Education: Let technology do the teaching?


Education Advisory, the service providing 'consumer advice' to parents, sponsored 5 Home Learning Fairs in the 80's to show how technology and parents could prepare students for the future. The following newspaper article was published in the Vancouver Province, Nov 03, 1985. From this article you will see how Education Advisory was involved in the climate of ferment seeking improvements and alternatives to the existing system of education.
Frank Ogden is a Vancouver futurist.
Education: Let technology do the Teaching (Vancouver Province, Nov 03, 1985)
Underneath the technological tidal wave that is dominating our society are changes in public opinion. For, along with the outward changes that technology is bringing to us, are the first stirrings of great social changes to come.
Perhaps the greatest of these is the groundswell for change in our educational system. All over the world many forces are eroding the professional monopoly of teaching.
We are discovering, for example, that most information can be acquired via satellite, computer link or information utility at a cost of at least 10 per cent of current educational costs.
And it isn't just the 'information elite' that knows this is so.
A case in point: For the past 12 years a West Vancouver woman named Tunya Audain has been researching just what is the matter with our educational system. (The original goal of education was to provide employability. Well, we now know that isn't working.) She isn't doing it the old way. She is closer to her word processor than are most institutional teachers.
Three years ago she started the Home Learning Fair, subsidizing the costs out of her own relatively meager funds. The first year she called a meeting, 500 parents hungry for a better way showed up. Last year her bugle call drew more than 2,000 parents who wanted to explore alternatives to traditional schooling.
On Monday, Nov 11, she will hold her third annual meeting at the McPherson Convention Centre in Burnaby. And this time, more than the crowd will have increased.
Exhibits of computers, home education courses, educational games, books and toys will be displayed. Alternative schools and counseling services will also be exhibiting themselves.
Workshops showing how to start independent schools, how to design your own home curriculum, how to develop cottage industries or handle the special needs of the gifted or the disabled will be held. Flowery academic language will not be used to mask the tasks.
I love the titles of some of the lectures:
Beyond Schooling to Real Education
Why we Need a Voucher System
Preserving Freedom of Choice
Education Malpractice
Education in the Future
The process of non-institutionalized education is nothing new and it has been proven beneficial. In fact, B.C. is leading the country in educating students at home. The Open Learning Institute alone has 16,000 course registrations representing 9,300 individuals, says Ron. Jessels, Principal. This covers university courses, career, vocational, technical and adult education.
In addition to that, ministry of education correspondence courses are reaching 1,040 elementary school students and 17,419 secondary.


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