Inside the School Silicon Valley Thinks Will Save Education


Reposted from Wired:

If you are truly fed up with the school status quo and have $20,875 to spare (it’s pricey, sure, but cheaper than the other private schools you’ve seen), you might decide to take a chance and sign your 7-year-old up for this little experiment in education called AltSchool. Except it’s not really so little anymore. And it’s about to get a lot bigger.

Founded in 2013 by former Google head of personalization Max Ventilla, AltSchool has poached high level executives from Google and Uber. It’s got users—in this case, parents—applying by the thousands. It’s actually making money. And as of today, Mark Zuckerberg just became one of its largest investors.

AltSchool is a decidedly Bay Area experiment with an educational philosophy known as student-centered learning. The approach, which many schools have adopted, holds that kids should pursue their own interests, at their own pace. To that, however, AltSchool mixes in loads of technology to manage the chaos, and tops it all off with a staff of forward-thinking teachers set free to custom-teach to each student. The result, they fervently say, is a superior educational experience.

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Sir Ken Robinson on Individualization, Localization and Respect for Educators [VIDEO 19:12]

Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish, and how current education culture works against them. In a humorous, conversational talk he shares how Death Valley is never really dead, and that there are always seeds of possibility lying dormant just below the surface ready to blossom when the right conditions are met. The parallels he draws for schools and students is inspiring and worth twenty minutes of your time.


Todd Rose: The End of Average [VIDEO 7:32]

L. Todd Rose is the co-founder and president of the Center for Individual Opportunity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to maximizing opportunity using the science of the individual. In addition, he is a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he teaches Educational Neuroscience. In this fast=paced talk, he describes how the industrial aged concept of “average” does not serve as much of a purpose in an age of individualization and personal choice. Worth seven and a half minutes of your time!