"Whenever you're ready to learn something new…

…education (via web 2.0 apps) will be there, freely accesible to all learners. And via ipod-based lectures, discussions, workshops, and other programming students customize their learning.

With all sorts of metrics, educators can assure themselves that a 2.0 student’s curricular content is sound and meaningful. Apple’s iTunes U is organizing it delivers a customized education to each and every learner. What potential for more democracy in public education!
No child, in fact no thinking human with ears need, be left behind on this education wave.

But conservative administrators who try to maintain the status quo in their districts might see giving students the freedom to use ipods with iTunes U as reckless. The new model trusts the learner much more.

The traditional school model is based on group conformity, and giving kids educational choices works directly against what has been called “public education” in the USA. And look at the possible economic ramifications of the new schooling: sectors of the economy that rely on K-12 schools remaining as they are, teachers unions, and educational publishing companies could be severely affected–might even be eliminated–after web 2.0 apps become more prominent in schools.

More reasons for sticky wiki adaptation.

Where, how often, and in what capacity will teachers, support staff, and administrators continue to work in the increasingly virtual future of education? It is possible that the best education will soon be avaiable at iTunes Ufor free. The education it provides happens outside the home, and nowhere near the old schoolhouse. Learning is about to leave the building.

What changes will the next two decades bring to k-12 learning? How will time-tested methods of peer review and large group discussion be translatable to the hundreds of thousands of possible peers in a virtual learning experience?

Let these virtual learning media be subjected to the same rigorous testing that educationalists bring to bear on schools in the post NCLB USA.

Won’t you converse with me, internet reader? Tell me how you see education evolving in the next twenty years or so, and how we might best adapt ourselves to its new features.

3 responses to “"Whenever you're ready to learn something new…”

  1. Well, I certainly hope technology will force the move from traditional teaching to facilitating. As I watch new teachers enter the schools doing the same old thing though, I become discouraged.I keep trying to raise the point at our school, that if we don’t shift what we are doing, we simply will not be in our students’ world and become increasingly irrelevant.I do not, however, believe that schools will disappear if for no other reason because of the day care they provide. Think of the economic upheaval that would occur if they disappeared. I have a brief blog post about that:http://openedweb.com/blog/2008/07/14/physical-schools-technology-and-childcare/How can we apply NCLB “rigor” if we are customizing education?


  2. Thank you, Steve, for your response.It exposes a huge blind side in my thinking about 2.0 schools–the non-academic side, the practical, child-care side. I forget about k-8 sometimes!Your NCLB rigor question is excellent–how can the functions of the new educational forms be measured? Well certainly not by the same standards, but with the same rigor curve.One thing Arne Duncan could do to kick this off would be to offer up a new, national standard, a replacement for the rigor that NCLB imposes. The new standard would be informed by 21 c. literacies and open-sourced education.


  3. Both you and Christy Tucker make a distinction between k-8 and HS students. Fair enough in many regards, but do you think that society is going to be okay with the idea of all our 14-18 year olds being unsupervised? I just passed this notion by a parent of a 17 year old son. Her jaw dropped and she exclaimed, “Are they crazy?” Again, we are back to physical schools.


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