education: a letter to my brother & sister

Hey dude & dudette.

May I share something with you about education? Not many people know about it yet.
Yes? If so, read on…

  • On a small scale, top shelf education is now being offered online for free.
  • On a larger scale, I believe and some others agree, that this is the beginning of a shift in higher-education.

20 years from now, maybe sooner, my vision is that education will no longer require parents to drain their retirement savings. It will be available anywhere. Because it will be more freely accessible the “degree” as we know it will be less valuable. Instead, life skills, a trade, apprenticeship, etc will take over as the more valuable “badge” for education. In the future I see being “wise” in life and “rich” in international experiences being more valuable than a degree. With this shift in the way we educate our children, a new breed of “leader” will emerge.

I’m excited about this and write to inspire you to think more about what this will mean.
Why? I’ll explain more if you’re interested…

Being in the tail end or recently completing your education, the topic of education is both relevant and in the forefront of your mind. Completing education is like taking a step into the next level of life. For me, it marked the transition from studying to better myself, to “working” to better the world around me. I’m only early in my understanding of this, but I see now that my opportunity in this life is not for bettering myself. My opportunity is to better the lives of those around me. What for? For the sake of our ancestors and the life they worked to build for us, for the sake of the people I love today (you!), and for the sake of the children we will bring into this world.

And this is no small thing. Like a drop of water with rings radiating in a pond, we are the drop of water spreading our energy to others, who spread it to others, and on and on. Each day is an opportunity to spread something. What can we spread that will make the lives of those around us better? The wake we make will radiate on to our next generation.

My vision is that this shift in education will mean that same opportunity (“working” to better the lives of those we interact with) is embraced by more people in the community. Beyond that, I believe greater cultural understanding and peace will result. And that is why I find this so fascinating. And that is why I wanted to write you.

Here are the education platforms offered free, streaming online:
www.coursera.org [Princeton, Stanford, Penn, etc.]
www.edxonline.org [MIT & Harvard]
www.udacity.com – Interesting because they offer “certificates” as an optional add-on for a fee that would offer grading. And they submit your resume to employers with whom they partner.

If you want to read more, here are a few articles about these platforms:
Thomas Friedman: Sophisticated online classrooms will revolutionize education
Alt-Ed: Online Classes Invite Students to Join the Ivy League, Kind Of
NPR Mindshift: Can Free, High-Quality Education Get You A Job?

I love you with every ounce of my being. I sincerely believe that the three of us are unique in our understanding of the world and our ability to make the lives of those around us better. I know because being around you makes my life better.

In love & partnership,
Your sister

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