When we talk about learning or education, we usually equate it with being a student sitting in a school classroom. Most people fall into the idea they must learn and focus on education until they graduate high school at age 18 or college in their 20s. And then they are all done! Their education is behind them and they are now ready to go out into the world.
Sugata Mitra did a simple experiment years ago. He puttied a touch screen computer screen into the exterior wall of his office and connected it to the internet. Local kids, who did not speak English, started using the computer when he was gone. They taught themselves English and navigated the web. They were doing homework assignments by using information on the internet. No instruction required.
Another school year is ending, and with it comes an abundance of local news reports of students from local high schools presenting business plans to a group of judges. Students, judges, and audiences all participating in a mock version of Shark Tank, the highly popular television show. From the perspective of both educators, parents, and community businesses, this is a win-win for all concerned. Business plan competitions captures an optimism about the community thriving in a hub of local startups.
I’m watching a team of four kids make a model car. They just glued the axle to the bottom of the car. If that axle is glued, it can’t move and the car won’t go anywhere. It’s an obvious mistake, but it will take them a full minute to discover it. They put their car onto the test ramp, release it, and watch it go nowhere.