Disney should not give away its shot to transform online education
Great read Packy!! As a mother of a Kindergartner, I love this thought provoking subject. However, there is a difference between educationally focused entertainment and online education as a substitute to traditional classroom learning. Currently, Disney does a decent job with their preschool shows introducing children to basic reading and math concepts. They are lightyears ahead of Nickelodeon, Netflix and YouTube. We almost exclusively watch the Disney shows in our house for that reason. That said, there is always room for improvement with apps, physical games, interactive shows, etc to enhance learning.
The focus on Disney implies that you are targeting a preschool and elementary age group. Not only is online education a complete waste of time for these children, it actively works at the detriment to their physical, emotional and intellectual development (not to mention the enormous burden it puts on parents who have to manage this type of "learning"). Children are meant to learn tactilely. They should experience the world with their hands, learn to navigate social interactions in person and discover independence and creativity mindfully with a connection to the reality of the world around them. (Note: My children go to Montessori school if you can't tell by my position on the subject hahaha)
Screens are great. Disney is the best. Thirty minutes of Sophia the First is wonderful time spent for my 2 year old and me = ). A Disney curriculum would no doubt be fantastic, but as a society, we should be careful wishing away traditional school. Online education (even provided by Disney) is not the same as an adult virtually working unless the parent (likely mom) is willing to commit the time and energy to educating her children using an online Disney curriculum as a tool. Until March we called this homeschool.
Great work as always, Packy. Mario @ The Generalist wrote a worthy companion article to this last month: https://thegeneralist.substack.com/p/the-next-michael-jordan-teaches-grade
What do you think the most important domino in all of this is? It feels like higher ed buy-in to this revolution will be critical as the sort of gatekeeper to widespread acceptance via both admissions (How can we put digital learners and analog learners on a level playing field when making admissions decisions?) and implementation (how will digital learning interplay with the idea that university is the first time students truly "choose" in their education, whether that's classes, major, school, even life generally?).
Thank you for the morning brain-buzz! Outstanding idea and presentation.
Education at scale could be the biggest win of the modern era. But we're butt-fumbling its big debut right now.
Lots of folks are still suspicious of edutainment, and rightly so. But how many of us in our 40s and 50s can still sing the preamble of the US Constitution and nail every word?
Guess what? Schoolhouse Rock is already owned by Disney.