog Awards, and he has been the Emerging Technologies Chair for ISTE, the author of “Educational Networking: The Important Role Web 2.0 Will Play in Education,” and was the recipient of the 2010 Technology in Learning Leadership Award (CUE). He has consulted for PBS, Intel, Ning, Blackboard, Microsoft, KnowledgeWorks Foundation, CoSN, MERLOT, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Education, Mightybell, and others on educational technology and specifically on social networking.

Show Notes:

(02:11) Steve’s background

(06:19) MindShift article: Steve Hargadon: Escaping the Education Matrix

From the article:
“We tell a story about the power of learning that is very different from what we practice in traditional models of school.”
“We live in a state of cognitive dissonance.”

Can you explain further what your perspective is?  Is there a way for us to take action on the future, specially for public education?

Steve: Is the goal of education to draw out critical personal thinking and to help somebody become a self-directed independent thinker, as Socrates hoped? Or is it like Plato’s Republic where the civilization determines the goal for its citizens and places them in an institution to accomplish that goal?

(10:36) Steve: The system itself is about control. Society has used education for the purpose of control.

(11:33) Steve: How do we reclaim learning?

(12:42) Is the idea of innovation within the system a moot point? Would we have to start over in that circumstance? How do we move things forward?

(14:05) Steve: You don’t change power roles and relationships without deep commitment, passion and difficulty.

(15:37) Steve: If we don’t treat every learner as a precious individual with gifts and talents to be fulfilled, then getting to that place is going to require a lot of people to actually say “This is so important that I’m willing to go through a movement like the civil rights movement to make it happen.”

(15:52) Is there one idea or strategy that you feel is most important that we get right in the next one to five years, whether it’s the US or globally?

(18:20) Steve: We should have a philosophical basis  for saying “Prosperity comes from individual creativity and hard work and people working together.

(19:58) I’m thinking about the stuff on the fringe, and I guess when you’re talking about this crisis point, I’m wondering what sort of ideas like that. Will that have an impact on when this big bang happens, could that potentially be what helps to make the shift, or will that be another piece, another shadow?

(24:45) They talk about being open-minded. But when it comes to schooling, it becomes really, really combative… Everybody who’s open minded (about homeschooling, unschooling, informal learning) seems to be on the fringe. And I wonder if  it will take that potentially big bang crisis to get people to think.

(26:00) Steve: We’re social beings. We’re highly influenced by the people around us… If we do conform and we do often think like others, act like others because of the social nature that we have, then, one argument for the reason why you need a crisis, that’s one of the only ways to break that cycle..

(27:19) If you could wipe the slate clean, what would your ideal learning environment look like? What would “education” look like?

(31:30) I’m really interested in the idea  of adversity and people’s ability to overcome or react to adversity in different ways… I’m curious as to your thoughts on learning and its applications in dealing with adversity… There’s no way in the way  “education” is  right now to teach people to deal with adversity.

Mindset by Carol Dweck

(35:36) Do you have a favorite interview guest, and why?

How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler 

(38:42) What is your number one book that you give as a gift?

The Choice Theory by William Glasser 

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

(39:36) What about your favorite documentary?

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

The Virtual Film Festival

(41:31) If you could have dinner with one person you admire, past or present, who would it be and why?



The Learning Revolution Project

The Future of Education interview series

Steve Hargadon‘s personal website


2 Responses to Episode 055: Steve Hargadon, Director of the Web 2.0 Labs and Host of the Future of Education

  1. Linda Kimball February 2, 2016 at 8:19 pm #

    Repairing the educational system seems basic to me. Teachers that teach in their own way…. do away with an overload of paperwork. Do away with the tests except the ones the teacher makes her way and not the government way.

    Smaller class sizes.. music, art, shop, time for a break as in any work place.

    School the way I knew it.

  2. Kay July 18, 2016 at 10:42 am #

    Hello Steve,

    Thank you for sharing your insight on this podcast. I believe that you have touched the heart of where education reform must take place, and that is in its structure. You mentioned that education was founded on principals of power and control, however if we are seeking to change the face of education, we must change its foundation. I appreciated and agreed with your suggestion to make education into more of a “democracy” in which teachers and students have freedom and choice. This level of freedom encourages creativity which has been proven as the most beneficial methods of student learning. A free student is one who has the ability to make her own choices, and respect the consequences (positive or negative) that follow. I will be sharing this podcast with my team. Thank you!

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