What’s Wrong With Education?

simpkins_hallPandoDaily, a blog devoted to entreprenuerism on the Internet, turns its journalistic  microscope on online education . The first post in the series, “The promise (and refreshingly low hype) of online education” by editor-in-chief Sarah Lacey points out,
“a lot of the biggest VCs have cautiously picked and chosen winners, making some big bets in this space. Some are on the tool and app side, and some are aimed squarely at solving the big problems.”
“Which big problem? Pick one. High school and elementary school are broken. College is broken. There’s a major distribution problem that the Internet is finally poised to revolutionize, and there are renewed calls to rethink basic vocational training.”
The hype has been anything but “low” for us in the education community.
 The second post, “What’s Wrong With Education?“, cobbles together clips from interviews with well-known Internet entrepreneurs and investors. Here are a few quotes that wrung a bell with me:
Peter Theil (Investor/Co-founder of PayPal): “The amount of money that has been spent on it is really high, the output is really low…. putting less money into it might be a good idea.”
Brian Chesky (Airbnb CEO) : “The way schools are going to work in the future is that they ail be much more remote, and much more in the field. So the lab is going to be labs all over the world. … you’re not limited to your campus. .. Why are schools building buildings? … That seems like a really bad thing to invest in.”
Sophia Amoruso (Nasty Gal CEO) : “There’s like free education all over the Internet. … If I’m worried about something, or think I don’t understand it, there’s a lot of ways to learn about stuff without going out and schmoozing and hoping someone answers your call.”
 Chad Dickerson (Etsy CEO) : “I believe liberal arts education is as important, maybe more important than math and science education. When you’re designing software you need more empathy for the person you’re designing the software for, you need to understand how people think and how they live. Knowing calculus doesn’t help you with that.
I’ll be following this series, you might find it of interest as well.
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About Michael Ritter PhD
Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, science textbook author, educational technology blogger, podcaster, and freelance media consultant.

One Response to What’s Wrong With Education?

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