Scrappy #Education Startups Can Smash the Republic of No

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This is is to give you an idea how the new MIT...Image via WikipediaWhen people rush in to make money with a good education idea, they smash against the wall of bureacracy that prohibits such success. The education bureaucracy operates in a system of control. It's a closed system that purports to teach our children abuot the world "out there," without letting them really experience the world "out there." I guess because they are children?

It's rough going for anyone who is a teacher, or who wants to use their skills to help others learn how to adopt 21st Century workplace skills. Sometimes companies to  not cooperate and they shut down services that teachers find useful to teach computer science, like Android App Inventor. Disruptions like that suck for kids who start to cut their teeth on a programming language and then can't follow up, since it's not in the vision or the iteration goals of the company (however, as TechCrunch reports, they are moving App Inventor over to MIT Media Labs, so maybe this hiccup was just a hiccup).

Let's answer the question, what could we be doing to introduce students in K12 to the workplace they will need to work in when they are older?

I think we can start by introducing them to the same tools that their future employers are already using. Here is a list of some of the scrappy new upstart companies being developed on the web:

Kibin -- crowdsourced editing. You sign up to be an editor, earn a reputation as someone who is really good at editing, and who knows? Maybe you end up getting a job offer to edit someone's company work, their biography or their job literature.

BugTracker -- you put together a web project, this will help you track the bugs. I put this up there because this seems so much simpler to use than to train people on how to find bugs. Eliminate that future job, and show people another way to work, and then you don't have to spend so much time and money preparing students for a job they will never have to perform.

Welcu -- show students how to put together a high-end exclusive event.

Zerply -- organize your interactions with people around what it is they love to do. This may make Career Day even more exciting.

And full circle back to Google. Someone has an app that helps you write and code apps and get them on Google's server, easily. It's called CoderBuddy. Seems that the apps, the mobile devices, the internet and all the stuff you can do online is all about education.

We know that it is unlikely teachers and schools will ever trust students to truly be mobile with education, since most of school is really learning about how to be controlled in a controlled environment. But consider this: many of the devices that students use have GPS in them, and even their gaming systems are being introduced to Foursquare. If we can guarantee that someone, somewhere else, knows something more than what we know, then we could use these devices to find them, and have instantaneous lessons, on-site, about anything our heart desires.

That's cool real time education. Learning is always going to be "out there," in the world. We have the devices and the entrepreneurs who can finally help us get "out there."
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J@son Goodm@n said...

Great post. Your commentary about "hitting a wall" is exactly why I ventured into the toy industry after 7 years working and researching in the field of educational psychology. Problem is - there's lots of walls everywhere - not just in Education. I believe now that innovations in any vertical require entrepreneurs who simply make things happen. Institutions will come around and adopt once they 'have to' - not often because they can or should.

Douglas Crets said...

Thanks for your comment, Jason. I would like to hear more about your journey.

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