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iSGTW Opinion - SOS for education: calling on grid people power

Opinion - SOS for education: calling on grid people power

Rose presents at the TeraGrid '07 conference, espousing the role of grid communities in education reform.
Image courtesy of Marijke Unger at NCAR

In the United States, educators proclaim we need to prepare our youth for life in the 21st century. Yet typical high school graduation requirements in the United States today are based on the recommendations of a group of ten men brought together in 1892 by the National Education Association.

This means discussion about school reform today is basically focused on tweaking a program recommended over a century ago, for different times, and still based on an agrarian calendar.

It's time to think about a total redesign of the way we educate our citizens.

Making your contribution

Grid communities have been relatively silent on this issue. Why?

You have a unique perspective on technology skills needed today and in the future. You understand the human resources and skills needed to maintain the high performance computation for today and tomorrow. And you understand technology today and are looking to expand its use.

Do you think it's enough for students to know how to access files and surf the net? Is the ability to "analyze, access, manage, integrate, evaluate and create information in a variety of forms and media" achieveable for those who think PowerPoint is a great technical tool for embracing the information age?

"Do you think it's enough for students to know how to access files and surf the net?" Is the grid community making enough noise about the future of technology in education?
Stock image from sxc.hu

Creating a new paradigm

I believe grid communities have knowledge and expertise that can and should contribute to the dialog on what constitutes adequate preparation for life in the 21st century.

Failure to enter the conversation, failure to state a position, failure to provide information about the grid's views and experience with technology translates to acceptance of the status quo.

This acceptance means you consent to a future where our youth leave public education with an education designed to address the needs identified at the end of the 19th century.

Grid communities need to make a statement as a group, or as individual organizations, about the needs, skills, and preparation necessary for productive citizens.

Create your ideal vision of 21st century education. Expand the conversation beyond the grid community. Start here, but if you only talk to each other, it's not enough. Write press releases. Make presentations. Talk to students and parents, business leaders, and policy-makers.

You need to start NOW! We're preparing 21st century citizens with a 19th century education. How far into this century will it be before we have an education system that's truly preparing our students to face this world?

- Raymond M. Rose

Raymond M. Rose was a keynote speaker at the TeraGrid '07 conference and is president of Rose & Smith Associates. His passion is using technology to make learning work for all students.

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