I know Apple came out with a bunch of new stuff today, but I’ll write about that tomorrow after I ‘ve had a chance to digest it.
For today, I want to start an interesting theme to play with this week! To start with, this is an article that talks about how in five years time, most Africans will have Smartphones. Should this matter to us? More importantly, will that affect education in the US? I think it most definately will.
I came up with a cool little saying about distance learning a few years ago. I said “Once the teacher and the student aren’t in the same room, it doesn’t matter how far away they are.” I am obviously talking about distance learning. I believe in finding the exact right teacher for each student in order to bring out the best in them. You have a much chance of doing this when you expand your search to the whole world right?
Yes but they don’t speak the same language? Yes but the computer can translate in real time pretty soon.
Companies in the US who are becoming education providers will not ignore this new market of millions of people. Not only that, but much of the learning the African kids will do will be self driven, based on interest, not because they are trying to get a good grade. Sometimes, less gets you more.
The technology developed to do this will have to be robust, adapt to a wide variety of learning styles, and be very low cost. This same technology can change the way US students learn too. If we see a sudden boom in innovation coming from Africa in 20 years time, smartphone should get the credit.