I have a son who will be four months old on Cinco de Mayo, and his mother and I have extremely strong opinions on education.
For my part, I was home schooled briefly, and it engendered a mentality of unrelenting research on anything you can think of. I’m a wellspring of unconnected trivia.
For her part, she simply doesn’t seem to agree with the efficiency or ability of modern public education, which is understandable, especially given the circumstances. In particular, her mother is a teacher, and so the problems of the trade are apparent in daily life.
Combine those two things, and we got into a conversation about education. I immediately went to my love of building code as an answer. I wanted to build a software suite that could teach my son, so we wouldn’t have to cross our fingers and hope local districts got it right.
It was a pretty killer idea, actually – the premise was a learning tool that could be skinned to appeal to your child’s interests. I even talked with some folks about it. But what I found out about is far better, insanely great stuff.
Here’s what I forgot: the internet is ridiculously wonderful as a research tool, a modern-day Library of Alexandria. It’s more tremendous now than it ever was when I had to use Webcrawler via AOL to learn.
Follow those last two links, if nothing else. I really absolutely mean this.
Think about how incredible this is. This is the future of knowledge and learning. If I had anything remotely like this as a child, who knows where I’d be today? Hell, now that I know about it, where will I be able to go?
I thought I was going to have to give up the ghost on math past basic algebra.
What does this signify for education, in general? The ability to take the passive role of education and replace it with the truer learning experience of actually doing, and collaboration, is tremendous.
We need to embrace and protect stuff like this this, right now. This is the future of our species. Imagine it’s a video game, and we just got access to a new tier of sweet tech upgrades.