"The problem that exists is how does one measure and compare the level of knowledge." -- This really isn’t a problem. It is more of a construct that we have invented to justify pedagogical strategies. We have devices that monitor our every activity and we can look and see what we did and how long we did it. And in the near future they will be motoring our efficieny and performance at work (optionally of course... but if you wear one you can qualify for a $10K annual bonus! That will be awarded to the most productive employee). A CV is all about keeping an account of measurable outcomes. Your list of technology is your Knowledge. A list!! I have no idea what you really know. The reality is that our current models are useless and systems we currently use falls way short from doing it effectively.
Now take 15 minutes break and see what medicine technology is doing . Why could we not use this kind of ingenuity in Education? The fact is we will. These are all measuring thing far better then the 200+ year old technology that is just now getting replaced -- the stethoscope. The paperback book, paper, pencils and pens, the stupid multiple choice test (and all tests in general), the age specific classroom and the sage on the stage teacher ALL need to be replaced and be made obsolete. And they will be within the next 10-20 years. We fight change and "The day before something is truly a breakthrough it's a crazy idea" - Peter Diamantis . Founder of XPrize. My idea I am sure sound crazy to you... but I am 100% right and time will prove it. We need to move away from the post industrial "Sputnik" derived education system and move towards one that focuses purely on the joy of learning. EEG technology that currently exists (e.g. emotiv.com) can do a far better job at determining whether a student is getting it, struggling with it or thinking about his girlfriend than ANY current knowledge measure. Our opportunity is to be proactive and not throw up silly obstacles like we love to do. Some opportunities are:
1. We need to turn EVERY high school and college in America into a place what nurtures and cultivates entrepreneurial (see my idea Foundups.com). Entrepreneurialism is really the one thing that separates America from everyone else in the world. We need to cultivate it as early as we can and develop the next solutions that will fix China's and India's problems and have them spending pennies for the app that will be bigger in scope than Facebook and Google combined.
2. We need to establish a $100m eSingularity Prize for the development of autonomous learning software that can run on any smart device (iPhone, Android, Symbian, Linux,) or be able to turn such things as OLPC into one. These devices today are capable of running the software. We have done the hardest parts: we have the hardware, we have the connectivity, we have the talent and the capability to write the software and we are for medicine and DARPA
Returning to your points... to "measure" knowledge is really a silly idea. Let's look at my 3 year old... do I spend my time measuring his knowledge or do I spend my time teaching him to do things and does he spend one moment thinking about what he knows or does he spend his time playing and discovering knew and exciting abilities? If I have software that monitors me as I program and stores every action as I do it and suggests back to me how I could improve, wouldn't that be a far better measure of knowledge? The reality is we can write such an application now. We are doing it for medicine because their is money in it for doing it... So the solution is to establish the Autonomous Institute, raise the money and start developing free and autonomous software that can improve this knowledge measurement.
"As we move to self-learning/acquisition devices, we focus on the individual's skills." -- IMP this is further from the truth... all current education individual centric... I have to take the test, I have right my own paper, I have to take my own notes etc... Again the opportunity is there... IMO MMORPG is putting the cart in-front of the horse and until we have the autonomous software engine that I refer too, they are a complete waste of time and energy. I wrote a piece quite a while ago about it a year ago... Again look how a 3 year old learns, it is all about him competing with himself and interacting with others. I have been testing the iPhone and other technologies like smart.fm in education for the last 5 years as a teacher in Japan. Their is a massive opportunity to super-change learning with smartphones and the ability to radically transform global learning and education with autonomous learning solutions (ALS).
You are right in the pre-technology disruptive age, that is ending as we speak, "who ever has the gold rights the rules." The problem lies in that technology change is happening at such a speed that those with the gold will be forces to let loose of the reins. We vote with our actions and as we have seen more and more parents are opting for home schooling and even though your local school board and teachers unions will fight with all their might to oppose ALS they will fail in the end. You see in most of our West educational paradigm we fail to recognize that what we see as a problem in education is a crisis everywhere else. India has a 50% illiteracy rate! Parts of it 80-90% but if you look at the UN statistics on global illiteracy levels are are fooled thinking "Wow, we nearly got his beat." India and China will want EVERY India family to have a smart device and some groups like Airtel (india's largest Telecom) or China Mobile with its $500m subscribers will within 10 year GIVE start devices away. Why, so folks will do their banking and shopping with them and they will want the financial transactions fees that goes with it. Free ALS will JUST become a way to get people to get the phones. And promised of education, one of the strongest driving forces, will have them signing up in the 10s of millions.
In conclusion, our short lived western gold age has concluded. The dragon has awoken and her desire is for ALL her people to be freely educated. The control and grip the Western Education complex has had is waining and is coming to an end... 3000 years is pretty good run. A new era of learning is upon us and eSingularity is knocking...
