The education system in the United States has slowly evolved over the past few decades, but not nearly as fast as the rest of society. The invention of the internet has changed our culture. It has impacted the way we do business, the way we connect socially and even our waistlines! This has been a rapid change—not slow in the least.
It is now time for our schools to change their focus to reflect this huge cultural change. In the past, the sole purpose of our schools was to give information to children that they could not get elsewhere. Information was huge. Oh, how the internet has changed that! If a student needs to know the capital of Kenya, he/she can now look it up their cell phone now. If a student is struggling on a particular chemistry concept, he/she can now go on YouTube and watch a video that explains it. If we do not change the focus of our schools over the next decade, it will greatly affect our workforce and economy.
Our children still need to be taught fundamental concepts in our schools. They still need teachers. However, schools must now be teaching students more and more how to be problem solvers, creative thinkers and information gatherers. Students have access to unlimited information and can connect with people all over the world. Schools need to train them on how to use these capabilities.
Our business, Academic All Star Tutoring, began offering online tutoring this year. The reaction to this new service was mixed—depending on a person’s age. Individuals under 35 thought it was a great idea because they are so comfortable with technology, such as Skype or an interactive whiteboard. Yet, individuals over 50 seemed to lack an understanding how it could work. This division based on age is often keeping our education system from evolving as quickly as it should.
Our youth is ready. Can our schools change rapidly enough in the next 10 years to meet this need?