Education Paradigm Shift – 2016

The way we learn is changing. Technology is changing. The world is shrinking as more people learn how to learn and adapt to technology. Information overload is not an unfamiliar term, it’s a term we’ve accepted as we take in more and more.

Just in the last 30 years, we’ve gone from just a few channels on the TV to Cable and Satellite offering hundreds of streams of media. From reel film to blue-ray.

Anyone remember the old AT&T commercials showing a dad away on business but talking with his daughter in a “video chat” kind of way back in the 80s?

Now, in 2015, that technology is widely used around the world and is less than 10 years old.

How many people still have land-line house phones? Just 5-6 years ago, the idea of kids (anyone under driving age) having cell phones was a ridiculous idea but now a trip to the mall will prove this line of thinking obsolete. In fact, every single cell phone service provider offers a “family” plan with pricing so low it’s irresistible for even the most financially strained families.  Even those living on welfare can get a phone (thank you to all those wage earners who pay the way for the lazy).

I could go on about how enslaved we are referencing two-year cell contracts as a link in our bondage but I’ll save that for another time. Instead, I want to look at the change of technology and the paradigm shift we need to adapt to as a result.

Specifically, I want to draw your attention to the youth, the world their moving into and explore one question: Is it time to change our game plan with the way we educate?

If you want to learn how to do anything from the most complex mathematical equation to something as simple as mowing a lawn: Google or YouTube it!  It’s free, focused (direct) and best of all: you don’t have to take an exam!  Instead, you will perfect your skill as you judge yourself and you will be motivated to perfection by the core desire to accomplish… No perfect the accomplishment you are working to acheive. Is there any better qualification that this?

When someone wants to do something – they will do it. That is human will. Most people that want to do something want to do it well so they’ll invest hours into it. No college education can stimulate this kind of growth.

If someone wants to learn to weld, aspiring to work in a ship welding industry, they’re going to learn to weld by watching videos, testing their skills, buying the gear required, invest their time and money into this and possibly take a few classes lead by a welder (not a general education teacher) who is entirely invested in helping others perfect their craft. Isn’t this more valuable than a college degree?

Apparently the largest ship builder in the world thinks so as they hire folks with a handsome compensation and benefits package that shadows many 4 year degree applicants. I’m talking about 20 year old people earning more than $25 per hour at start with full benefits and retirement!  No degree. No college. All talent and desire.

So the shift in education will be driven by the youth of today as the scholarly of the past 20 + years wane away (overtaken by the huge advances in social networking and technology).  As more people become self educated, peer tested and industry validated – those are the people businesses want.

Who cares if the director of Star Wars, Contract Administrator or anyone outside of highly specialized skills has a degree or where his/her degree is from?  If they produce excellent work – I want them!  Who wouldn’t?

Now, looking into my crystal ball….  I see a future where education changes such that a person gains credit for life experience without having to write a 300 page dissertation.  These degrees are known and “honorary” and have been given in the past by some of the most prestigious colleges in the world.  Not long from now, I foresee this becoming the norm.  I imagine businesses recruiting more people with proven talent than those with degrees.  Taking it one step further, I imagine that having a degree but no specialty will land a person the low end job while those with proven and validated talent will advance the ranks.

Just my thoughts.


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