They Can All Be Geniuses
Here’s the problem; Joey in New York goes to school under New York standards that make Joey in the top 10% of students nationally. Mike in Mississippi goes to school with locally mandated standards , also modified by “No Child Left Behind”, but is in the lowest 10% of students nationally. Both are educated under a national standard for some aspects of their education, but markedly different standards based on local politics, unions and other forces.
Why worry at all? Because the U.S. is being surpassed rapidly by educational achievement of students in other countries, even countries whose education systems were minimal as recently as a generation ago. We import hundreds of thousands of talented engineers, scientists, technicians, researchers, managers and others because the U.S. can’t and hasn’t developed enough of our own people to fill the demand.
There’s a new education model coming, one based on standards that are formulated for achieving American, free-market needs, and a global economy. High, measurable standards in the Sciences, in Reading Comprehension, in Thinking and Reasoning ability, in the Humanities, in Philosophy, and all the other knowledge and thinking processes of a Millennium Learner.
It can and should be universal in application; complete in practice. Teachers and others who fight these necessary standards are on the wrong end of the sword; they will be, must be, replaced with educators who revel in exceeding any standard, who would like nothing more than having their entire class be one hundred percent college graduates; better still achieve Graduate and PhD degrees, or, students who have been helped to feel success with skill sets that prepare them for the rigors of a service economy. Machinists need more and better education outside the mechanical skill set; so do millwrights, so do medical techs, and more and more. And, learning is not just one goal, one process; a High School diploma, a B.A., an M.A., it is a lifelong process of learning, and the technology tools to do that are more available every day.
The pace of change in the world is astounding. Sometimes it feels like “the fasterest I go, the more behindest I get (B’rer Rabbit?).”
Technology-based education, even based on Cloud Computer-based-education-at -home (Cloud just refers to a dedicated set of software applications operating on dedicated servers, either remotely, by an enterprise organized for that purpose, or locally by an education system; it doesn’t matter because in technology-speak they are “right next door”) is a definite evolution. Up to fifty percent of households. maybe more, will have a Cloud Commuting-work-at-home parent in the next generation. The efficiency of the economies of scale of “enterprise learning systems” cannot be denied.
Today’s standards become meaningless; most children will achieve at levels far beyond any envisioned standards. How? Because the great demeaner of learning is today’s lowest level, “one size fits all” education system. Tech-based education can’t and won’t hold back most children, whose Curiosity Quotient (CQ), drives their IQ, and their achievement to levels such that many could graduate college at age 16, with graduate degrees at 18 or 19, PhDs at 22 or 23. The problem will be in a continuous process of redefining standards and achievement, because many will do so much better, so fast.
Computer-driven, Artificial Intelligence Assisted, Interactive education (software-based learning), advances a pupil based on their achievement and comprehension individually, not as a group weighted by an anchor of “get them to the minimum” in which half the students (or less) exceed a “circumstantially flexible” Median, and half (or more) don’t reach even that mediocre level.
When expectations (standards) are low, so are the results.
Social and educational naysayers notwithstanding, technology-based education removes much of the human, policy and politics-based impediments to our learners. We all have the ability to learn, it’s a survival characteristic, built into our genes. Some learn at slower rates than others, but technology-based education enables even the slowest to move much faster than they have before, AND not hold back those who can advance faster. Only those with special physical requirements are different, and home-based, family assisted, technology-based learning will work for them as well.
Gifted and Talented programs are a way to recognize that current systems don’t provide a process, a methodology for letting the best and brightest advance according to their skills and motivation. At the same time. technology-based learning provides a method for those who learn slower, or are challenged, to do better, get more attention from family-assisted mentoring, and system-based educators/coaches/mentors. Technology-based learning allows the Gifted to move as fast as their knowledge-acquisition and motivation allows; similarly, the very patience of the Computer-assisted education assists the slower learners by its willingness to be consistent.
In circumstances where educators play a vital role in “mentoring” slower students, with much more effectiveness because they have more time, technology-based learning doesn’t make others wait to catch up. The collaborative part of learning technology also means that companion students may help slower students through the interactive process, much as they actually do now in the classroom setting. Classrooms become redefined by the collaborative process of Cloud-based learning systems.
Which brings up the next part; educators need a new process framework. One in which they learn to mentor and coach students to think, to rationalize, to organize, to plan; to apply their increased knowledge levels to problem solving, to life, to society. Computers and Programmed Leaning take over the drudge of imparting facts, the rote-ness of the Basics. Educators now have the time to evaluate progress of each student, access that student individually from their oversight position, and counsel, reinforce, and motivate.
If education really means learning, and education of today is teacher-based, then learning of tomorrow is learner (student) based. That’s the way we have to think if we are going to allow and encourage technology to redefine and evolve the process of learning.
These are the real Educational Standards we need.
The next generation can all be Geniuses.
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