Is Time Running Out for Industrial Era Education?

Writing in Fast Company, Candace Faktor suggests that TikTok may be one model for the future of education because it jettisons the trappings of industrial era education. With traditional education rooted in established institutions finding it difficult to change to address the needs of students and the economy, and finding it impossible to contain, much less reduce, costs that increasingly make education the right of the rich and a primary mechanism to maintain privilege, new models may offer the only path forward.

What are the elements of the TikTok model worth considering? First, it empowered creators and many of these creators are teachers who have found a new vehicle to reach students. Second, it allows influence to replace more cumbersome vetting processes such as formal accreditation. Third, learning on TikTok is fun because learners are actively engaged. Fourth, it combines aspects of a learning platform and a social network.

Faktor also considers the limitations of TikTok for learning, but the important point of the piece is that it points the way toward a future for learning that takes us beyond those forms that evolved to meet the needs of industrial era societies. There is much to consider as we envision the learning ecosystem of the future, but the TikTok example provides some early guidance.

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