A Shift in Education
With the birth of my daughter right around the corner, I have been thinking a lot about her education. And, I am very much in the favor of a home school education. Well.. that's not completely accurate. I am very much in favor of an internet based education. The location of the delivery is still in the air.
In my own experience, I have witnessed the meaning of a college degree in today's economy. There is a certain prestige of having an expensive piece of paper that you've earned through hardwork and perseverence. But, more and more, I am seeing the "success" market (as opposed to the "job" market) seeking out individuals who have achieved rather than simply learned. With the constantly maturing internet economy, I think there is an inevitable shift pending in education. In fact, I think the shift is in mid swing. Technology and the internet has revolutionized so much already in many aspects of business. Elements of education have already shifted from text book education to video education, to the inevitable computerized learning systems.
The entertainment systems of the world have ben extremely sucessful over the years. Entertainers have studied the human psycology of... well.... entertainment; how to captivate, how to amuse, and how to motivate.... etc. And, entertainment has been a valuable tool to communicate various messages, ideas, and dispositions very effectively. It is high time that main stream educators utilized the currently available technologies, and strategies available, including entertainment, to educate our children.
The Khan Academy
A good introduction to the Khan Academy can be found in Salman Khan's TED Talk. The main element of the Khan Academy that impresses me is their linear lesson system. This is a system that allows the student to progress at their own rate. If you browse to ~7:50 of Khan's Talk he elaborates on the point. (go ahead, I'll wait).
So, my proposal for the world, should you choose to accept it is, why not use the Khan Academy system now? OR, create something like it? It will get better over time. Make a Wiki sort of system out of it. Let people contribute. As proven with Wikipedia, people will show up.