Re-imagining Education

Sugata Mitra, in this absolutely endearing TED talk, speaks about how the rise of the internet and cloud computing should compel us to re-imagine education ... a system he claims isn't broken, per se, just built for another world and another time.

His stories of how children in the slums of India, left unaided with a computer stuck in a wall, began a self directed journey of learning, is an example of why we might consider a different paradigm for education. No longer just top down, but bottom up.

Another great example of this sort of thinking comes from Salman Khan (founder of the Khan Academy). Millions of kids around the world now turn to the Khan Academy's on-line educational videos and multi-media activities to grasp some of the more complex elements of math and science. Why? Because Khan's approach not only makes the topics approachable, amusing and engaging, it enables kids to learn at their own pace.

Watch and find out why one kid said, "this was the first time I smiled doing a derivative". 

Education, done well, can be captivating.  

As Sir Ken Robinson so aptly put it in his TED talk on education:

I think we have to change metaphors. We have to go from what is essentially an industrial model of education, a manufacturing model, which is based on linearity and conformity and batching people. We have to move to a model that is based more on principles of agriculture. We have to recognize that human flourishing is not a mechanical process; it’s an organic process. And you cannot predict the outcome of human development. All you can do, like a farmer, is create the conditions under which they will begin to flourish.

If you are interested in the topic of education, TED has pulled together a list of some of their favourites in a post on their blog.