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Warren Shea

Do we need school anymore? Will we need school?

Monday, March 11th, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Had this thought today: We’ve had school for hundreds (thousands?) of years. Everyone had to learn with a teacher/professor/mentor.
But in recent years, something’s changed. We’ve been introduced to the internet. And with the internet, it IS possible to learn anything and everything without proper schooling and physical attendance.

I had this idea – what if, instead of sending your children to school, paying for increasing tuition costs, and paying the government taxes for education, what if there was some way for a student to learn “everything” online? Obviously, there are things school teaches you – like social skills – but everything that the classes and curriculum teach you can be learned outside of school.

The only thing a post-secondary education gives you is a degree. That’s a lot of money for that qualification. But is it worth that cost? In theory, I could learn everything I needed from school, with the internet. I wouldn’t have to go to any classes. I could write the exams, and still get my degree without going to a single class. The degree is the thing you need to enter to workforce and possibly, needed for those executive level roles.

Now, what if there was an online equivalent to school. Not in the sense of learning material, but what if there were equivalently reputable online degrees you could obtain. I mean, the only thing stopping this sort of thing is that “Certification X from school Y” might not be/sound as impressive as “Degree from UWaterloo or Harvard” or something. But what if it were? What if there was a considerably cheaper alternative to post-secondary school. Where coming out of this program provides you with all the on-paper credentials you need – the equivalent of a degree from a school.

Just my random thoughts. Online learning is still in its infancy. There have been dramatic leaps in online learning and the online resources available in the last decade. Even comparing the resources for when I went to school to the present is vastly different. Who knows how online education will evolve in even as little as 10 years.

But when my kids are ready for university, in 15-20 years, things will be unimaginably different than now.

I honestly think there’s potential in the “market” (by that, I mean the “education market” – if such a thing exists) for a well established, high credential online alternative.

You shouldn’t need money to attend a fancy school and get a reputable degree. We’re learning more and more (with the internet, no less) that genius can exist anywhere and everywhere. You can be successful without that degree (Bill Gates made this kinda thing cool – and believable/obtainable) if you’re exceptional. But even for the above average, there should be a way to get a degree without having to pay $50,000 (and who knows how much it’ll be when my kids go to school). Like Will Hunting said in Good Will Hunting: “…you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a fuckin education you coulda got for a dollah fifty in late chahges at the public library”.

My point to this whole long drawn out post is that I don’t see a need for education to cost as much as it does. And I see/wish/hope for a reputable online alternative in my lifetime. From this post, I believe that the market for “education” is dying and at some point, won’t be profitable due to the rise of the internet, a FREE tool with INFINITE RESOURCES. Just my predictions…..

One Response to “Do we need school anymore? Will we need school?”

  1. Midou says:

    you should create an app or something

    – Snake

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