I was born and raised in a small town Chengalpattu near Chennai, India. We had couple established schools, most of my town went to one of it, I’m not an exception. We went to the school, we had classrooms, sat in benches, in rows, facing the blackboard where educators lecture for an hour while many students sleeping, playing and only few listening. When exams came, we memorized, scored good marks and walked away happily with report card. I never had the exposure then which I have now at Microsoft but hey I’m now what I’m because of the school and we had no Smart Phones, iPads, iTunes, Apps, not even computers for the most part so the education we got is just fine.
Think about the modern world, we’re in the digital era but still education is old school. Kids are taught the same way, lectured in front of blackboard, memorizing and forgetting after exams. We’re in the society where everything is individualized and personalized. We can get out computers built to our exact specification, we can customize our smart phones, we can even get the food customized and yet in this world of customization, one main thing we fail to personalize is education. It is not engaging and definitely not interesting, that’s why students wait for the school bell to run home and play games, hear music, watch videos.
We’re not preparing our students for the world they’re expected to be in, we’re not giving the exposure they need to compete with this opportunistic society. We’re just letting them prepare for the world their ancestors lived. Is it going to help them?
I still have dreams of education. I have dreams of how a school should look. I have dreams to gamify the learning. I have dreams of replacing classroom with school space. I have dreams of innovating school space utilization. I have dreams of optimizing operation cost. I have dreams of reducing education cost. I have dreams of personalizing education to each individual and identify their unique passion. I have dreams of integrating games, music and videos in the learning process. I believe in the power of technology to transform classrooms.