Who Cares What Steve Jobs Says About Education?

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Steve Jobs was talking about education the other day and it hit the tech blogosphere hard. Among others Don Dodge, Robert Scoble and I all wrote about it. When Scoble linked to my blog traffic and comments soared. Don expressed a little surprise at how interested tech bloggers are in education but clearly it is a hot topic among tech people. Steve Jobs brought the discussion up front and caused a lot of frank talk on the part of tech bloggers.
How about among education bloggers? Well there are about 75 education bloggers in my RSS subscription list and out of that list none of them talked about Jobs' comments. Not a one. Did they just not get the message that Steve Jobs - hero to millions of techies was making comments about education? Or did they just not care because they think he is clueless? I'm not really sure but it is an interesting observation to me.
Techies are talking to techies and educators are talking to educators. There is probably not enough talking between the two groups. In fact I would argue that there is not enough talking between educators and any other group. To be fair there are a lot of "stovepipes" - groups that talk only amongst themselves. But at the same time education is so important this is not something we can really afford.
Like so many things this has to happen on a local level. Schools need to start reaching out to their local communities and starting conversations. They need to let people know they are listening. Of course for some in education listening to the community will be a new thing as that has historically been a problem. It has to start somewhere though. I do think that blogs can help there. I think that online discussion forums can help as well. Dialogue rather than one way information has to be the way things are done. And of course those outside of education have to be willing to listen and understand how things are from the point of view of those in education.
Change is hard and it will take everyone. While it is all well and good for Steve Jobs (and Alfred Thompson) to take shots at education real change comes from dialogue and from action at the local level.



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