Education has changed forever.

  • Forget the idea that you can send your kids worry-free to the neighborhood school
  • Forget trusting the school to teach your children
  • Forget all your ideas of students being empty eager vessels to fill full of knowledge….

Why? Because things have changed. Technology, the school systems, the students and the companies that hire them have all changed. Lets start with the students…

I’m talking about the youth of today and also the work force in today’s competitive companies. Online education is now mainstream with colleges, grad schools and continuing education all offering traditional, blended, and online options. Even the traditional is technology infused.

Our people are now, as Marc Prensky calls them, “Digital Natives” with skills and a mindset suited to today’s technical realities. Learning styles have evolved as have our diagnostic tools and categories of learning styles and the dysfunctions. The skills are different too with analytics, algorithms, & web researching becoming mainstream skills.  And while public schools still dominate the educational system, homeschooling and virtual schools are the two hottest growth areas in education. They’re cost effective and they can work!

How different is today’s technology- Well, remember that just fifteen years ago, twenty volume sets of encyclopedias were being sold as a primary information resource. How quaint it seems today!

The amazing internet  accelerated the information revolution and has totally changed the nature of  communication and organization. Today’s companies and schools are different. Entire layers of middle managers are gone from America ‘s corporations.

Today, entry level employees receive  and respond to emails and calls directly from company executives, a level and type of communication that would have been infeasible and unthinkable, just a decade or so ago. Telecommuting has gone from fringe to mainstream. Email, once exotic and unreliable, is increasingly the main internal form of communication. Video conferencing too is shifting into the mainstream with video conferences and Google Hangouts becoming routine. Todays-Learners.com reports on the successful paradigms for today’s learners in this new economy.

The numbers on education. Private and parochial schools are in decline with around 10% of the population. Homeschooling continues to grow with around 3% of the K12 population opting to do it their own way.  Charter schools are growing and are approaching 3%.  The rest are in the public schools. The magnet programs used to be a growth sector within the public schools. The major growth sectors today are the virtual schools and the remote learning component within the bricks and mortar schools and homeschooling.

What should parents look for in a home schooling curriculum?  Are the virtual schools a real education or just a way to earn credentials?  Are the learning games such as unscramble, hangman, crossword puzzle, and wordsearch an important educational tool for word study or just busy work?  What are the best resources for building writing skills? Read on to find out.