Our educational system was designed to create cookie cutter people who could be exchanged in a manufacturing environment as easily as a piece of machinery. We’re in a new revolution – the connection revolution. Your ability to change and grow is limited only by you. Let’s look at the mass and how it is moving toward connection . . . and how you can become connected.
1. Your choice.
When you’re in the public schools, you are taught the same basic information as the person sitting next to you. Today, you can go online and choose to learn everything from crafts to life skills. Never has this ability to learn what YOU want to learn greater. But, let’s look where we came from.
2. Before the industrial age.
Before our educational system became mandatory, kids went to school to learn to read, write and do basic mathematics. To learn specific skills, they worked for someone or apprenticed under them. In some industries, you can still work as an apprentice, but the words might be changed to being an intern or you might have a mentor. Look at your own circumstances. Is there something you want to learn that would work under this type of situation?
3. People as a cog in the machine.
Our current educational system is all about each person learning the same thing so each of us can be part of the machine of mass production. Look at the educational requirements for your state. Think about the classes each student must take to get a high school diploma. How many of these will really help them in the future? What classes would be a better fit for our kids?
4. No child left behind.
This legislation has managed to put a stranglehold on our educational system. The number of charter schools and homeschoolers is growing to help the individual over the mass. Read about this legislation and the growing number of alternative educational choices for our youth.
5. Youth groups.
Scouting, sports groups and other non-educational groups are picking up the slack of our failing educational system. Each supports its own niche while some try to cover a variety of skills that our youth will need in the future. Look at one or more youth groups and see what it / they have to offer.
6. College degree.
The cost of a college degree often is more than the cost of a new car . . . sometimes more than a house. This puts a strain on the new graduate who needs a job to pay off the loans or his / her parents who postpone retirement due to the cost. A college degree means you can sit in a class and take a test, but how much translates to the real world? Look at your own life and explore what you learned in school and how much was a waste of your resources versus how much you actually use in the real world. Is this a path you’d recommend to your own children?
7. Adult educational options.
Universities and colleges are looking for new ways to provide education and experience. Programs like MIT’s Open Course Ware allow you to get education for free. Sites like Udemy, Lynda and Skillshare allows people to educate each other for a fee. Many entrepreneurs teach others what they know through webinars and courses. Review the offerings from one of these or the other numerous courses available online to see what you can find that interests you.
8. Open Badges.
Mozilla started this program, but has recently handed it off. Instead of learning and getting a degree at the end of years of study or a certificate for completing a series of classes and activities, Open Badges allows anyone to create badges to show skills that have been mastered. Check out this program to see what it has to offer and the organizations supporting it.
If you’re looking for free knowledge, YouTube and other video sites offer quick views of what you can do. Explore YouTube and learn something new.
10. Connection is key.
The only way to teach connection is to be connected. One massive shift is that people are choosing to share their knowledge with others. Some do it for the joy of sharing, others do it for a monetary reward. In either case, you can learn almost anything online.
The best part is that we can encourage our children to do the same. Spend time with your child. Connect with their interests. Find something educational for you to enjoy together from one of the sites listed below or one you find online.
- Avery 2” Round Label Printable, 12 up
- Badge Checklist
Sites to Explore
Get the infographic here > larajla blog post
Get the PDFs of the badge program / supplements here > Full badge PDFs