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Topic: Pseudo-Education Software Fails The Test
Replies: 3   Last Post: Apr 6, 2007 7:13 PM

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Kirby Urner

Posts: 4,713
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Pseudo-Education Software Fails The Test
Posted: Apr 6, 2007 7:13 PM
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I don't think it's a matter of getting all schools
on the same page at the same time. It's about setting
up infrastructure that promotes, sustains and encourages
diverse types of schools, many of them public (i.e.
tax supported, federally or state chartered) and then
going out and recruiting, which means selling parents on
these alternatives, as much as would-be enrollees.

If it's public, you should probably be looking to serve
a cross-section of the community, certainly not just the
financially secure. Students with special needs and
many backgrounds will be the norm, including a complement
of non-citizens in many cases, sometimes members of
visiting families retaining citizenship overseas.

I think the hippies of the 60s, 70s had some of the right
ideas, about deliberately forming new communities based
on innovative infrastructure (bioneering, permaculture,
other ecovillage tech), but these days we don't employ
the "drop out" concept, i.e. we're not "leaving" high
civilization but trailblazing new dimensions and features

Some of us are at least part time into Xtremely Remote
Living (XRL), where there's a premium placed on learning
about energy and sustainable lifestyles. This emphasis
on "home economics" may seem rustic and semi-primitive
(ala the Amish for example, or ala some parts of Alaska)
but we're not necessarily excluding satellite linkups,
fat pipes to/from the Internet, lots of flatscreen TVs,
dirt bikes, snow mobiles, helicopters and so on.

Into these newly created artificial environments
(artificial = using lots of artifacts) we'll weave our
relevant curriculum writing, much of it open source.

These won't be the same skills or concepts you learn in
Chicago or Detroit maybe. We won't be using any of the
text books most kids are now using. But that's OK. We
recruit from all over, and just because you're not
learning math the way most teach it now, doesn't mean
you won't have such opportunities in future, when these
alternatives become more widely available, as lifestyle
options, to more people. So stay tuned.

The idea with these "company towns" is they're actually
nonprofits, closer to charities in conception, but
charged with the difficult work of prototyping
commercializable new appliances and artifacts, along
with new curriculum to go with. Although NGOs, they
work closely with the GOs (OSCON meets GOSCON), as well
as the R&D divisions of various corporations (the
Portland Knowledge Lab is a good example of such an
R&D nexus, inspired a lot by Free Geek).

If this sounds a lot like the role the military plays
already, in terms of prototyping what's later privatized
and commercialized, sometimes for the civilian sector,
that's no accident. If you think of the military as an
extension of the public education system, then it's
obvious that we have diverse, technology-based curricula
out there even today.

Project Renaissance builds on this already familiar
design pattern, without insisting that military service
is the *only* way to serve your country. Some of our top
recruits worked their way up the ranks in Hollywood for
example -- not the Pentagon maybe, but in some ways just
as Darwinian. Still others work their way in through
music, via Nashville or whatever.


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