January 23rd, 2011
Educational systems in America need to be replaced by personalized education using social tech with a variety of physical meetup-style groups in which kids mix with other “specialists” AND “the Other”. Every educator needs to read Margaret Mead, Franz Boas and Marshall Rosenberg for innovative ideas in overcoming the detrimental effects of passe social mores. Cultural Relativism is eclipsing Ethnocentrism in a multi-cultural, pluralistic, transmodern, socially-networked world.
The education system of the 20th century is built around institutions: schools, colleges, academies and universities. Naturally, many companies are aiming to recreate a degree-issuing institution. In this scenario, a startup has the highest level of control and the highest earnings per student. Online-based institutions have started from several niches (education for children with disabilities, advanced placement programs, test preparation) and are approaching mainstream education.
We’ve now seen the first online high schools (Keystone School), colleges (University of Phoenix, Kaplan University, The Open University, University of the People), certification programs (Alison.com), enterprise training programs (GlobalEnglish.com), art schools (AudioVisualAcademy.com) and test preparation programs (Top Test Prep, GrockIt, Knewton, RevolutionPrep, TutorJam, BrightStorm).
At the same time, brick-and-mortar institutions launch experimental online programs. iQAcademy helps high-schools to offer online classes, and 2tor and Altius Education do that for universities. Finally, there are innovative offline programs like YCombinator, Singularity University and Tetuan Valley.
Although there’s been much talk that the future of education will be online, the Florida Virtual School (FLVS), the country’s first state-wide Internet-based public high school, is actually over a decade old. So for the 97,000 students who took classes via FLVS during the past school year, that future of online education is here now.
FLVS doesn’t grant any degrees or diplomas, but it does offer more than 125 accredited courses, including the core subjects, honors classes, world languages, electives, and 14 Advanced Placement courses. There are no textbooks; all the material is online, and the instruction happens via the Web, email and phone.
FROM COGNITIVE POLICY WORKS: The Death of Self-Interest Fundamentalism
Self-interest fundamentalism was the economic religion of the 20th Century. We are now in the midst of an economic reformation on par with the Enlightenment as we enter the new millennium.