Educators Should Steal Google’s Secret About Creativity

Matt Presser, Education Week, Sept 21, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

"When we give our students real responsibility to tackle problems connected to their interests, they flourish." So says Matt Presser in this article. I think he maybe should have said "authority" instead of "responsibility" (students are quite used to being held responsible for the failures of those in authority). But the point is clear enough, and the substance of a valuable idea (which has been asserted many times in these pages and elsewhere) shines through. I can't be as enthusiastic about the rest of the article. I'm not sure schools should be learning lessons from Google - at least, not until the antitrust and discrimination lawsuits are settled. And while "a young men’s fraternity" at a high school may well have been inspired by Google, I'm not sure it's either innovative for forward-looking. Nor are, say, field trips. Oh, and Google ended the 20% program cited here back in 2013. Matt Presser seems to be working for the right things, but there's that whole "I'm from Google/Yale/Harvard and I've figured it out" attitude that can at times strike readers as really tone-deaf. As in this instance.

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