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Designing education toward the future of work

Pressed on the question, I’ve never been sure what my journey in higher education would look like. When I was entering grad school I described it as working directly with students, at EAB it was about influencing higher education from the private sector through technology, and when I joined The Iron Yard I was most excited about the breadth of influence and the exploration of a new education model.  

Regardless of where I was working, one thing always eventually became clear: my interest in the field of higher education expanded beyond any one application. What’s more, my strengths in defining and executing strategy over operational goals consistently influence my energy and engagement.  That said, each step was important. Each step continued to light a pathway that would have otherwise been foreign and unknown, unlocked new ways to approach my career, my work, and my goals, and my perspective.  

Thankfully (and painstakingly), I’ve since discovered that my work will always land somewhere in the intersection of education, technology, student success, and leadership. They summarize the themes, goals, and driving forces behind every move I’ve made so far…with the right reserved to change my mind as I see fit (realistic, right?).

With that, the next path in that journey has presented itself. This month I’m joining the Education Design Lab team to work with traditional and non-traditional higher education institutions, entrepreneurs in edtech, nonprofits serving the space, and foundations attempting to scale impact to create human-centered solutions using design thinking (which I’ve mentioned a little about, as have others; wink wink nudge nudge Dustin Ramsdell, and I’ll be sharing lots more on in the weeks and months ahead) to design education for the future of work. The work they’re doing is just impressive. I’ve watched their work from afar, and when paths cross fortuitously (a story for another time), it’s hard to ignore.

So presented with the opportunity to serve as a designer, facilitator, trainer, and strategic advisor, it’s humbling to consider the ways in which my role might help to encourage and guide changes to assist students successfully through their educational pursuits, and be prepared for their careers and life afterwards.

My work will start by exploring alternate conceptions of the bootcamp space, engaging change management for the implementations of edtechs, and beyond– I’m so excited to get started!