In case you have missed the boat, Google released Chromebook. So what does this mean for education. It’s now affordable to get a student (K-12) a laptop to have with them at all times. CrunchGear is reporting a $20/month/user charge to basically lease a computer. So for a class of 200 students it would cost the school about $48,000. By having the school/town engage in this leasing program, it would solve the problem of any accessibility issues because every student would get one rather than recommend and have a bunch of have’s and have nots. Yes, I do understand that poorer districts may not be able to do this like Detroit, but there is always DonorsChoose and the Bill and Melena Gates Foundation for these cases.
Okay, back to the real story. So Google could own the education space in a real way. Just look at the Khan Academy. We now have a FREE online resource for almost every topic from K-12. Just imagine having the homework of going home and watching an hour of youtube. Granted the video will most likely be on a math, science, or some education video, but it’s engaging.
I have been so frustrated with the education space in so many ways. As more graduates enter the workforce, I have to suggest and encourage those students to improve the system, while making money. Build tools that can easily help a student and/or a teacher, district, etc. for future generations. I know I have an idea that has been baking for a while that I would love to get out there to not only help with studying but make it fun, interactive, and engaging. (more to come…if interested @johnmurch)
Just Think in terms of Building a Startup. Google could easily create videos on showing how to develop and write code that current middle school students could watch and learn to build things with their laptop. Get them starting young building ideas and projects that can help both economically and educationally. The chromebooks will enable students to build online, both good and bad. Google has been “aqchiring” startups to help build and improve the beast that it is. As of now, America is not only failing by not having educated students, but also with this no child left behind crap, students are graduating that shouldn’t and ruining the work place. Google can step up and train the workforce of tomorrow, today! Think about it, this dare I say one laptop per child would allow students to learn a wide range of skills from database architecture to software engineers.
Just think you could not only educate America but implement a system wide grading, feedback, games system to help with the entire education process. Integrate every student on to one education platform that not only learns what the student is good/bad at but provides that information to the teacher and parents. Just think about system that offers co-learning with video/interaction between students. Planning and scheduling could be automate with alerts and one on one learning with custom programs based on assessment tests. Better yet a student could not only get information about signuping for ACT/SAT but daily reminders for homework, projects, and even College Essays. This computer could be your gateway to education because there is so much online that could be funneled into a system to help education. Imagine an open sourced grade book that shows a constant update from the teacher and with parent notification. The technical skills are easy, someone just needs to do it and make it clean, simple, and easy. Then distribute it and get people using it.
I have been thinking a lot about studying and habits. While in High School I became CompTIA A+ Certified. A basic certification for PC Repair. I stumbled onto a simple desktop app that would ask you questions and you would just answer them and continue on. The hope was if you got it wrong, the next go around you would get it right. Granted there were a couple of hundred of questions, but I could sit there answer them and memorize all the answers. Now granted not all education is memorization, but imagine an engaging way to study.Just think farmville but educationville. How students could learn about history and score badgets, rewards, and study math equations by watching videos on youtube!
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) was a big WTF in my opinion. We were building laptops for 3rd world counties and forgetting that our own younger generation DON’T have access to a computer. Now with these Chromebooks I am hopeful Google will crush it and get States on board with these laptops for students. Get students blogging and writing as well as reading and engaging in real group exercises. America needs change in the education world and hopefully Google is ready to bring it to them on a silver platter.