This article says something I’ve been thinking for many years, even before Nooks and Kindles came along.
A World Without Schoolteachers by Richard F. Miniter
But what I am convinced of is that given the advent of the Kindle and Nook and whatever surprises follow, the current model of classroom-based public education is simply a dead woman walking. Teachers are going to have to reinvent themselves because children aren’t going to be lectured to anymore day after dreary day. They won’t allow it. Parents won’t allow it. For the one single reason that they don’t have to anymore. Instead, more and more children are going to be reading and writing and talking about the world of knowledge they’re exploring. Intelligently. Becoming ever more educated while spending a much greater portion of their day doing what kids are wont to do. Running and shouting in the autumn sunshine, assembling a model of the Empire State Building in the basement, collecting rocks or dolls or pets. Being, one might say, kids.
Today my kids learned at the Science Museum and in the car listening to Story of The World, not to mention the many other little bits of learning that are harder to quantify, such as when my daughter decides to write something that she doesn’t get around to finishing or showing me, or when the kids learn more about negotiating and relationships by working together, or somebody asks a question and we discuss it and I forget the discussion but the information goes into the kids’ ever expanding knowledge bases. (All of those happened today, as they do most days.)
Edited to add: Many of the comments are great too! People are talking about things like what to do with schools, such as using them part time, something I’ve long wished for. Schools should be more like college, in which we choose the courses we want to take. Perhaps my child wants to take a chemistry lab this year, for example.