Today I watched a great TED Talk about the rise of video for all communication by Chris Anderson. "TED's Chris Anderson says the rise of web video is driving a worldwide phenomenon he calls Crowd Accelerated Innovation -- a self-fueling cycle of learning that could be as significant as the invention of print." The power of video can permeate all of education from kids learning with other kids around the world to bringing experts into the classroom. Video is powerful - non-verbals, tone of voice, tempo communicate a lot!
But the bigger opportunity is to open learning resources for kids and their parents (and teachers) to consume as needed. Imagine if students were given the standards that we all believe they should learn/demonstrate - and also guided to develop their own based on their talents and interests - and then let them, their parents, and their teachers design a personalized curriculum? It can be done now, with technology that already exists. In fact, home schooling parents ARE doing this.
This isn't the end of 'lessons' or teachers - printing didn't eliminate the powerful experience of listening to an expert speak about his or her passion - but video and videoconferencing provides a rich virtual environment of experiences that learners can take advantage of.
By the way, a personalized curriculum doesn't mean that millions of kids would learn independently, isolated - a school of one literally. It means that they are learning what they need and want to learn - in the way they want to learn - with technology enabling them to be connected to other kids learning the same things...but it doesn't have to be in the same school - or even the same country.
Imagine this! Let go of your pre-existing restrictive thinking...imagine what it will look like? Because it will happen!
And we still need teachers! Designers of learning experiences, guides on the side, tutors, facilitators of learning, assessment developers....all sorts of things!