Yesterday, I had a meeting that reinforced my existing thoughts on education.
For the past year and a half I’ve been traveling, and yesterday I found myself in a third-tier city, one with a very low GDP per capita.
I had lunch with a man from California, newly married, and he and his wife (from here) were also planning on having children and raising them here.
“But, don’t you want to give your children a better education?”
That’s what I asked him. This country is not known for its phenomenal education system.
There are better places to be for raising children, I thought, especially for education, and I was confused.
Having grown up in NYC and attending a fairly good school there, I thought being in a main city with great education and high GDP per capita was important.
Not anymore, I learned, and this is why.
Education is distributed
Education has become distributed. Platforms like Reverb are helping with this, but, to be honest, this has been occurring increasingly for decades.
This man’s plan is a highly blended model of education. His kids:
- Attend some K-4 school. Social interaction is important. Having local friends is important.
- Learn from him and their mother. “The success of our kids is highly dependent on us as parents.”
- Learn from teachers all over the world using edtech tools.
It was points 2 and 3 that really had me envisioning the future.
“The success of our kids is highly dependent on us as parents.”
This isn’t to say children raised by lackluster parents cannot be successful; we all know many children from unfavorable backgrounds can still end up doing great things.
However, supportive parents are much more likely to lead to happy children who go on to live fulfilling lives, even if they grow up in an area with poor education.
This man’s belief is that by supporting his future children, encouraging them, and teaching them to be curious and courageous in pursuing their goals, he can help his children achieve their dreams.
This, I personally agree with.
“My kids can learn from teachers all over the world.”
This one I really thought about.
We already have platforms like MasterClass, Udemy, and Coursera, but what was really lacking was personal communication.
With Reverb, this too, is being solved.
His kids can learn science from a teacher in Portugal, technology from one in Wisconsin, engineering in Switzerland, and math in Brazil.
Tutors have been used by children for ages, but now the selection has greatly increased.
With micro-school models (families banding together to pay tutors to give groups of children small class sizes), affordable remote tutoring is made much more possible.
Learning with reenvisioned education
Here’s what learning may look like for his children.
They attend school. They make friends. They go on playdates like all children do. They have a real-life social group to learn from.
He and his wife teach their kids practical knowledge, such as accounting, taking care of a home, being responsible with money and items, and believing in themselves.
The subjects they are not experts in get taught to their kids by various tutors from all around the world. The children are educated in platforms like Coursera, Canvas, Google Classroom, and Reverb.
You do not need to live in the best city to receive the best education
The conclusion of all this?
To answer the question that is the title of this blog post, no, you do not need to live in a global hub for your children to receive the best education.
Your children can now receive a great education from anywhere.