thoughts on real change in education

maybe not education, but more of “learning and collaborating”.

moocs get all of the press (this year). they’re massive. they’re online. they’re funded.

but, under the cover, they’re not really all that innovative. they still involve students taking courses from experts, almost always by watching (or maybe reading) lectures. occasionally, by making stuff. but that’s not necessary.

the biggest issues with moocs appear to involve how to integrate them into the existing structures - how do people get credit for them? who pays for them? who controls the content of the courses? what is the role of institutions? etc… blah blah blah. boring.

these are just implementation details. exercises in titanic deck-chair rearrangement.

what if the real change that’s needed is so simple that it’s just not seen by the vulture capitalists? what if it’s not a product or a service or a new framework for selling products or services?

the real change is also nothing new. it’s just a shift to emphasize people sharing the stuff they care about. a shift toward internal motivation for learning - I learn something because I want to, not because I’ll get a gold star from teacher. I do stuff because I’m good at it, and/or because it needs to be done. etc…

but this is so fundamentally simple that the gates foundation rupert murdoch ted talk crowds aren’t going to care about it. malcolm gadfly isn’t about to write a pithy and buzzword laden article/book/movie script on the intuitively obvious. this isn’t anything that will Save Education™ - it’s just people. doing what people do.

so do that.

turn on. tune in. drop out. (or whatever variant of that floats your goat.)

and then share the stuff you care about. and make stuff together.

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