If you are reading this, you know the power of free, immediate information available to you whenever you wish.
When was the last time that you learned how to do or fix something by watching a YouTube video or seeking advice an online discussion group?
EdX, Coursera, Khan Academy, Open Culture and Creative Live are offering courses and great learning free, every day.
Suddenly, every computer terminal has become a school open to anyone for free, 24 hours a day. At this school you choose your faculty.
You can learn from a professor at Harvard, a motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, a mechanic or a 12 year-old.
In an era where we are threatened by global warming and nuclear weapons, this global learning and enlightenment is our most important tool.
It creates a conversation of information, discovery and empowerment which is at once global and hyper-local.
Will the idea from MIT spur a better practice in Bangladesh, or will the idea and practice at Bangladesh create a better practice and ideas at MIT? Will an invention from India help purify water in China and heat homes in Finland? Will an online discussion between American and Syrian students deepen understandings?
Enabling individuals to gain skills and insights to help them improve their lives, families and communities has never been easier or cheaper.
So why is it that our school children are still reading old books and repeating facts and figures to satisfy a curriculum? Why aren’t they using this fountain of online learning to build skills and understandings that satisfy their curiosity and create positive changes in their lives and communities?
We have created our schools upside down, as factories for test scores instead of laboratories for real and relevant learning.
When was the last time a school asked its students or even it’s community what students should learn or create?
How often has the learning and work of the students improved the health and success of their community?
We have a chance to connect our students to the world of information and to use this knowledge to benefit themselves and their community.
Let’s connect our students and our schools to their world.