Monday, December 31, 2007

Does Education Use the Internet Advantage As It Should?

As reported in the Washington Post today, The internet is the essential tool required for modern education and an advantage in preparing our present and future talent pool. The full article can be found here: Internet Access Is Only Prerequisite For More and More College Classes

As well, Trevor Macausland has offered an opinion piece on a required shift in how we look at education in New Brunswick as follows:

Is New Brunswick ready to shift towards an education system that accommodates a 21st century economy? That's what columnist Dave Barnett asks in his bi-weekly column in the Times and Transcript, Take creative approach to self-sufficiency. I have to admit that I have been a big proponent about adding another school to the Moncton North riding due to overcrowding. Many co-workers and neighbors share their concern about their child's learning environment due because Evergreen was not built to support to level of growth this area has seen in the last 5 years. You could say this is a very close issue for me since I live a stone throw away from Evergreen school and have supported MLA John Betts in his pursuit to have a new school built in the community. For the record, I do believe a new school is still needed in this region.

However, Mr. Barnett's piece has made me re-evaluate the way I see the issue. Many of my neighbors are families that both spouses work in the knowledge sector. Primarily customer contact centers and ICT organizations. I think there is validity in what Dave is saying about transforming our education system to better leverage the infrastructure we have to support the 24/7 digital economy. And as Dave explains in his piece I think the idea makes "Cents".

While I will say that I still support the decision to build another school in the riding to support current crowding and future growth, I would like to hear more from our government, parents and education professionals on the potential to have an education system that supports the 21 st century family.

I admit that I am not an expert in education and I am sure that I will be crucified for suggesting that such an "out-of-the-box" idea should be explored, but do we not owe it to our children and grand-children to create a system that prepares them for the future? Not to mention, free up capital to invest in better educational tools and training for our teachers? I would be interested in hearing on what people think of the idea. I ask you to "think" about your response and provide a feasible explanation as to why you believe this will or will not work.

Before you click on the comment section to add your $0.02 consider this piece from Nine Shift Chapter 14 on Education in the 21st century:
"But clearly education will be modeled after the primary work sector in the 21 st century, just as in previous economic ages where education was modeled after the primary work sector. For this century education in advanced societies will by necessity need to prepare youth for knowledge work, and thus education will be formatted to resemble the knowledge work setting for which it is preparing its student…Buildings are the albatross, the burden, the biggest threat to educational institutions in the 21 st century. The mandate is clear: stop building buildings." (p. 249-252).
"We cannot solve problems with the same thinking that generated the problems" - Albert Einstein

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