Right now is an incredible opportunity to make education better in places all around the world, and we are missing it in favor of trying desperately to hold onto the traditional school model in a virtual world. While kids are coming back to school buildings slowly and often to vastly different experiences, many. remain home learning through their screen. In either case, the common thread is an adherence to what we know rather than what could be best for all of us.
There are rarely times when educators and education leaders aren't thinking of where our profession is leading into the future. Frequent pendulum shifts, constant changes in programs, and now a massive shift in education due to the COVID19 pandemic have made many of us who work with kids start to evaluate what is really important. It has become apparent that things we traditionally valued in education are at the least, questionable.
What do kids need from us? What is the purpose of education in a world in which everything you want to learn is available at the push of a button? In the past year, and accelerated in the past few months, general advanced education has been replaced by the concept of skill acquisition. Google and other major companies are starting to offer skills-based certification programs that will help make people more employable and personally marketable.
Skills-based education is a growing faction of how we see the world moving forward. We do however need to understand that their is still incredible value in being well rounded, understanding, adaptability, and a reasonable knowledge base. Building on skills based education needs to go beyond giving people the ability to acquire skills. Since the advent of the internet people have had nearly every opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge, but it has rarely translated over to educational systems in a full sense.
This is the time to try something new. So many educators and students are already adapting and learning new tools and skills at an incredible rate. Rather than getting them to learn to do the same thing with different tools, we could easily be teaching them to do new things with the tools they are learning. No matter what we do however, the biggest piece to skills based learning that has been lacking in the past is the building of a community. Education depends in large part on the ability to learners and teachers to build a community with one another.
As we move forward into uncharted world, finding ways to turn skill based education into a community will provide us with an incredible opportunity to create more meaningful and equitable education across the globe. This is the goal we share at the Princeton Hive. We hope you will be a part of our new type of global learning community.