Thanks for taking the time to add your comments. I enjoyed reading them. I'm sorry for the typo's fragment and other errors... but ultimately my great challenge with dyslexia is probably why I'm here and you are there covering this very important topic at the World Future Society ;)…
MP3 Audio: http://audio.edtechlive.com/foe/liberatinglearning.mp3
Chat Log: http://audio.edtechlive.com/foe/liberatinglearning.rtf
Date: Thursday, July 16th, 2009
Time: 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern / 12am GMT (next day) (international times here)
Length: 1 hour
Location: In Elluminate. Log in at http://tinyurl.com/futureofed. The Elluminate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early. To make sure that your computer is configured for Elluminate, please visit http://www.elluminate.com/support. Recordings of the session will be posted within a day of the event.
Join us as we talk with Terry M. Moe and John E. Chubb, the authors of Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future of American Education.
Overview (from book jacket):
"Technology has transformed all aspects of our everyday lives. From online banking to social networking, we communicate, connect, and consume in ways radically different from the past. Yet, the average classroom is not that different from the classroom of fifty years ago."
What's wrong with this picture? Terry M. Moe and John E. Chubb, two thought leaders on education reform, tell a dramatic story about the pitched battle to bring about real change and improvement to America's schools—a battle that pits the innovative forces of technology against the entrenched interests that powerfully protect the educational status quo.
The timing could not be more critical, as the United States struggles to keep pace with a world economy that places a growing premium on education. Right now, technology has a tremendous capacity to promote learning—for all students, regardless of background or neighborhood—by opening up a dazzling array of new opportunities that can literally customize education to the needs, schedules, styles, and interests of each student. But it is being blocked in the political process.
Controversial and compelling, Liberating Learning maps out a dynamic vision of the nation's educational future, showing how the ideas and innovations of technology will ultimately transform the public schools to the great benefit of the nation and its children—and how learning will be liberated from the special interests, and from the dead hand of the past.
Terry M. Moe is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a member of the Institution's Koret Task Force on K–12 education, and the William Bennett Munro Professor of political science at Stanford University.
He is an expert on educational policy, U.S. political institutions, and organization theory. His current research projects are concerned with school choice, public bureaucracy, and the presidency. Moe has written extensively on educational issues. His book (with John E. Chubb), Politics, Markets, and America's Schools, is among the most influential and controversial works on education to be published during the last decade, and has been a major force in the movement for school choice in America and abroad. He is also the author of Schools, Vouchers, and the American Public, the first detailed analysis of public opinion on the voucher issue. In addition, he is editor of A Primer on America's Schools (Hoover Press, 2001), which provides a critical assessment of the current state of American education, and Private Vouchers (Hoover Press, 1995), the first book to be published on the growing movement among private-sector foundations to provide vouchers for low-income children.
More generally, Moe has written extensively on public bureaucracy and the presidency, and he is a leading figure in both fields. His influential articles on bureaucracy include "The New Economics of Organization," "The Politics of Bureaucratic Structure," "Political Institutions: The Neglected Side of the Story," and "The Institutional Foundations of Democratic Government: A Comparison of Presidential and Parliamentary Systems." Among his articles on the presidency are "The Politicized Presidency," "Presidents, Institutions, and Theory," and "The President and the Bureaucracy: The Presidential Advantage." In 2005, Moe received the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation Prize for Excellence in Education. In addition to his positions at Stanford and Hoover, Moe has served as a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington D.C.
John E. Chubb is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education . He is also chief development officer and cofounder of EdisonLearning, a company that for nearly twenty years has partnered with public school districts and charter school boards nationwide to provide innovative schools and education programs, with a focus on disadvantaged students. He has previously served as a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and faculty member at Stanford University. He has also served as an adviser, consultant, and speaker for the White House and for many state governments, public and private school systems, and nonprofit organizations. Chubb is the author of several books, including Liberating Learning and Politics, Markets, and America's Schools, both coauthored with Hoover Institution senior fellow and fellow K–12 Education Task Force member Terry M. Moe; andLearning From No Child Left Behind as well as Within Our Reach: How America Can Educate Every Child, an assessment by the Koret Task Force. Politics, Markets, and America’s Schools is an analysis of 500 public and private high schools based on data gathered from more than 20,000 students, teachers, and principals. It argues for the introduction of free market principals to the American education system. Articles written by Chubb have appeared in the Brookings Review, American Political Science Review, Public Interest, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, and other publications. Chubb coedited Can the Government Govern? with Hoover Institution distinguished visiting fellow and fellow K–12 Education Task Force member Paul E. Peterson. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and an A.B. summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis, both in political science.…