Previous: Live at LeakyCon - Lauren Fairweather, Hank Green "Nerdfighterlike" (LeakyCon Launch Party)
Next: John Green bedankt sich für den Preis der Jugendjury 2013



View count:13,824
Last sync:2019-06-14 11:20
Hank wraps up this playlist with more questions upon questions... What do you think? Let us know in the comments or by posting a video of your own!

Part 3 of 3
Topic playlist:

See more of Hank:

Find TALK on social media:

Get involved in the discussion! Post comments or video responses on this topic. Our favourite videos will be added to a playlist for this issue. All topic playlists can be found on the main channel page:

(intro reel)

Hi! I'm Hank. This is TALK, the YouTube channel where we talk about stuff and hold mugs. Apparently that's part of the thing. Mine's empty.

This week we're talking about online education - something that is very close to my heart. Thanks to Jazza and Bree for spurring the discussion thus far, talking about some of the reasons we should be excited about and apprehensive.

So far our talk here on TALK has centered around two questions. One, will online education take over completely from traditional education, classical education, real life education. And two, if that happens, even in part, what are we going to lose, if anything?

So, first question, I really don't think that schools are going anywhere. They're an extremely important part, not just of education, but of society. Yes, they're where people learn, you know, subjects, but they also learn how to be people there. And they're an important part of individual communities and I wouldn't want to live in a world where communities didn't have those centralizing places, um, and I don't think that I'm going to because I think that they're too important to go away.

As for whether we lose something when we incorporate more and more online education into those real life establishments and into our lives and have less of those real life interactions, sure I think that we probably lose something. The question is, do we lose more than we gain?

Often times we're talking about getting information that you just wouldn't get otherwise, so in that case you definitely gain more than you lose. If you're saying that the options are - you know, real life is great - but if the option is between online education and no education at all, online education is better. And in many cases, that's what we're talking about. And not just when we're talking about people who don't have access to education in general; I'm also talking about people who don't have access to the thing that they particularly want to learn about or need to learn about.

Bree brought up sex education, which is an amazing example. It's just, it's something that isn't taught well in schools - has never been taught well in schools - and needs to be taught much better. And so, the fact that the internet can do a better job of that is great. But that's also true of things like computer programming.

There's still schools in America that teach Basic, which is a program language that's been obsolete for 25 years. The fact that we don't have teachers teaching PHP and Ruby on Rails, that's really frustrating and annoying and bad and wrong. And that we teach obsolete programming languages because we don't have anyone who has the expertise to teach the other ones or because curriculum just takes too long change, to adapt to, when new programming languages take over as industry standard, that's really problematic. And the fact that we can turn to online education to learn about those things is ideal. That's great.

Educating the world is a vast and complicated task, that's for sure. Not just educating all of the new students - there will be billions of them - but also teaching them the things that they really need to learn. And education is the last industry in America that really hasn't been revolutionized by information technology. Of course it's, you know, it's a big part of it now, but in terms of real significant innovation, education is the only big industry that hasn't seen that. Which is just because they work inside of an extremely bureaucratic system that, you know, takes a long time to change.

So, what I'm curious about here isn't what the advantages of classical education over online education. I can see those, I think. I think I understand them. And I think that, you know, classical education doesn't need too many defenders; it's pretty entrenched and not going anywhere. I think that what's interesting is to talk about the real advantages of online education, you know, beyond our structure of: everybody went through and has been a part of the traditional education system so it's hard to think outside of it.

But what are the real advantages if we really went after this thing? What's it going to look like in ten or twenty or fifty years, when a lot of education is done online? What opportunities does that present for us? And that's an interesting question because that's something that we're all going to be a part of - that shift, that change. All of us, you know, whether we're talking about our kids going through school or whether we're talking about actually working in that industry.

There's a lot of exciting opportunities there that I could - that I've thought of. But they take a little while for me to think of because it's hard to get out of the traditional space. It's hard to get out of the box there. Things like, you don't have to find 100,000 pretty good teachers, you can find 100 really good teachers and then give students access to them. And then the students can pick the teacher, that's never been able to happen before - it's so cool -I mean, maybe occasionally in university.

But to let a student pick the way they want to be taught, who they want to be taught by. You can have the same subject taught fifty different ways, and each of those ways might be interesting to a different student, to a different group of students. That's like, could really change the way that we educate. It also is an opportunity to sort of destroy the core curriculum that we're all taught, these fifteen subjects that make everybody know the exact same things - it's pretty boring.

In the end, we're not just talking about how to teach, we're talking about what to teach. And do we have the opportunity now to change the idea of what education is? And if we want to do that, what are the steps that we should take to get there?

It's also a huge challenge, because we're not just talking about, you know, changing it for, you know, upper middle-class white kids which is often times what most of these efforts end up going towards because that's the world that the policy changers know about. But how do we think about reforming education in a way that makes the world better for all people? Which, education, that's supposed to be the goal. That's the best goal of education.

How do we reach all those people that aren't being reached? How do we integrate with the classical education system? How do we broaden the curriculum to include more topics that just aren't being discussed today in schools? And how do we do all without diminishing the traditional education system, at least not too much? Maybe a little bit.

That's a lot of questions, but I think that, like, all that sort of comes out of just saying, "How - like- what would education look like if we weren't, you know, locked into the structures that we currently exist in?"

Those are the things that I wanted to think about, and hopefully you'll be talking about them in the comments. I'm Hank Green, this has been TALK, I will also be in the comments if you want to talk.

(outro reel)