UBER-izing Education…the next big thing?
Originally published by the Varkey Foundation.
How many cars and buses are daily moving kids back and forth to concrete basecamps? How much of a parent’s focus and presence at work is interrupted by the movement of their children to and from school? Would you agree that schools are not sending us back happy well balance children equipped with character related, real-life and academic skills which the positive education movement advocates are needed?
Interrupting traditional education is on every hacker’s mind. Elon Musk created AD Astra. James Cameron wife created the Muse School. My Growing Leaders Foundation has been offering schools in Dubai and Trinidad and Tobago leadership, soft skills and entrepreneurship programming during school time since 2011 to tens of thousands of youths ensuring they are equipped with basic 21st century skills.
So what is this Uber angle?
It’s the answer to a simple question “Why can’t the very best education in a creative, nurturing, state of the art environment come to children? In 2014 I developed a container ‘unschool’ project that got some attention from the Ashoka and the Lego Foundation. I suspect we will see an explosion of similar concepts coming to market soon.
The term “unschooling” was coined in the 1970s and used by educator John Holt. Unschooling is an educational method and philosophy that advocates learner-chosen activities as a primary means for learning. Unschooling students learn through their natural life experiences including play, household responsibilities, personal interests and curiosity, internships and work experience, travel, books, elective classes, family, mentors, and social interaction.
Who is driving this movement?
Home-schooling parents who tend to be mostly mothers. There is a revolution happening in home-schooling with mothers coming together and creating the communities they need to get their children properly educated in all the right ways. This is the pressure behind the explosion of on-line middle/high schools you see popping up everywhere. Even Stanford has gotten in on this movement.
I recently visited the icademy where I found Learning Centers with Academic Coaches (ten to one ratio) in a blended learning environment rich with social opportunities. The possibilities are endless and off course I asked **why can’t these learning centers be mobile?**
What if a learning center can be crowd-sourced by a group of 10 kids who live in a community to show up for several hours at a time? Think cool hip co-working space on wheels with a nerdy brilliant Academic and personal coach guiding your children to become the best version of themselves within walking distance from your home?
Once upon a time we all thought we had to wait to get a taxi ride but Lyft and Uber started writing a whole new story for us. I think these same companies are poised to re-write the story of education in our children’s lives which also happens to address a transportation and quality of life issue.