Education in the Digital Age
By Jo JoyceRestore Oklahoma Public Education
After spending nearly five hours listening to propaganda promoting policy changes andproponents of post-modern professional
pedagogy, I’m pooped. An older woman summed it up
best when she asked the panel at the end:
If digital education is so great, why did all of you(presenters) have to come here in person rather than have a Skype conference?
Amen, Sister.Friday, July 29
, 2011, I attended the conference,“
(McGuigan)sponsored by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA). The following is a short synopsis of this venerable event which served to only create more questions for me than it proposed.
General Lee Baxter (Ret.)
opened the conference with the goal of “broadening public thinking.”
who wrote the book
(Johnson) spoke on
“disrupting innovation,” a theory that whatever is c
urrently provided (service/product) willeventually be replaced by innovation/discovery. He gave several examples in the shoppingindustry, car industry, and military industry. Education is lagging behind, although higher
education has been “disrupted” b
y community colleges and on-line colleges like Phoenix.Horn c
ites several examples of current uses of digital: to assist a “graduate” with that last class,to offer AP to areas that do not provide it, and when it is “a necessity” i.e. homeschool and
homebound. He foresees a greater need in our current budget crisis.
He insists innovation will happen, but he does ask the question, “Is it a good thing?” He sees the
positive as a cheaper version of customized education plan (CEP), with something much more
exciting than Phoenix’s original “power points,” including video games. He knows teachers will
resist for fear of being replaced, but said instead they will have to change from
sage on thestage
” to a moni
which he feels is liberating. He is also aware many schools will not beready for this, especially the funding.
(Andrew Coulson) of CATO Institute quoted statistics on the use of Khan
Academy (Khan Academy) which in his opinion confirms the need for digital learning. Hequestions why education is not
when it employs six million people and hasa budget of $600 billion a year. He sees engineers as innovators who implement policies fromtheir successes, even though he admits unions do not like competition. He cited other countriesthat allow competition in education, especially Japan, Sweden, and Britain. He is sure if education were treated as a free enterprise we will see plummeting prices, although we will alsoface legal and regulatory threats, as well as a demand for universality.