Thursday, 12 February 2009

Where is the money?

The passion is certainly there.

After I posted linking to Ken Robinson's talk on how schools currently kill creativity, I checked the TED talks page.

Ken's speech is the most emailed and the most favourited

But where is the money?

Without funding, the waves of disruption can only go so far.

While great people will work in education for more than just the financial rewards, to really revolutionise teaching, companies and organisations must get involved. Indeed, it is only by changing the current structures of education provision that real disruption will occur

Fortunately, it looks as though funds may looking to invest in innovative new approaches to education.

It's certainly exciting to see that the people behind such internet luminaries as Twitter, Etsy
and Meetup scouting for opportunities within the education space.

However money doesn't always equal success - the first internet boom saw educational ventures raise significant funds, only for some of them to fold during the subsequent bust

What's different this time?

At the risk of inflating yet another bubble - the online experience is very different from the heady days of 1999, both from the providers' and the users' point of view.

Collaboration was in its infancy, user generated content was more of a possibility than a reality, and more than anything, people were not socialising online. During the last tech-boom, the internet was a place where you went to buy cheap goods, rather than a place that you lived your life.

Education has always been about learning more than the curriculum taught in the classroom, and new 'online education' sites offer far more than just a facility for accessing information, they offer a platform for education that is open in the same way that Wikipedia has become such a valuable education tool right the way up to graduate level.

New structures

Ultimately, collaborative sites such as Wikipedia have highlighted that not only do all of us have areas of knowledge, but we are willing to share that knowledge with others if given the opportunity to do so.

If online education is to succeed, then finding ways to integrate the latent desire that people have to share their knowledge into the education system would be a great step forward


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