Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Education Economy: HOW & WHY

How & Why
· By — R. Talmadge Lacy ·

Do you want to get paid for playing a bunch of games at school? 

Do you want your kids to contribute to your household's income while they become actual geniuses? 

Would you like to generate your own revenue by creating & selling cool & relevant products to corporations? 
Example: at this very moment there is a web-based game called PHYLO that makes you an actual genetic scientist! 

Phylo players move colored squares representing the four nucleotides of DNA to find the best alignment between snippets of DNA from two different species. The point is to help decipher the origins of genetic diseases.

Now imagine an entire educational system where students play similar “games.” Who would benefit from this arrangement?

 is the practice of obtaining services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, usually online.
             • 1st,
 CORPORATIONS—Corporations could utilize the creative potential of an entire generation by crowdsourcing* schools through changing a job or project into a “game.” This process has potential not just for biology but for all the sciences & fields: chemistry, engineering, quantum mechanics, even art!

Imagine a Web site where companies of all types post projects they want help with. Schools or students pick and choose which projects they want to work on. They then sell their results back to the companies. 

Another possibility is that schools could come up with their own projects for  students to work on, then sell the results to interested parties—or they might even keep their own work and produce and sell their own products!

• 2nd, SCHOOLS—Instead of relying solely on a government budget, schools would become independently wealthy based on the quality and quantity of results produced by their students.

• 3rd, STUDENTS—Instead of being rewarded with irrelevant grades, students would be financially compensated based on the quality and quantity of their contributions. Students’ earnings could be deposited into a trust fund to be collected upon graduation. 

MOST IMPORTANTLY, since these “games” will be based on solving real-world problems, students are ultimately LEARNING about the real world! With enough hours logged on biology games, the average adult of the future could possess knowledge equivalent to that of someone with two or three medical degrees. And that is also a health care solution—a doctor for every family!

• 4th, PARENTS—Student earnings could be deposited into a trust fund to be collected by the student upon graduation. Earnings could also be deposited into a checking account, meaning your child would be actively contributing to the household income. All for playing a bunch of games at school!

  • 5th, THE WORLD—Since schools will train people to function in this new type of economy, we 'll need to create community centers dedicated to the education economy. That  way everyone will have a chance to work in the education economy, even those who have not had formal training. 

Schools would still focus on teaching the basics, reading, writing, & arithmetic, but they would add the science of METACOGNITION. Teachers work to guide students to become more strategic thinkers by helping them understand how they are processing information. Students who understand how they learn and recognize different learning styles become more effective learners. This approach involves teaching students speed reading and memorization techniques. Students also gain critical and creative thinking skills. These will be integral & essential aspects of the education economy.

The purpose of school is to add to the knowledge, skills, and abilities of individual students, with the long-term purpose of increasing economic growth. However, in this country, where labor-based jobs are becoming harder to come by, outsourced to foreigners & machines, there is a very real need for an alternative economy. The next logical step in the world history of economics is an information/communication-based education economy.

“Who will take out the trash?” is a common reaction to these kinds of sweeping economic proposals. But a properly utilized education economy might help to do away with the entire concept of “trash” altogether. One possible project could be how to create 100% biodegradable packaging, for example. 

Another thing people who ask that question don't take into account is that some folks actually like their physical/labor-based jobs and will always want to do things like cook food at restaurants or build houses & buildings. 

The larger point is that labor-based jobs and careers are becoming increasingly scarce. What the education economy will do is provide an alternative to those jobs THAT WE ARE LOSING ANYWAY. 

"The world is on the brink of a new economic and social era. The changes taking place are so fundamental that they point to the emergence of nothing less than a new civilization in which human intellect and creativity will be the central source of wealth and prosperity for all."—Shrage F. Biran 

Perhaps you've heard the saying that schools test memory, not intelligence. Well, schools do more than that; they condition us to be “good” employees. Sit there, be quiet, and do what the person in charge says. The problem is those kinds of jobs are no longer relevant… American laborers are being increasingly replaced by machines & foreigners. 

Considering that the educational system was designed to benefit our economy, there's only one way to reform our schools—reform the economy so that intellect and creativity are the source of wealth! It's the Education Economy. 
"An economy reflects the visionary goals of a populace and determines the shape of schooling."—John Gatto