This story started in 2012 when I was asked to speak at a TEDx event
in Istanbul on the future of education. Several times throughout my talk I touched on the topic of teacherless education.
After my presentation, I was approached by Cozi Namer, a Google executive who explained why teacherless education was so important to them.
“Our team at Google is looking for ways to educate the people of Africa, but very few teachers actually want to move to Africa,” he said.
The conversation was brief, but he framed the problem very succinctly. No, most teachers don’t want to move to Africa. They also don’t want to move to Siberia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, or the Amazon rain forest. There are lots of places teachers don’t want to move to.
By some counts, we are short 18 million teachers globally, and a full 23% of kids growing up today don’t attend any school at all.
There simply aren’t enough teachers at the right time and place to satisfy our growing thirst for knowledge. Read the full feature article.
Last year the DaVinci Institute launched a computer programmer training school, DaVinci Coders
, and one of the key people we tapped to be one of our world-class instructors was Jason Noble. On Friday I attended a talk given by Jason at the Rocky Mountain Ruby Conference in Boulder, Colorado titled “From Junior Engineer to Productive Engineer.”
is an 11-week, beginner-based training in Ruby on Rails, patterned after the successful Chicago-based school, Code Academy (later renamed The Starter League).
Working as a Senior Software Engineer for Comverge, an intelligent energy management company in Denver, and also part-time instructor for DaVinci Coders, Jason understands what it takes to train people both in the classroom and on the job.
In his presentation he compared the apprenticeship times necessary to bring three different newly hired Junior Developers up to speed – one with no Rails experience, one who attended our 11-week course, and another who attended a 26-week program at a different school.
He concluded that the one with no Rails experience required 6-7 month apprenticeship time, the one with 11-weeks training required 2 months, and the one with 26 weeks schooling was up to speed in 3 weeks. Read the full feature article.
Let’s first start off with a different question. “Who controls the bread supply in London?”
This was the opening question that Jonas Eliasson started with in his TED talk titled “How to solve traffic jams
As it turns out, there really is no single person responsible for making sure bread gets distributed every day in London. He used this as an example of a “self-organizing complex system.” So rather than relying on some bread czar to issue top-down edicts to make things happen, the system organizes itself.
A few months back I was interviewed for a Canadian documentary titled “Generation Jobless
” produced by Dreamfilm Productions. The core focus of this documentary was to point out the amazing number of disconnects between higher education and the job market, and why such a high percentage of young people today can’t find work.
As an example, each year Canadian colleges graduate 3 times as many teachers as there are teacher openings. Many other industries have similar discrepancies with either too many or too few graduates to match industry openings.
To further complicate matters, employers are now placing a higher premium on experienced workers, and are less willing to invest time and money for training new entrants themselves. With colleges only offering the training piece, graduates are left in a catch-22 situation with little opportunity to get the work experience without the opportunity to actually work.
This started me down the path of considering why London’s bread supply works spectacularly well as a self-organizing complex system, yet education does not. And it all began with the central question, “Who controls the education industry?” Read the full feature article.