Why do we stick with the technology of two hundred years ago in education? Back then, our cutting edge technologies were the printing press manufacturing expensive textbooks and other human beings repeating themselves over and over again to small groups of students.
Why do we still have millions of teachers and billions upon billions of dollars in textbooks and other physical infrastructure?
I suggest we try a new idea.
My idea is that there should be an online education platform for teaching that has teachers create and submit the very best lessons for each small topic they can. For example, each student might attend four lessons per day, and each of these lessons would receive thousands of submissions from teachers trying to create the very best one. You could use a sitting algorithm based on quiz results to identify the best lessons. Teachers would be paid for each time their lessons were used, so they would have enormous incentive to build amazing lessons. Once a lesson has been recorded once by the very best teacher for that topic in the very best way, it could be reused millions of times into the future.
Imagine being a third grader in ten years under this system. Every single lesson you have each day would be a world class lesson. Imagine how much faster you would learn and how much better your education would stick with you.
The best part of this system is that poor, inner city, underprivileged kids would get the same world class education that the richest kids received.
Perhaps there are some kids who can’t learn on computers (though if you look at video game statistics that percentage is probably far smaller than teachers unions would like you to think). For those kids – maybe 5 or 10%, we could keep traditional schools and universities open. Otherwise, we could allow kids to learn from anywhere for free… all the way from kindergarten through doctoral degrees.
We could even allow for kids of different learning styles to get different lessons specially tailored to that learning style. Kids could watch videos, play interactive learning games, read materials, look at pictures, or use a wide variety of other learning mediums.
Kids could pace the work however they wished. Smart advanced kids could rocket through and learn calculus in sixth grade. Kids who struggle could keep taking basic lessons until they really understood the subject. Smart kids would not be bored and slow kids would not be left behind.
Kids could go on vacation and continue their learning from Hawaii or India or Europe. Poor kids in Thailand could receive the same amazing education as the son of a New York billionaire.
The best teachers could really focus on perfecting just one lesson and could become millionaires just by being the very best at teaching one days class.
Learning would be far more efficient and kids would be free to pursue other things with the time they saved.
What do you think?