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    Sunday
    Feb202011

    Education Is Overripe For Massive Disruption

    Thirty years ago, I was blown away by viewing a lesson on a VHS tape about how to use some graphics software. I was certain that using videotape would significantly change education. Students would no longer have to drive to a campus, sit in huge lecture halls  and strain to understand an algebra lesson taught by a graduate student for whom English was just barely a third language. It seemed to me that videotapes of algebra—and other lectures—from superb instructors could be produced and sold at Target for $29–$49, freeing universities to focus on what they do best and saving students thousands of dollars.

    It didn't happen.

    In the meantime, education costs have skyrocketed. Many more students and their families need loans to finance their education. Also, the student loan business was given to bankers who, as in housing, created innovative debt schemes. Schemes such as "helping" students with loans that compound daily and that may take a few decades to repay.

    The system is broken. Students are paying more and more for an education that is becoming less and less likely to result in a job. A horrifying description of this rot is described in a current article describing what law students now face. See here.

    Last year, I watched a TV special about a teacher (Mr. Khan) who was putting math courses on YouTube and educating thousands of people around the world. For free. It gave me a feeling of déjà vu: it was like my earlier experience with the VHS tape. Last week, I saw an article about what Khan has accomplished so far. It's astounding. See here.

    After one reads about the Khan Academy and reflects on the dismal state of current brick-and-mortar education, it seems likely that our education establishment is in for a very disruptive, wild ride.  It's way overdue.

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    • Response
      I would attempt to switch my schedule at once. Is there another Algebra II teacher? Perhaps that would be a safe alternative. Or, it's yet possible that another division with the same teacher could be more serious

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