Posted by: crudbasher | February 15, 2012

Who Will Be The Most Disruptive Force In Education?

Who will be the most disruptive force on education? I had kind of  a brainstorm on this issue caused by the article listed below.

In it they talk about an industry that was fairly fixed for many years. The players were constant and had a way of doing things. The industry is the music industry but it could easily be education. Music has and is being transformed by the Internet. Education is next.

What is interesting to me about this article is it is talking about how the real transformation in music now is not the music itself. We have mp3s and that is fairly standard. No, what is changing is the ability of programmers to write software that finds and delivers this music to people. This is made possible by, yes you guessed it, Disaggregation!

Music used to be in physical form. It was bound (or aggregated) to the CD. Once it was digitized and online it became independent (disaggregated) from the delivery system. Now using software systems, developers are coming up with new ways to use this content.

So how does this apply to education?

(cc) ekai

There are two parts to the education system. The content, which is the information being distributed,  and the delivery mechanism, which is pretty much everything else. Once content goes online, it becomes disaggregated from the school itself. So who else will want to use it? There already are large online sources of information (wikipedia). It just needs to be wrapped in a delivery mechanism. Or better yet, many different delivery mechanisms for different learners. So who is going to do this? Let me put it this way: Who in school is the most capable of creating digital media, is the most connected to other people to distribute it, and is the most comfortable in doing new things with computers? The students.

The highest form of learning according to Blooms (revised) taxonomy is creating. If you can teach a subject, then you have mastered it. I think we will see students creating their own lessons to demonstrate mastery and because they think they can do a better job than what they are given in school. Then those lessons will be shared and archived. Finally, other students will make tools to search out and deliver these lessons to other students. Youtube is full of these kind of lessons already. They just aren’t very searchable yet. The scary part is you don’t even need many students to create lessons to have a huge impact. Observe that the youtube video “charlie bit my finger again” has over 419 million views.

So this will force some uncomfortable choices on the education-industrial complex. Do you let students learn from other sources? They won’t be accredited and blessed by the system of course. They won’t be expensive. In fact many of them will be free. How will the system react to competition?

Keep in mind that the Internet is most empowering to the individual. It makes sense then that students will benefit the most from the disruption of schools. This makes me more convinced that everyone will be a teacher and everyone will be a student.

So am I on track with this? (get it? Track. It’s a music pun!)


    • That the music industry has radically changed in the last decade is a serious understatement. Technology has altered everything from the creation of music to its distribution, upending retailers, studios and business models across the industry. But it’s not all bad news. Music isn’t dying so much as evolving, and the landscape is already beginning to look quite different.
    • Not long ago, the professional music industry involved a complex but fixed set of players: artists, labels, managers, promoters and the like. Many of these roles have changed, but none have disappeared. They’re joined by a new set of participants: tech giants, streaming services, social music startups and, perhaps most crucially, developers.
    • Every stakeholder in this new (and still emerging) digital music ecosystem plays their own important role in the creation and consumption of music. But it’s this new contingent of hackers and developers that appear poised to have the biggest impact on what music will look like in the future.
    • The open architecture of the Web, the proliferation of APIs and hacker culture have already made a notable mark on how people create, discover and share music, yet all of this is still very much in its earliest stages.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.



  1. […] He was both student and teacher. (most disruptive force) […]

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