My Two Cents on Education Reforms Through New Media

Several years back, I remember attending one of the first locally organized TEDx talk in the UP. One of the speakers was Graham Glass who was advocating the next generation of education. He claimed that the classroom and contemporary methods of schooling lacked innovation or at least integration with the vast tools and information the internet and new media is able to provide us. He even used video games as an example of a platform that can be used for teaching or learning. And this was back in 2009.

Graham Glass during the 2009 TEDxManila.
I was reminded of this talk because of one of my favorite set of videos on YouTube that showcases the Harvard lectures of Michael Sandel on Justice. The production and design is so experiential and engaging that you actually feel like you're right there in Harvard. The video below and the rest of its lectures are available for free to anyone who has access to a basic laptop or mobile device with an internet connection. Imagine, an Ivy League level of lectures that can be accessed by anyone.

The first among a full course of Michael Sandel's ethics/morality lectures in Harvard.

And it doesn't even have to be a high-budget production. Aaron Dewald of the college of law in the University of Utah designed several animated lectures that provide introductory lessons and basic concepts in legal education. These are not expensive to produce and easily consumable and shareable as well.

Knowledge on torts, contracts, case readings, and legal research is no longer privy to those studying law.
Full access here:

Aside from access and distribution (or perhaps translation), similar module designs and lectures may be created locally for more relevant topics. I even propose or dare that one of the top universities take lead on copying Sandel's sponsorship-paid model and make their own as a thought-leadership piece to showcase that they truly believe in the importance of providing access to education and information to all. 

I feel strongly that we continue to look for reforms in public education when the medium is already available challenged only by the infrastructure struggles of providing internet access to many places in the country. And along with the use of this democratized media also comes decentralization of the curriculum as information may now come from many parts of the world.

And it's not just the education department I see having reforms. Take bureaucracies like TESDA or the Department of Agriculture, for example. Their spending on programs could drastically be lowered  if people such as those interested in vocational courses or farmers are empowered to educate themselves. And, being that data access is an important factor in this, we must also scrutinize the bureaucracy of the NTC and its collusion with the telco duopoly. We always say education is key and yet there is a systemic problem across many bureaucracies that hinder the innovation of and access to education.

Imagine how this could uplift the lives of those in provinces that will also alleviate congestion in Imperial Manila as many citizens flock here because they say access to best education is here. I say no: access to a Harvard lecture or any of the top local universities could provide you education at the palm of your hand or any screen in your household and in the globally competitive classrooms of the next generation. 

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