Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Comprehensive Education?

I've become increasingly bummed about what we've left behind in education.
We don't really do comprehensive education anymore. And I think it's a shame.
And while I (personally) would love to see sewing and welding come back into the curriculum, I understand that for many people (educators included) those days are past.

What I'm interested in is what I might call 21st century comprehensive education.
I'm envisioning a one semester course (at the High School level).
It works like this:
1. We start with basic principles of business and marketing.
2. We brainstorm ideas for tangible products.
3. We, using laser cutters and 3d printers, create prototypes of those products.
4. We revise and rework those prototypes into workable final products.
5. We create elevator pitch videos about our products.
6. We create Kickstarter accounts and promote products via Social Media
7. We investigate production-level sourcing for our products.
8. We evaluate what we did well or what might need refinement in our products & approaches.

What you're left with here is a comprehensive class that leaves students with a wide swath of skills. Everything gets covered, from English to Film production, Math and Accounting, Business law, and the like. Total cost to equip a classroom for that sort of course:
1. Computers ($500 x students)
2. Laser cutter (~$2000)
3. 3d Printers (~$900 x 3)
Total Cost = $10,000 (with some flexibility of course)

Worth it in every dimension.
If a student were both talented and motivated, it's possible they would pay for college or their first house. Even if a student's project doesn't go anywhere on Kickstarter, the experience of starting a business in High School would I think be a major benefit in later attempts.


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