Murdoch Takes on Education Reform…

In an opinion piece appearing in The Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch, the chairman & CEO of News Corp. (which owns the Journal), talked about education reform. He opened by saying he favored the Steve Jobs model and referenced the “1984” Super Bowl ad.

“Our children are growing up in Steve Jobs’s world. They are eager to learn and quick to embrace new technology. Outside the classroom they take technology for granted—in what they read, in how they listen to music, in how they shop.

The minute they step back into their classrooms, it’s like going back in time. The top-down, one-size-fits-all approach frustrates the ones who could do more advanced work. And it leaves further and further behind those who need extra help to keep up.”

Time to hurl the hammer through the screen…

Mr. Murdoch is an advocate of technology in the classroom, but not as a replacement for teachers. Rather, he said, “What technology can do is give teachers closer, more human and more rewarding interactions with their students. It can give children lesson plans tailored to their pace and needs. And it can give school districts a way to improve performance in the classroom while saving their taxpayers money.”

He closed with this:

In this new century, good is not good enough. Put simply, we must approach education the way Steve Jobs approached every industry he touched. To be willing to blow up what doesn’t work or gets in the way. And to make our bet that if we can engage a child’s imagination, there’s no limit to what he or she can learn.

I agree. The Jedemi project is one needing a home. It is suited to fan the imagination of the 20, 30 and 40-somethings who didn’t have their imagination engaged in school or now in their work life. It shows a path. It creates the foundation for fostering creativity and imagination that is in all of us. And thanks to Steve Jobs, the technology now exists for Jedemi to reach out and touch individuals directly.

Special thanks to Mr. Murdoch for championing education reform using today’s tools and in today’s context.


Note: Mr. Murdoch’s opinion piece was based on his remarks made at the Foundation for Excellence in Education Summit that took place in San Francisco on 14 October 2011.

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