I just spent two days at a training for my school building to become an accredited International Baccalaureate (IB)school. IB is a worldwide movement that promotes global learning and student learning from their own inquiry and discoveries. It's very involved, but to me it looks like it may put some joy back in the learning process after over a decade of making learning (and teaching) only preparing to take tests. We still have to give tests, but IB concepts have spread throughout the world for the past several decades and is now spreading through the US.
The following is text from a video you can view on You Tube if you'd prefer. It closely relates to this way of learning. Either way it's worth knowing.
If you're 1 in a million in China there are 1300 people just like you.
China will soon become the #1 English speaking country in the world.
The 25% of India's population with the highest IQs is greater than the total population of the US - translated - India has more honors kids than the US has kids.
The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004.
We are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist, using technologies that haven't been in invented in order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet.
The US Department of Labor estimates that today's learners will have 10-14 jobs by the age 38.
1 in 4 workers has been with their current employers for less than a year. One in two have been there less than 5 years.
1 out of 8 married couples married in the US last year met online.
The #1 ranked country in Broadband Internet Penetration is Bermuda. US is #19, Japan #22.
WE ARE LIVING IN EXPONENTIAL TIMES.
There are 31 billion searches on Google every month. In 2006 this number was 2.7 billion.
The first commercial text message was sent on December 1992. Today the number of text messages sent and received everyday exceeds the total population of the planet.
Years it took to reach a market audience of 50 million:
Radio - 38 years.
TV - 13 years
Internet - 4 years
Ipod - 3 years
Facebook - 2 years
There are about 540,000 words in the English language - about 5X as many as during Shakespeare's time.
It is estimated that a week's worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime on the 18th century.
The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years.
For students starting a 4 year technical degree this mean that half of what they learning their first year will be outdated by their 3rd year.
By 2013 a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computational capabilities of the human brain.
While reading this 67 babies were born in the US. 274 babies were born in China. 395 were born in India ----and 694,000 songs were downloaded illegally.