NextGen Education's Public Articles

Impediments to Progress (3/3)

December 11, 2017

“The future has a way of arriving unannounced.”~ George Will As we mentioned in our last article, self-paced flexible model for instruction is eminently possible with today’s internet technology. In fact, schools such as FLVS and private companies such as lynda, have shown the viability of this approach. However, the vast majority of the educational establishment have not changed, but rather are offering a less flexible model at a higher price. What are the impediments to progress?The reasons are many, but the fundamental issue has been the teacher as craftsman model which is the religion in this marketplace. With this model, the issues manifest themselves in two major ways... incentives and local decision making.Teachers, like all human beings, are resistant to change. For most veteran teachers, the incremental cost of teaching a class the same way next year is fairly low. However, teaching the class in a new manner is a large incremental cost. Thus, there is no incentive...

Teaching the Student instead of the Subject (2/3)

December 11, 2017

“In kindergarten, we teach the child, while in high school, they teach the subject,” Julie Young, founder of the Florida virtual school. In our first article, we explored the economic underpinnings of the current educational system, and concluded that it was built on the fundamental premise that there is scarcity relative to the instructor/classroom. Now we consider the circumstance where the real cost of access to instruction and classroom can be dramatically reduced!The amazing fact is that with the advent of the technology both of these fundamental premises can be radically improved through the use of the internet and software technology. How? Instruction: Instruction with assessment can be captured in machine readable/executable form and delivered in a scalable manner.Classroom: The classroom can be moved from the physical to the virtual. The implications of this shift are profound because now the model can be moved from one with a focus on the instructor/school to a model...

Sir Ken Robinson was right, schools do kill creativity, but actually he missed the point. (1/3)

December 7, 2017

In his famous Ted Talk, Sir Ken Robinson indited the current school system with the provocative title “Do schools kill creativity?” In a very entertaining manner, he outlined the failings of the current system especially in terms of the creative arts. His thesis was that the current system was set up to service the industrial age, and just will not be sufficient for the information age. He offered no practical solution for how to effect this change in a scalable manner. Chart1: Scarcity and the current educational system Sir Ken Robinson was certainly right about the symptoms, but one wonders if he missed the core cause of these symptoms. Our assessment is that the core cause are the economic underpinnings of the current system. In a series of articles, we will outline The economic underpinnings for the current system and impact on the student.The outlines for a solution to make progress.The significant structural issues to reforming the current system.Initial steps one could...