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+ - What is the near future of education?->

Submitted by
simpl3x writes "Slashdot,

Finally in 2008 I have the energy to go at another company, and to attempt to make a dent in education. I feel that within the next several years, the possibility exists to fundamentally change primary education (K-8). The OLPC, EEE, mobile technologies, and simple market dynamics will make it possible, and necessary, to permanently change the distribution of educational content. My question to the /. community is this. "How do you feel that education and content should and will change over the next decade?

To limit the discussion, and prevent negativity, I'd like to optimistically state that, online tools, collaboration, and content is required. We use computers everyday, sometimes productively, we cannot expect that such tools are optional. Many of us have had less than entertaining educational experiences. We want to make these better within reason. Games, videos, music, messaging, and general communication can be great if used effectively. We want to create tools to use them effectively. No complaining about current methods! Create better ones...

My background is as a designer, developing print and electronic products for most of the major educational publishers. I have designed and executed the largest programs used in school systems, efforts approaching a $100M. I gave a speech ten years ago on technological convergence in education, where my analogy was that publishers were about physical products, very similar to the music industry, rather than about content. My solution was to treat content in a database mentality as opposed to with a product mentality. I was asked if "I was trying to kill the publishers!" Editorial partners have similar backgrounds. We made that horrible stuff that your kids use! We seek redemption!

Content built in this database manner can accommodate things like learning styles, but it requires a filter. Things that we take fro granted, such as "Karma" here on /. don't exist. Categories can become meaningless. This business will be about a creating a filter as well as content. It will also be about collaboration. What is school, and what do we need to build to make education interesting to everybody? Even home-schoolers!

What kinds of collaboration would be useful? What types of content can be used? How can content be created and used in emerging economies? What languages would be used? Is it appropriate to limit languages? Is it necessary? What happens when a laptop costs $60 and so does a single textbook? How would VOIP be useful in a school setting?

I wish to pick the brain that is Slashdot? Lightening/Thunder in background..."

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What is the near future of education?

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