Posted by: crudbasher | February 19, 2013

Education Lessons From Ants

Have you ever watched ants? They have a sort of method to how they operate. They are individual creatures but they act as one most of the time. It’s fascinating.

Here’s a video about ants showing they can can kill and eat a much larger creature. (If you are a bit squeamish, don’t watch it. )

The thing about ants is they are weak individually but in numbers they can defeat much larger opponents. You can kill hundreds of them, and yet enough survive to do some damage. So what lessons can we draw from this?

Here’s a story from TechCrunch about new software called Playground Sessions.

So it’s software that teaches you how to play music. This is hardly a threat to the Trillion dollar US education system right? By itself no. But it’s not alone. What you are seeing is how the Internet is empowering people to become teachers on their own and then connecting them with willing students.

This is a new type of learning I think I am going to call Niche Learning. It is very targeted and focused on just one thing. It also fall in perfectly with my Theory of Disaggregation which says that large, physically organized systems of information are being split up into smaller, more focused units organized based on interest. Usually you couldn’t start a school just to teach one subject because the overhead costs were so expensive, but the Internet changes the economics. Imagine having a students at home who loves music, and tearing them away from this software in order to force them to go to school and learn things they have no interest in. You can force them to school physically, but you can’t force them to participate mentally.

Once you get enough of these Niche Learning providers, couldn’t you create your own individual learning program? I think you can and it will happen faster than you think.  A massive monolithic school system can be taken down by thousands of small, nimble learning providers when they all attack together.

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