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Blow Up the Classrooms: Think Online

Do the same thing in college. Colleges should not be for teaching, for standing in the front of a room and trying to explain the same things once each quarter. They should be for research, for learning new things, and for leading students into the social groups that can become careers, rather than jobs.

Technology lets us do all this right now, but there is resistance on both the right and the left:

Parents want to control curriculum. They want to decide what kids will learn, and what they won't learn. This is stupid, it is ignorant, it is dangerous to our economic competitiveness. We have to fight it.

Teachers want to control the process. They see themselves as gatekeepers, and they see their roles threatened by technology. They also feel disrespected, by their students, by the parents, by society. This is fear. It's also Luddism. They need to either deal with the new model or find another line of work.

The biggest challenge here is not the technology, or the politics. It lies in understanding what today's Internet does. It not only enables lifelong learning, it requires it.

For people to truly earn a living in tomorrow's world, they have to do something a networked computer can't. They can either serve their fellow man, serve the machines, or use the machines to discover something new.

I know I've given y'all a lot to think about in a short space of words, and I know you have a lot of questions. So here's how I suggest you answer the questions.

Google (GOOG) them.

At the time of publication, the author had a position in GOOG.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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