Monday, 9 March 2009

A response to 'Hacking education (continued)'

I highlighted the Union Square Ventures 'Hacking Education' event in a couple of previous posts here and here.

The event happened recently generated a lot of ideas. (Ken Robinson, who's TED talk I've mentioned before was one of the many attendees)

Fred Wilson has a summary of the key themes of the day here.

My initial thoughts are that current trends in both technology and more importantly society suggest that many of these ideas will become closer to reality quicker than seems possible.

However, we must be careful not to extrapolate too far. A couple of initial thoughts spring to mind around the need to differentiate between education for older students and younger children.

I would guess that a large part of the VC interest in education surrounds the potential to expand the market beyond the traditional school/university model and encourage continual learning/skill development (with the extra revenue potential that this may bring).

People are using technology to communicate and share information in new ways. Many of these will find their way into the education system and this process will bring huge opportunities and transform the ways in which people learn (and are taught - or more importantly, teach themselves).

However I believe that students' ability to take full advantage of these opportunities will depend on them having a solid foundation, laid by caring and attentive teachers. As BF Skinner said:

"Education is what survives when what has been learned is forgotten"

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