EDUCATION (Programming the human machine)

Learning Monkey

The theme behind the ideas and thoughts that drive me has and always will be ‘positive change’. Like I’ve mentioned on, the question I ask everyday is:

Are we (humans) ready for positive change?

I take my inspiration to answers to all questions, no matter how complicated by nature. You don’t have to spend years analysing every problem to realise the simple answer is to just mimic nature which has already spent millions of years adapting itself through trial and error to end up where it is today.

I see humans as programmable bio-computers which is covered in great detail in the works of the late American explorer of the human brain and consciousness Dr John C Lilly (author of programming and meta-programming of the human bio-computer, expert in dolphin and inter-species communication).

Take the phrase ‘thoughts become words, words become actions, actions become character and character becomes destiny’. We are the products of our programming which is taken from a variety of sources as we grow up – from our parents, our peers, the people we watch/mimic in our environment and the school systems. We never stop learning and our programming never stops changing but the early learning is the most defining in the template that we carry on in later life.

Education is so important to us, it can define a culture and civilisation and what goes into that education is equally important. Over the last two years I have been helping to build an educational platform which potentially has the ability to allow any single member of the human tribe on the planet to teacher another member of the human species anything they like. This is done through the power of modern technology with webcams, whiteboards on computer and portable computer devices.

Before christmas I visited the Barbican Centre in central London for an event in the area of technological development for the education system in England. Essentially it was a gathering of head teachers, developers of technology in education, heads of British school boroughs with the spending decisions, the publishers of educational material in the UK schools and college and university lecturers. It really was the beating heart of the educational community in the UK today. I came away from this event rather disappointed with what the schools, lecturers, controllers of public funds etc were focusing on. Whilst I sat there listening to the lecturers or publishers telling the distinguished listeners what they hoped for the future of education tools – you could see how dis-enthused the listeners were – they’d been sent there but didn’t seen engaged – there were even heckles which I was surprised at – the suppliers (big names) didn’t seem to be meeting demand. I went to this event with buzzing energy ready to feel the pulse of the elders of our tribe who were responsible for motivating and enthusing the younger generations of tomorrow. This was in drastic contrast to a group of new teachers at a local academy I had been socialising with, recently ‘imported’ from Canada whom I wish could be the enthusiastic carriers of all educational lessons in every class in the country. This made me rather sad that the top of the educational system didn’t inject the vibrancy and energy I hoped to see trickle down into the classrooms. Something just didn’t seem right, I had to start some conversations to see what was wrong. Follow this blog if you’d like to know the possible causes I can identify when I’ve put together my research and found the right combination of words. I love education and public-funded education is an asset to us – so I want to make sure I do those hard-workers in the profession justice.

An interesting person who has crossed my path is a British Professor who I won’t name publicly, who has a distinguished career in Neuroscience with unique view points of being able to rapidly teach students – a set of tools to allow a human brain to better educate itself through study theory (if I understand correctly). His words gave me hope because although rather senior in his years, he is definitely a wise person, one of our tribal elders and he has been looking for a system that allows him to lecture to thousands of students at one time through the internet using computer technology. I thought the potential for education technology in his hands was amazing and I knew from that point that we had come across something rather interesting.

The future will see parents design educational service around their children privately to supplement schooling- with access to the content of publishers and the ability to create their own ‘virtual schools’. How engaging would it be for a student who loves chemistry but struggling in French to learn chemistry from a french speaking tutor at 4Pm this evening?

Education has the ability to bring together the human tribe, the ability to respect each other because every person we meet knows something we do not – at every encounter we can swap a learning event. We are a colony, we are a tribe and the fundamentals of every culture is family and education.

If you are an educator or in any way involved with students learning computer sciences or technology or have the ability to motivate, recruit and enthuse new students to the subject, please visit this page and focus on the last paragraph particularly. You have no idea how important you are, so let me tell you:

If we suppose a sufficient righteousness and intelligence in men to produce presently, from the tremendous lessons of history, an effective will for a world peace–that is to say, an effective will for a world law under a world government–for in no other fashion is a secure world peace conceivable–in what manner may we expect things to move towards this end? . . . It is an educational task, and its very essence is to bring to the minds of all men everywhere, as a necessary basis for world cooperation, a new telling and interpretation, a common interpretation, of history.” Herbert Wells.

p.s) this morning I sent a message to Cmdr Chris Hadfield, a member of our tribe who is at this moment sitting in the international space station travelling at seven thousand miles per second. Do you think any student would not pay attention in a science lesson being hosted by a man in space playing on his guitar? We have only just begun to realise the potential for the tools we have created ourselves. Here’s to monkeys with lego!


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