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Live Chat today at 4pm Eastern: "Why School? How Education Must Change When Information and Learning Are Everywhere"

Author Will Richardson will be joining us for a live Q&A today at 4pm Eastern!

Continuing with our series of TED book chats, for the next week and a half we'll be discussing Will Richardson's new TED eBook, "Why School?"

Traditional educators, classrooms, and brick-and-mortar schools are no longer necessary to access information. Instead, things like blogs and wikis, as well as remote collaborations and an emphasis on 'critical thinking' skills are the coins of the realm in this new kingdom. Yet the national dialogue on education reform focuses on using technology to update the traditional education model, failing to reassess the fundamental model on which it is built.

In TED's new eBook, "Why School?", educator, author, parent and blogger Will Richardson challenges traditional thinking about education—questioning whether it still holds value in its current form.

The book is available for Kindle, Nook, and iOS devices (which have a great new custom TED Books app):

Kindle copy: http://www.amazon.com/Why-School-Information-Everywhere-ebook/dp/B00998J5YQ
iOS app: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ted-books/id511071050?mt=8

You can also read more on Will's blog: http://willrichardson.com

So, let's get things started... when information is everywhere, what is the purpose of traditional schools?

Topics: education

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  • Oct 8 2012: Hello there :)

    My name's Saulo and I'm from Brazil. I'm currently 17 years old and I'm quite fed up with this archaic and outdated system we have at present. It's not endemic in Brazil, though. It happens in every corner around the globe. People wrongly assess diplomas alongside with formal education being more important than the practical application of that matter per se. They just care about whether you have a diploma or not.
    I'm on my penultimate year of high school and it's being really tough to keep up with this. They oblige us to load our brains with lots of information we're most likely not to ever use! Scarcely have we time to even think about what we're learning, as we are expected just to do well on a standardised test that pretends to value how intelligent or likely to succeed we are. That's totally wrong! I learn a lot of things from books, people, the internet... Furthermore, school doesn't teach us the necessary tools we need to learn, it only teaches us how to perform well in a test. It doesn't set us for life. I strongly feel that I've wasted many years of my life stuck in a classroom :(

    In a nutshell, I'd like to know whether it's really necessary to go through all of this (finish high school, go to college and follow a well-worn path that has been previously set for us to take).
    The thing is, I aim to become a successful entrepreneur, I fancy learning by any means, but I'd far rather if it were in a more intimate and informal way.

    Thank you for your attention, greetings from Brazil :)
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      Oct 8 2012: Hey Saulo...thanks for chiming in. Looking forward to my visit to Brazil in January!

      Certainly, many have become successful via dropping out and following their passions. It's still a more difficult path, however, but I do think it's opening up more and more. There is a huge groundswell of creativity and innovation here in the states, and I think as schools do more to nurture that, the learning experience will get better and better. Whatever you do, don't lose your passion to succeed!
    • Oct 8 2012: Well spoken young man for 17 (compared to most US teens), and good questions.
    • Oct 8 2012: Perhaps you should apply for the Peter Thiel Fellowship.


      And I see many young people are using college campus with all its infrastructure labs, equipment, people etc. to incubate their Startups. Good luck!

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