TED Conversations

David Hamilton


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One International Online Public School K - Doctorate, Universally Expected to Provide Mediocre Education.

First, this is an idea for my country. I believe the entire public school system, should be replaced with one enormous campus in each major city, which records every class, and tags every question asked. These classes could then be broadcast online, for free to all citizens.

How do we decide who gets into the physical classes? Lottery, purely random.

What happens if you have a question, that the teacher whose class you chose to take didn't answer? That's why we tag every question asked, some other teacher answered that question for another student, and each student will have access to this.

How do we pay for this? Close lots of public schools... This is the new model, every individual has access to free education.

What do we do with our children? Libraries, and schools become computer centers and day care. What people have always claimed public school really is anyway : p

How is this going to maintain quality? It won't, it will decline slightly at first, for WAY less money though. Over time, rating videos, and customer input, will prove who the best math and science teachers in the world are. Using this model, that teacher can teach millions of students, and be paid quite well for their contribution to society based on objectively measurable metrics.

How do we test? Require each user to have a webcam, and pay someone a living wage to watch the webcams of 10 test takers at a time. You will not be allowed to run any third party software during testing, and the person watching you will look for physical cheating.

Why mediocre? It's not the best way to learn. The best way to learn is to engage in experiments and a community, however, if those aspects can be taught outside the school, this would prove the cheapest most efficient way for students to prove basice competence at a particular skill set, which they can then market.

Taxes will be reduced dramatically under this model, and many people will choose private supplements, and alternatives.


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  • Sep 20 2012: The problem is the assumption you begin with is that all kids have access to the Internet consistently. In today's world this is still not the case.

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