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Can Technology Save the No Child Left Behind Generation?

June 10, 2013, 4:39 PM

Internet pioneers or the hooked-up generation, the first generation to grow up online, in college today are going to be addressing many, many issues.  There are many things that are important to them.  The single most important I believe is education.  As you look at the educational system not only is this generation the first to grow up online and to have grown up with economic instability and political polarization and a war on terror and 9/11, but they've also been the first generation to grow up with No Child Left Behind and they are the most aware that No Child Left Behind left behind a number of educational fundamentals like the arts, like home economics if you will, trade capabilities.  

The educational system has failed at teaching our students how to use social media effectively, how to use the Internet, how to communicate.  Marketing and advertising has not been a part of the educational process.  There are so many fundamentals.  In many instances languages have been left behind and I believe this generation as they move into the workforce is going to focus first and foremost on the educational systems and educational processes and they're going to bring the online tools and capabilities that are being created around the educational institutions and the educational professions into the modern world.  I believe they're going to move education from 19th and 20th century tenants into truly 21st and 22nd century capabilities and approaches. 

Online education is going to grow and grow quickly.  Using online tools to bring capabilities into the grade schools and high schools for languages, for the arts where a teacher doesn't necessarily have to be an expert.  A teacher has to be an aggregator and a curator of the expertise that's available online.

So I think we're going to see a fundamental change over the next decade in the educational systems at all levels as a result of online capabilities and the fact that the hooked-up generation, the Internet pioneers, as they graduate from college over the next four years are going to be bringing this mindset into education. And by the way, a much higher percentage of today's college students intend to go into education as a career than we've ever seen in the past at the same time as schools are cutting back on the number of teaching opportunities.  So I believe we're going to see entrepreneurial growth in the educational business in many ways serving the needs that the traditional school systems have been failing at. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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