Thursday, November 15, 2012

Industrial Era Education in an Information Age

It is a frustrating time to be a technologist and a parent.... watching the train wreck that is our educational system.  Our educational system was developed over 100 years ago, on an assembly line model, designed as a student sorter, and instilling industrial era skills into information era future students.  We are training children in skills that are already obsolete. And we are teaching our children with teachers who continue to refuse to use and teach information technology.  We are spending years educating students that are already being left behind the day that they graduate by the employment market.

Technologist Alex Howard recently interviewed MIT research professor Andrew McAfee about the future of employment and education.

Dont think all this is true?  Go back and watch Watson pummel his opponents in the Jeopardy competition.  Consider that driverless cars are just on the horizon, and the tremendous number of jobs that will be displaced in 10 years when this is mainstream.  Think about how information brokers like travel agents, recommendation companies, news media, and encyclopedias have had their business models utterly disrupted. 

While employment markets have transformed before, humans have always had one thing that could not be replicated: their brains.  That's not nearly as unique as it use to be.  Is this a crisis?  Employment markets have indeed transformed before.  But it is time to seriously reconsider what and how we are educating our youth.

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