What impact would there be if we were able to offer one-on-one tutoring for every single Bermudian child? Could it revolutionize our education system? Could it help us achieve the standard of education that we so desperately seek for our children? What if it were not only possible but also cost effective?
World globalization is making the world a smaller place. While it may make it easier to outsource jobs, it is also making it easier to buy skills from around the world for a much cheaper rate. What if globalization could be used as a means to give our children a better education? What if we could hire tutors from the other side of the world to work one-on-one with every Bermudian child as a means to assist our in-classroom teachers? A radical idea that just might work.
Online tutoring by the likes of companies like TutorVista is an incredible concept and may well be a tremendous solution for revolutionizing our education system. It’s premise being to take graduate degree level tutors in India and have them tutor children one-on-one over the Internet, unlimited, 24/7 for $100 a month. Skeptical? Check out the video clip of it from the Today Show or the articles in the New York Post, CNET News, or the San Francisco Chronicle.
How would we achieve such a thing? We could begin by taking a hint from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative and endeavor to equip every child in Bermuda with a laptop capable of communicating with a tutor. Combine it with island wide high speed wireless networks and change the format of the Bermudian classroom to incorporate assisting with both in-class work and homework with online tutors. Top it all off with standardized testing across the board to ensure that all students are achieving the levels required for progression.
Could we achieve one on one education for every single Bermudian child? Could it revolutionize our education system? Could it help us achieve the standard of education that we so desperately seek for our children? What if it really is cost effective and if so, whats stopping us?
One of the most interesting things about the BEST forum tonight was mentioned by two of the speakers, who happened to be girls in highschool. They made mention of a group of nearly 500 people who had joined a group in opposition to the Southlands Project on the popular social networking website called Facebook.
The group features some 473 members at present, lists some 22 reasons of opposition to southlands, recent news, links,
photos, a bulliten board and a discussion board. What many may not realize is that this is a clear cut example of what the future for younger generations will hold as these sort of resources begin to become prominant tools for empowering technologically capable individuals.
In today’s Bermuda, individuals are not privy to a great deal of information and are required to go to great lengths to become informed and express their opinion. Tomorrow’s Bermuda is perfectly demonstrated by this website dedicated to the Southlands project which shows how the youth are becomming more and more connected with the world and the issues that surround them. More so than any who have come before them.
Any indivdual is free to sign up to this website and use it as a means to not only track their friendships, but also share contacts and trace friendships back to those you once had lost. Beyond this, the technology has also evolved to provide an advanced online meeting place for individuals to share ideas and express themselves on anything of interest.
In the future we will only see more of these kinds of technology rise into prominance. Like it or not, the face of Bermudian politics and politics globally is guaranteed to change as the youth and other technologically enabled individuals become more connected and more aware of the world that surrounds them. Freedom of speech and participatory democracy are soon to take on whole new meanings as we transition into the age where the younger generation has a true voice.
If not for the coming election, expect that by the time the next one rolls around, the young generation will have amassed a voice unlike anything that has ever been encountered before. A force and movement of organization behind the people to be reckoned with. It is becomming clear that the future will guarantee greater access to information for all and a greater ability to express oneself, share ideas and have an opinion, regardless of how things were done in the past.
The only question is, how will our system of leadership adapt?
According to a recent article on socialtext’s website. Utah State Representative, Steve Urquhart, Chairman of the Rules Committee that decides what legislation goes to the floor, has launched a wiki dedicated to promoting open government called Politicopia, based on enterprise collaboration software Socialtext.
Describing the project, he says “One week into the experiment, Politicopia is working. Citizens are participating and citizens are being heard. Legislators are talking to me about things they’ve read on Politicopia. Because of input I received, I have changed a position I’ve held for years. Already, citizens are using Politicopia to shape the debate. As a matter of fact, a reporter emailed me, to ask why Politicopia wasn’t linking to her article. That has never happened in the two-plus years I’ve been blogging.”
Politicopia enables citizens to discuss pros, cons, amendments, find further resources and get more information. Example laws that are presently being discussed:
Cell Phone Restrictions for Teen Drivers
Drivers License — Revocation for Dangerous Drivers
Higher Speed Limit, Violation Amendments
Vouchers for Private School Tuition
Payday Lending (Sen. Mayne’s Bill)
Fee Waiver Appropriation for School Districts
Illegal Immigrants — In-State College Tuition
Who do I need to talk to in order to get something like this in use here?