“The modern motor car is a wonderfully sophisticated design solution to the problem of personal transportation in a world which requires people to be very mobile over short and medium distances on an unpredictable basis. However, when that solution is applied to the whole population and is used by them even for the predictable journeys we find ourselves designing roads which tear apart our cities and rural areas,” laments Lawson. I agree – the petroleum powered vehicle has been overextended as a travel solution. We’ve taken the square peg of the automobile (a perfectly valid peg, might I add) and jammed it into the round, triangular, and hexagonal holes of commuting, urban transit, and long distance travel. 

With my recent reframing, my capstone has come to focus on learning in new contexts. As I’ve been thinking about it, I think our modern education system is perhaps analogous to the automobile. The American school system is in many ways a propped up version of a 150 year old system. While automakers lobby for concessions to maintain the status quo in their industry, educators in many cities can barely find the funds to attain even a baseline level of tech access for students. I think the auto/school analogy continues in that both are at an inflection point – each is experiencing upheaval in its own way, and both have been forced to start taking hard looks in the mirror (so to speak).

The irony is that cars are running out of a resource (oil), and education can’t come to terms with a new resource (the Internet). 

I believe one possibility for building a sustainable framework for education in the future could be to explore new contexts for learning. In particular, I think the home is an area ripe for innovation. What do you guys think? Should teaching and learning stay school-centric, or can new technology help us refactor where and how we learn?

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