I grew up in a middle class home in Westchester County, NY where the forced dream was to go to college. I grew up with the pressures of “not if” but “where” I was going to college and from early grade school, I was prepping for the SAT’s. That one test was the key to getting through the admission door at many top tier schools, all schools in which I had my sights set on.
I graduated (almost did not – was going to leave early to pursue a startup) with my 4 year degree from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. I did not have the typical college experience as I was only there for 13 weekends in four years due to running a business while in school and traveling to the office and clients Friday-Mondays. School provided a campus for learning as learning did not happen in just the classroom. I think I actually learned more outside of the classroom then in it.
Fast forward to today, I have two children, both under the age of four. I’m thinking about college for them already but I do not know if they will have the same college education I did. Why? The forthcoming education evolution here in the United States and how it might impact them. The NY Times just wrote an article called The Campus Tsunami that outlines a lot of the current landscape.
Companies like Skillshare, General Assembly, Lore/Coursekit, Udemy, Minerva, Khan Academy, Codecademy, Edmodo, and others are forcing us to re-think what education is, not just what college is. While much of this post has been about college, I think I need to re-think how my kids will even go through grade school.
I do not know what the future holds, but I have to imagine that the Internet will disrupt everything it touches. This means education as I and my parents know it is being re-written. I am excited for what lies ahead.