In the digital world, print- and person-dependent learning is not the rule. And as businesses are beginning to learn and religious leaders are beginning to discover, these new technologies threaten existing boundaries and existing arrangements of power and authority in fundamental ways. Organizations that are change adept–that is organizations that can learn as well as encourage learning–will survive and thrive in this new world. Organizations that require stability, tranquility, and predictability will perish. And bureaucracies absolutely require stability, tranquility, and predictability if they are to function in optimal ways…
If the limitations of bureaucracies continue to be imposed on or accepted in schools, the only alternative available to those who desire a high-quality education will be to create a new system of education outside the range of the state and federal bureaucracies that now dominate public schools. Indeed, such a system is likely to function outside schools more generally, as most private schools are structured on the same organizational premises that guide public schools, and thus are based on assumptions that are not valid in a world where digital learning opportunities abound.
If schools both public and private cannot become more adept than they now are at absorbing and supporting disruptive technologies–and it is clear that digital technologies, properly exploited, will be disruptive in bureaucratically organized schools–then customized, commercially provided education is likely to replace both public and private schools, at least for most students. Those left behind will be the children of the poor, who will be trained in state-run bureaucracies rather than educated in outstanding schools, making even more real the social class divisions that are tearing at America’s social fabric (21).
See you Monday.