April 4, 2007

Must Read Education Article

There are very few times I encourage an article as a must read for home educators but this is one that I HIGHLY recommend. While not about homeschooling directly it has some interesting points and conclusions that are well worth the read. Set aside about 15-20 minutes where you can really focus on what you are reading and check out The Future of Education by the DaVinci Institute.

The researchers outline what they are predicting as a radical shift in education and I would second many of their predicitions based on the way various technologies are already coming together. As homeschoolers we have the opportunity to be early adopters and on the cutting edge of much of the changes that occur in learning systems today.

I post here their conclusions, but please click over and read the whole article to understand their rationale. In many ways I think the facts they point out about technology and the possibilities it offers education are even more interesting then the conclusions they draw from it.

With tools for producing courseware becoming widely available, people around the world will begin creating it, and we will see a courseware explosion similar to the dramatic rise of content on YouTube and iTunes.

As part of the rapidly developing courseware movement we will see education transition from:

* Teacher-centric to learning-centric
* Classroom-based teaching to anyplace, anytime learning
* Mandated courses to hyper-individualized learning
* A general population of consumers to a growing population of producers

Learning will become hyper-individualized with students learning what they want to learn, when they want to learn it. Most of today’s existing learning impediments will eventually go away.

As a result of this shift we will begin to see dramatic changes in society. The speed of learning will increase tenfold because of a combination of the following factors:

* Confidence-based learning will significantly increase learning speed and comprehension
* Learning what we want, when we want - shifting away from a prescribed course agenda to one that is hyper-individualized, self-selected, and scheduled whenever a student wishes to take it will dramatically change levels of motivation
* Technology improvements over time will continually improve the speed and comprehension of learning

The speed of learning will increase tenfold, and it is possible that the equivalent of our current K-12 education system will be compressed into as little as one year’s worth of learning.

In the future, we predict students entering the workforce will be ten times smarter than they are today."

The discussion of folksonomies and education units being available in itunes format was especially interesting to me. Just last night at a Mom's Night Out for our homeschool support group we were discussing how you can take courses like MIT's open courses for free and how I predict soon we will see live tutors for individual subjects, questions, hours, etc that people can pay to help with certain areas. Subject matter experts for education, much like the business world has them now.

Anyway it is interesting to read and think about.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you. You are right. The article is well worth reading.