How many ideas should move from selected to implemented?
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In economically and socially advanced societies, education is the leading industry going forward. Yet it continues to operate as if it is still 1950. If education is the imperative in our societies, it needs to use new techniques, new methods, new tools, and creativity to make the educational experience more rewarding. It is time for education to catch up with society once again.

The cable TV channels History, Discovery, and Science have each been running a series of programs recently on the origin of the universe, the creation of planets, and an array of topics related to chemistry and physics.

On the surface this description sounds pretty boring, so imagine what it must sound like to your average high school student. Pretty lame. The origin of the universe is a complex and abstract concept. However, the way these television programs present this information was absolutely stunning.

It has been quite awhile since this author studied science in high school, and much of the knowledge presented didn’t exist back in those stone-age studies. These programs caused a reflection on how complex subjects are presented today and how students are being taught. Schools back in the day were geared toward preparing students for factory jobs. If a teenager was extremely bright they could go on to college and become an engineer, scientist, doctor, teacher or a lawyer.

The world has changed exponentially in the past 100 years, but our schools continue to teach in the same, rote manner. This author’s son is a 16-year-old high school junior, and his comments lead one to believe they are memorizing facts, regurgitating facts and basically being bored to tears.

In contrast, when this young man gets his hands on a cell phone or computer the entire world opens up and his engagement begins. His generation is interactive, online, always-on. Yet the schools don’t seem to be integrating new technology and approaches into their teaching methods.

One can only ask why there is not more interactive teaching going on. Why are teachers not embedding the Internet into their lectures? Why are tests not interactive? Why are students not researching and writing more, and taking abstract theories and trying to prove them through research?

Students are still compared individually to one another and not being taught to work in teams. How is this approach preparing them for 21st century work requiring collaboration, teamwork, and creating and sharing knowledge?

Socrates was probably a pretty good teacher. Maybe he was even a nice guy. His teaching methods still have practical use in schools in certain circumstances. We should take a lesson from Socrates and remember that teachers lead students toward knowledge.

In today’s parlance, teachers should be looked at a project managers. Teachers understand the spectrum of information that needs to be presented to students so they understand the current rules and current knowledge, but they also need to prepare students to discover and invent the next generation of rules and knowledge.

Teachers as project managers means they can establish the curriculum for a course, and point the students to outrageously cool and interesting on-line spaces to discover what the teacher is aiming for them to learn. On-line testing can be interactive, embed many visuals, and allow the student to better define what they have learned. The teacher can serve as the organizer and teach the students to work together in teams to define answers to complex problems.

Our schools must begin to use current technology more effectively to prepare our children for a new, emerging workplace. Schools should be involving working professionals in the classroom on a regular basis to invigorate the learning experience.

Emerging market economies are taking over the manufacturing of most goods in the world. Even those jobs will be eliminated sooner-or-later by robots and other technological advances. How are the societal and economic issues of the world going to be addressed when people have been taught to memorize basic information and not stretch their minds?

Humans are by nature visual storytellers. For thousands of years, knowledge was passed from generation to generation through stories told from elders to youngsters, and we remembered. We remembered because the stories captured our imagination and made us ponder what was beyond our daily reality.

In economically and socially advanced societies, education is the leading industry going forward. Yet it continues to operate as if it is still 1950. If education is the imperative in our societies, it needs to use new techniques, new methods, new tools, and creativity to make the educational experience more rewarding. It is time for education to catch up with society once again.

What is crowdsourcing as a service?