Labor costs are rising, hired teachers cost moderate amounts of money. With inflation, our gas prices are rising, and food is getting smaller in portion sizes at many retailers. Some $972 billion was spent by Department of Education in 2009. Our nation had 6.2 million teachers in elementary and secondary for 2009 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_the_United_States ), who need to buy food, pay a mortgage, pay for gasoline and car repairs, and have money for entertainment and to save for retirement.
Computers can teach, too. In the instance of computerized instruction, the content and delivery method matter intensively. When computer programmers try to replicate classroom instruction, they discover the computer is less efficient and not particularly advantageous to classroom instruction. But this is not the end of the story.
Historically, classroom instruction is based on an “instructor” speaking instructions “at” the “students” to “teach” them what is in their “best interest.” To really get an understanding here, let’s define each of these terms for clarity: “instructor” is an accredited person who underwent years of training and who is forced to comply to administrators with regards to content allowed to teach and content not allowed to teach. “At” is the action of issuing demands at the group trying to listen. “Students” are those unlucky souls who are forced to sit through hours of boring, insipid content for a bribe of a graduate’s diploma at the end of the dozen year or longer ordeal. “Teach” is the process of writing on the board and speaking a series of disconnected, but otherwise organized, facts. Mind you, many facts are “proven” now to be true, but that in a few years, science will “prove” those same facts as “obsolete” and no longer truth. “Best interest” is another way of saying, “Force upon against the will of the unlucky soul something that is controversial and of unknown at best value, but probably harmful for the poor soul.”
The education method of the future is not “true and tried” according to the authorities, but rather a system based on computers and authors seeking to meet the desires of learners and communities. A different paradigm altogether, such a focus needs to be empowering students with useful resources, not selling them proprietary propaganda using obsolete techniques towards their own best interest.
In the pursuit of meeting the desires of learners and communities, education needs to be decentralized and authority needs to be placed into each individual and family to choose what is learned, when, where and to determine the scope of that education. In other words, people learn best when they actively partake in choosing what they study, the year they start studying it, the place they use to absorb content and struggle with knowledge, and the depth to the ideas and information focused upon.
Education that is “accountable” is essentially accountable to governmental authorities, and, as such, is NOT accountable to local communities or families, let alone the individual learner or student. Corporations have dictated to government and used the media to lie to the public to convince the public that education means one thing and that one thing is the only way that helps people. That “one thing” education supposedly means is that “you study hard, suffer your years, get good grades, graduate, and get a good job working for somebody else.”
Learning and education needs to be reformed into “alternative education” where the students have the freedom to learn what they want and how. Until that freedom is granted, people will resent school and the entire system will be a destroyer of human potential and dampener of human creativity.
Education of the future will have computers doing what they do best – giving choice and freedom in choice of knowledge – in opposition to the U.S. Department of Education, and while delivering educational content at an estimated two percent of our current budget for education.
By “educational content,” the focus is on all information that is delivered by any means. The means of the future will feature computers using Yoga breathing to allow the brain to absorb faster, while putting power of content selection in the hands of where it should be: The individual learner, with guidance by their family.
Further, education that is fun can be ported into mobile cell phones and laptop computers, making learning not only very portable, but very inexpensive to deliver to the masses of the populace. The authors who write the learning kits may collect funds as royalties from digital virtual books that play in special players.
In conclusion, education must change from being a tool of bureaucracy to serve corporations, to its new design of being an activity of the people to benefit communities. Education can change, and must; with computers, this can technologically happen while saving America about 98% off existing expenses for education.