What might Education for the Present look like, and how might we best support its proliferation in classrooms?
The first step in turning Education into the present is to use technology effectively. It is possible to track the progress of every child, using effective performance rubrics and know who needs to be targeted with what services, and these technologies aren’t even expensive. Instead of using standardized tests, students could have individualized education plans, which includes shared experiences and personal ownership of the material students are learning. Rather than trying to drive every student through the exact same curriculum, students could specialize earlier in their school career and have more choice about what content they want to learn.
What kinds of designed spaces support collective intelligence and how might these be thought of as properly educational?
Students need to be in contact with other people on a regular basis, like all human beings, so the regular school house is not going to be abandoned. However much more space needs to be included in these schools for students to do independent work. The school of the future may end up looking more like the progressive offices of the present. The design of Google’s offices for their programmers are innovative and interesting, and although they may not exactly look like what you would expect a school to look like, a lot of the features of their work space are useful for education.
What are the main challenges and risks to integration of collective intelligence tools into schools?
The biggest problem facing education right now is that the people in charge are totally unaware of the damage they cause with their ignorance and suspicion of technology. Without a willingness to experiment and find alternate modes of education, which current political will lacks, education is likely to falter.
What assumptions about learning do we need to give up if we loosen up our understandings of authorship and originality.
Remix culture is huge now, but copyright law has not caught up. Copyright law, in its essence is designed to protect intellectual property by allowing a creator of an idea to profit from their idea. Unfortunately the speed of innovation is greatly slowed down when people cannot collaborate effectively because of copyright concerns. This suggests to me that we need to change the mode of copyright so that collaboration is encouraged, but attribution is secure. The new mode of making money from your ideas will be to offer support, and to create innovative products for your ideas and maximize user interest in your product with creative marketing.
What are the silo structures in the world of education?
To me a Silo structure is a major supporting structure for education. The most important support structure we have in Canada is our provincially funded public schools. This allows all schools to operate at the same level of effectiveness, and is a serious problem with funding elsewhere in the world where municipalities are still funding education.