Why is everything massified in the system, rather than individualized in the system? New technologies make possible customization in a way that the old system -- everybody reading the same textbook at the same time -- did not offer.
Richard Florida agrees:
Our schools are the opposite of what is needed: hierarchical, mind-numbing, creativity-squelching machines. So the need for transformation: But, what exactly comes next? ...
It's hard to sketch the system out in advance, but the core principles to build around are readily apparent: a shared curriculum on a technology platform that enables flexible and asynchronous learning anywhere, anyplace, anytime; challenge and intrinsic reward over grades (and ridiculous standardized tests); community based engagement and socialization; and a wide range of ala carte instructional offerings. [Link added]
Perhaps schools have simply heeded The Onion's warning:
The Department of Health and Human Services issued a series of guidelines... titled "Boundless Imagination, Boundless Hazards: Ways To Keep Your Kids Safe From A World Of Wonder"...Classic.
Although the exact number of child fatalities connected to an active imagination is unknown, experts say the danger is very real. According to a 2006 estimate, children who regularly engage in imagination are 10 times more likely to suffer injuries such as skinned knees from mythical quests, or bruises and serious falls from the peak of Bookcase Mountain...
"To truly protect your children, you must go to great lengths to completely eliminate their curiosity, crush their spirit of amazement, and eradicate their childlike glee. Watch for the danger signs: faraway expressions, giggle fits, and a general air of carefree contentment."