Thinking Out of the Box on Education

After listening to both presidential candidates speak on education, I was disappointed by the total absence of any approach towards Internet based continuing education, or using the web as a means of education. But there is no reason to be surprised. Nothing has changed in the past 100 years.

The Internet is literally hours away from becoming the one of the most efficient ways to provide a structured learning environment for students worldwide. The ability is available, with the tools we have today, to provide a free college level education without the need for classrooms, buildings, or time restrictions. But if history repeats itself, this won’t happen.

TV could provide an opportunity for a structured learning for the masses. So could radio. So could books, cd’s, audio tapes, and dvd’s. But, except for a few exceptions, we are not exploiting the educational possibilities of the media.

As I write this, my eight year old son just woke up, gave me a hug, and went right to his computer. I asked him what he was doing, and he said that he was going to play pinball. I asked him to “do a Ted” first. It’s sad; before he discovered computer games, he’d spend his time on the Internet researching Ancient Egypt.

The amazing ability to have interactivity with TV and the Internet has been harnessed to do some very important things, like picking who will be dancing next week, what type of matches wrestlers will have, and who should be kicked off the island. It’s unfortunate that this creativity is used mostly to pacify us, instead to help us grow intellectually.

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