Today, new schools are being created that leverage technology to empower individuals to achieve their unique goals, as quickly, and inexpensively as possible. This is Empowered Education.
The story of humanity is propelled forward by our unique ability to convert imagination into reality. We take the things we imagine and create them, whether out of curiosity, necessity, or desire. Each creative act requires us to learn new knowledge, skills, and tools. During this iterative process of creation, we imagine new possibilities based on our newly gained technology, and begin the cycle again.
The imagination to reality conversion process is fueled by the curiosity and desires of each individual, and so necessarily, learning occurs at the level of the individual. If there is no desire to achieve a goal, or a curiosity to explore, there is no learning, only passive participation. The more curiosity or desire, the more learning.
An “education” in the strictest sense of the word is the accumulation of learning over time, whether the learning occurs in a kitchen, a library, or a classroom. Someone who walked across the United States over the course of a year would obtain an “education” in American Sociology better than any Sociology class at the most elite college. However, when people say “education”, this type of learning is not really what they have in mind.
Instead, an “education” commonly refers to the process of learning knowledge, skills, and tools that have been chosen, sanctioned, and certified by a school, college, or university. As a society, we have largely, and unconsciously, delegated the burden of personal learning to institutions that are granted the authority to certify whether a topic is worthy of being called an “education”.
In the past, schools have taken advantage of their monopoly on information, to only certify and teach the knowledge, skills, and tools that were interesting to the schools, administrators, and teachers, themselves.
However, in the Age of Individuality, schools must serve the learning goals of individuals. After all, schools are places where individuals choose to spend their time and their money in order to achieve their own learning goals.
In the Age of Individuality, the ideal school is one that enables an individual to pursue their specific goals: this might be to build a model airplane or learn about spiders (for children), or to gain the skills necessary to work as a nurse, accountant, or welder (for adults).
I call this new model of education, Empowered Education, because the educators are empowering individuals to achieve their own, personal goals.