Monday, November 19, 2012

New Movers & Shakers in Education Reform

Education reform is a buzzword - as well as a billion dollar industry - and it has been increasing its market share of the headlines over the past decade.  From charter schools to online learning, the education paradigm has shifted, if not quite been turned on its head.  For the vast majority of people in developed countries such as the United States, public education still happens on the Carnegie unit K-16 of the past century.  However, many visionaries - both young and old - are revolutionizing education, and the list of reformers is growing fast.

The most well known names in education reform these days are people like Bill Gates, whose Gates Foundation has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in reforming schools.  Other people like Wendy  Kopp who founded Teach for America and Sal Khan of the online teaching system Khan Academy are becoming more prominent as their influence grows through the changes they make.  Sal Khan, for example, is funded by philanthropists such as the Gates Foundation, and Khan's concept of the "flipped classroom" is taking innovation to the most entrenched system in American culture.

Forbes Magazine has assembled a more extensive list of people who are changing the education paradigm through new "education start-ups."  People like Daphne Koller whose online platform Coursera is offering world class university classes online are breaking down the barriers by granting access to classes at Harvard and MIT for people who could never afford nor be admitted to the elite institutions.  Numerous reformers have developed platforms for increasing access to education.  These are the ones to watch - or for future reformers, the ones to emulate.

As Steve Jobs of Apple told us, "Think Different."

2 comments:

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