Do you know about the Hybrid Logistics Project?

Most educators think of “hybrid” learning in a couple of ways. They either think it’s live video conferencing with the same class structure as traditional schools, but students are remote, or they are a combination of remote and in-class. Another flavor is that the learning is mostly remote and online with a small amount of face-to-face. It boils down to being not fully virtual and not fully digital.

What doesn’t change with any definition in common use today for hybrid learning is the schooling.

Schooling could be defined as the form of the education operation’s use of space and time patterns in combination with resources and human services.

Schooling in most conceptions of “hybrid” learning remains the same pattern as it’s always been – whole group classes. Schooling also remains the same in “blended” and “flipped” and “competency-based” and “pace-based” models and all manner of other protocols, methods and most of the tech applications.

At the heart of traditional schooling as a construct across the world for at least the last 250 years are these immutable things:

  • Whole groups form classes. These whole groups are supposed to be homogenous because a lot of diversity of ages, intellect, language and culture differences overly complexify the orderly running of the whole group such that less learning occurs for all.
  • Classes take subject-specific courses.
  • Courses in classrooms are led by teachers who’s most used method is unrecorded lecture or verbal instruction. Most classes start with a human moment of instruction or discipline even if brief.
  • Batch processing, by age in grade-groups, is the motion type of the student body. It is predicated on the manufacturing model which by design intentionally normalizes outputs hour-by-hour, subject-to-subject, class-to-class and grade-to-grade.
  • Lesson distribution requires one or hundreds of human teacher intercessions gatekeeping the knowledge resources for students in lesson batches such that a student cannot proceed ahead and students well-behind miss the illumination of the live teaching moments that went with those earlier materials.
  • The routine of a teacher is linearly forward in time. Having to do a lot of remediation back-tracking prerequisite knowledge or differentiation of materials or method overwhelms teachers.

The Hybrid Logistics Project was the first to question everything about these immutables. Most of all, though, the whole group construct within a manufacturing pattern seems wholly unfit for modern culture and diversity.

The Project found out that a rework of schooling centered on how time is used could solve just about everything that is an intractable problem in learning starting with these new assumptions:

  • Humans are not widgets to be manufactured. Groups should form dynamically around ability and interest without regard to age, modified only by basic requirements or academic standards.
  • Intersection with teaching should be based on algorithmically determined groupings of students based on their pace to dynamically calendar live class moments which are part of a course plot. No more manufacturing-like schedule, but some rough guidelines personalized by student on how much time to spend on which required subject, with this also adjusted on-the-fly if a student gets disproportionately behind in one over another.
  • Live class meeting groups should usually be set to small cohorts but can also be large or even individual students based on the dynamics of the student body’s patterns against the entire time of the course.
  • Classrooms are just meeting spaces; the rest of the time study discipline can be overseen by non-credentialed staff in homerooms or be accomplished from anywhere.
  • Live teaching moments should be planned as meetings interjected between all the study materials in order to ignite curiosity, provide hands-on experiences, provide social energy that spurs camaraderie and competition, and allow teachers to discern when students do really know their materials.
  • No instructions should be hidden or inaccessible to read or watch on recorded video. Beginning each lesson live is unnecessary. Causing anticipation of the upcoming live or live/virtual meeting once prerequisite study is complete is necessary.
  • Teaching to the many spread across time in the sequence of lessons creates a non-linear course delivery model because the same live teaching moment may be delivered multiple times as each individual or small group coalesces into a cohort meeting at their own pace. Lesson five in a course may be delivered to three sets of eight students and then a week later one set of two students. Some students may be on lesson ten while others are still at lesson four.
  • Teacher time not spent in whole group classrooms all the time is now divided into different patterns of meetings for courses and roaming to help students in need of help to speed their progress.

As you can imagine, there is an AI at the center of how time would be managed differently.

What is the Hybrid Logistics Project?

It’s a project to create a metamorphosis of all schooling through a holistic tech schema including several emerging types of A.I. and reimagined teaching roles.

A metamorphosis is any complete change in appearance, character, circumstances – it’s a new form. Thus far education innovation in space use has operated with two-valued logic only -- either to online learning or always-on-campus. Within campus learning, various models evolved. Each of these slightly modified time use but retained most school schedule assumptions. All were missing important ideas related to advanced logistics and what A.I. can now do.

Schooling continues to be an imprecise use of time, space and human teachers. While schools have been overwhelmed with change wrought by a lot of great technologies, programs and methods, these things have not been brought into one schema to synergistically change the schooling form like technology has done in other industries.

As pointed out above, all formal learning remains organized around whole-group classes and courses with teachers trained to deliver primarily to groups. The motion across time through the curriculum is by age-grouped batches like a manufacturing line. This form was originally built to normalize, giving every student the same learning when the culture was highly homogenous. It is ceasing to work in an age when more customization is needed because of society’s dramatically different characteristics. Frictions based on the outdated form are threatening the survival of many schools.

It's also been said before that when time is the constant, learning is the variable.

Change the Form, Change the Outcome

The Hybrid Logistics Project proposes a change in schooling form to unburden teachers and create better learning outcomes.

The change in form would affect time use, space use, and the intersection with teaching for students. How exactly this is done will be individual to an institution. The Project has identified these elements:

  1. Artificial Intelligence.

Spatial-temporal logistics AI such as intelligent calendaring modified for auto-cohorting and managing patterns of learning entirely differently.

Recommendations engines AI in systems and aps.

Embedded AI in smart objects, smart networks.

Generative AI for creating learning customizations and efficiencies.

  1. Advanced networks and security.
  2. Computing and experiential devices such as AR/VR, interactive whiteboards, digital signage, robotics, drones, digital science equipment, audio-visual enhancements.
  3. Digital and paper resources in a complete curriculum plot with teacher activity intersections.
  4. Space renovations.
  5. Teacher training.

School hybrid logistics is not envisioned as all online or all distance learning. Neither is it merely flex time and spaces on-campus which are still organized by whole groups. Nor is it a tactical program to perfect some aspect of pedagogy or culture. It is pace-based personalized learning without sacrificing human teaching and socialization with other students.

Read more here about the Hybrid Logistics Project.

Cisco Systems is a Strategic Vision Leadership member of the Hybrid Logistics Project produced by Learning Counsel News Media and Research. Knowstory is a Tactical Innovation Member.


Underwrites for the Hybrid Logistics Project