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Try it out while you're still in school!

To adapt faster, higher education in many fields should help on students try their ideas out in real life and learn from what happens.

Photo of Ezra Weller
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Students shouldn't be segregated from non-student communities while they're learning. If they are to graduate ready to contribute, they should be trying out what they learn in the real world during their studies. While in school, students have a safety net that allows them to take more risks, fail more, and learn quickly from those experiences. Examples of this idea in motion are Northeastern University's Coop program, New England Conservatory's Entrepreneurial Musicianship Department, and

Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine higher education to support the needs of tomorrow?

This idea is designed for students in fields that change quickly: right now that means technology, art, manufacturing, business, and many more. A quickly changing field is a fast-moving target for curriculum designers. The best way to hit it is to unify your curriculum completely with the current state of the field as it changes by having students engage directly with the professional world during school.

This idea emerged from:

  • An individual

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

1. Which fields specifically benefit from this idea? I'm an expert in music and I know some things about technology, business, and teaching, but beyond that, I need help. 2. How could more programs that fulfill this idea be created? What are the first steps to take?

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I'm not in school anymore, nor affiliated with any schools in my area, so I'm not in a position to act on it easily right now.

Tell us about your work experience:

I've got extensive music experience as a composer, trumpet player, classroom teacher, ensemble leader, and event planner. I also co-founded, a startup-esque company that crowdsources house party concerts, focusing on building community around art in a responsible way.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Ezra!

Thank you for your post. There are a few posts in the research and idea phases that have some commonality with your idea. Are any of them similar to what you envisage?

Broaden Horizons and Develop Problem Solvers YEAR UP Combining online learning with global, digital collaborative projects / internships. by Sharon DCosta 

P.S. I like Groupmuse. Does this include coffee shops etc. or is it just private venues? I wonder if the concept of Groupmuse could be adapted to higher education in some way?

Photo of Ezra Weller

Hey Kate! I tried adding a simple photo. I hope that's helpful.

Those three ideas do seem related to this one, though I'm not sure what that means for me! Is there a step you recommend me to take? Admittedly, I had no idea what this was when I wrote the idea up--I just got linked to it by a friend and threw this up here.

I'm glad you like Groupmuse! We mostly do living rooms, because they work the best for creating a welcoming place where people can hang out AND collectively engage with the music, rather than have it be background noise. The general idea of making it super easy to plan community events around a theme in people's homes can definitely apply to education (or pretty much anything you can think of really), but coming up with a concrete idea is harder. Thanks!

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Ezra!

Sorry if there was some confusion.

The challenge works on the principles of design thinking. In the research phase the community interviews people to gauge their experiences in higher education, looks at what already exists and interesting examples in other sectors etc. The research posts often act as inspiration for an idea. They can always be built upon, improved etc.

I used to be in a hackathon team with some computer science undergraduate students. They used to mention that in University they never really got to test out their ideas as part of their course. They would like to part of something that has more experimentation and industry connections.

Maybe there could be a way for students to rapidly prototype and test their ideas that use new technology from industry?

I am wondering if there is a connection between Group Muse ( and these posts:

Roundtable v0.02 by James McBennett 
Where should education be located? 

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