An optimist always thinks that change is for the better. In his book, The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley describes the progress of human knowledge, a process of accelerating, spontaneous, change. Larger and larger human communities connect and exchange goods, information, and ideas. Only the best ideas survive. As these ideas accumulate, they become part of our collective intelligence. The result, in the last few hundred years, has been a dramatic improvement in living standards and a reduction in the number of hours of work necessary to acquire basic goods and services.
Education has been an exception. In the US, the cost of K-12 education, in constant dollars, has increased by 350% since the 1960s with no improvement in results.
The iPad , and the next generation of cheaper and better electronic tables that will follow it, are symbols of the dramatic change that is sweeping through the world of education.