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Posts tagged ‘education’

How OurPangea Can Help You Change The World

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In the last several weeks we have been writing blog posts about how OurPangea can change the world. We have been talking about communities, education, and the importance of people, and how these relate to each other and our shared human history. All of these elements combine in the ways that OurPangea can change the world.

But OurPangea is not just an entity. We are only a small group of thinkers and writers and doers. What OurPangea needs is for people–those important people–to come together in the communities they love to change the world together. That’s what the spirit of OurPangea really is. It’s not for you to help us change the world, but for us to help you change the world. We want to help people like you who, across history, have shown the creativity and spark to make the world better for you and everyone. The only thing we can ever do is to hope to make it easier for you to change the world, the way you already do with your influence on the lives of your friends, family, and strangers.

Here at OurPangea we want to give you power to influence your communities, to share and collaborate making your community better for the world and the world better for your community. History has never truly had an opportunity like this for our future. For the first time, our technology has caught up to our ambition – we can stop longing for the future and start creating it, before our very own eyes. We can create the communities we desire; we can share ourselves with the world and explore the world to our deepest desires. Not only do we merely have the capability, but with OurPangea we also have the atmosphere of energy, excitement, trust, and community that comes as a part of joining the experience.

History is contextualized by its past, defined by its present, and a springboard to its future; it could be none of these without the extraordinary march of humanity building with each other and for each other. In a new, digital way, we here at OurPangea know that this march, full of the hopes and dreams of millions of ordinary people like you or me, is what will make our community of tomorrow shine forever.

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How Education Changes The World

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Education is society’s absolute greatest resource – it is the foundation for every possible future we could ever hope for. Education for job training, for the future of the economy. Education for knowledge, for the future of academia. Education for teaching, for the future of thought. All of these things combine themselves in our schools and outside of them to educate us.

Schools aren’t just about academics, though. It’s not all just reading and writing and arithmetic. Learning to develop social skills, work together, and adapt to new ideas is what gives people the spark of innovation and ideas to create the future. Schools teach us to learn how to learn, and therefore learn how to create and change the future. Schools are like little incubators, preparing for the future and unlocking the great power of the mind in each and every one of us.

But there are some things you can’t learn in school. There are some lessons learned from teachers without degrees, outside of classrooms. And each of us becomes teachers in our own ways, passing on our stories, knowledge, and values to other whether we mean to or not. You not only learn something every day, but you teach something every day, too. This is what OurPangea can accomplish on a large scale. By bringing people together to teach one another and share in a universal education to improve the future and present, OurPangea seeks to provide ways for education to flourish and for communities of learning to thrive in an unprecedented new era of technology.

We have gathered the accumulation of knowledge across thousands of years all leading to today, and every day we must step into the future with this knowledge and with the mindset of learning and growing to make this future better than our history ever could have dreamed to be. This is why education is important and necessary for the continued survival of society – in schools or outside of them, of academics or philosophy, the education brings us the knowledge we need to hope for and create the future we desire.

OurPangea For Education

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Education without schools – radical, disturbing, I know.

What I should say is education can exist without schools, but it requires having something to learn from. I grew up with the Internet. When I had questions I could always ask Google. What I really wanted, however, was to hear from other people because other people can validate you in a way a statistic cannot. Education can exist if there are experts we can talk to, and it’d only be better if there were communities of experts we could easily find.

As OurPangea grows we want to see the rise of expert communities. All of those interested people who have done their research, thought about it, and need to discuss should be able to easily connect with communities of like-minded people. They shouldn’t have to spend time searching for those people, they should be able to look at a directory, find them, and start talking.

In a sense, these communities of experts are no different than a classroom; there is simply no teacher, just interested students. Each individual will have their own perspective to share and everyone can learn from each other. Each community can create, collect, and share their ideas. The community itself becomes the teacher, encouraging each student.

I may seem to imply that education is relegated to classical fields such as math, language, and science – it’s not. On OurPangea education shouldn’t be relegated to anything. We want to encourage the arts in the ways our school system cannot. We want to build communities of artists for their sake and for the sake of those interested. There is no limit to what a single person might be interested in and we want to make sure we can connect them to people who share that interest.

It’s disturbing that finding other people with similar interests is so hard. And it will take a radical solution to make the process better. Education without schools is a supplement to the classroom. It’s for all of the things schools can’t afford to teach and encourage. It’s for all of the little things in life that might fall through the cracks if they are not nurtured. And all you need is one person. Just one person who believes in that small interest. Someone to encourage and support you.

OurPangea is built to help you find that one person, for that one interest, in that one moment.

The Big Support Networks Of Education In Small Communities

Education has been a topic widely discussed in past months, especially with the Teacher’s strike that shook Chicago this past September. The event brought up issues about public education in Chicago and the American education system as a whole, but most specifically as it applied to urban areas. However, this event also provides us with an opportunity to discuss the importance of education in smaller, non-urban area, the lessons that can be learned from them and the continued importance of preparing future generations for the challenges that lie ahead.

Longhorns Texas students spirit excitement hook em

Like many inner-city schools, small town elementary and high schools often lack the same level of funding that is enjoyed by public schools in other areas. This can mean fewer honors and AP programs, less funding for extra-curricular activities and less funding for the arts programs. The advantages of having such programs have been clearly documented over the years, but knowing their benefits has not made it any easier for small-town schools to come up with the resources to support them.

However, all is not lost.

In her article Small-Town Education: A Personal Perspective, Kathryn Peters, a graduate of Goodhue High School in Goodhue, MN discussed her experiences attending a high school with a student population of around 200. Although Goodhue lacked funding for more extensive programs like honors and arts programs, Ms. Peters said that the support students and the school received from the community and faculty more than made up for it.

“Something that people forget about small towns is that you always have someone there for you,” says Peters, “you’ve got a support group — not just your teachers, parents and peers, but an entire community. Maybe you don’t get every single opportunity as a student from the Twin Cities, but you’ll always have someone to motivate you, celebrate with you, comfort you and be there for you, no matter what.”

Ms. Peters says that the support and attention she received from members of her community inspired her to pursue a career in dietetics (food and nutrition), a passion that she discovered through a program called G.O.A.L.S. She also points out that this level of individual attention and support gave her the opportunity to stand out from the crowd, win scholarships and go on to a successful college career. She doubts if she would have found a support network such as this one had she attended a larger school.

Though they have their fair share of shortcomings and, like almost all other schools, are far from perfect, small-town schools can still  teach us a lot about the importance of community in the area of education. The content of our education is not the only thing that matters and although many of our schools may lack the funding enjoyed by other communities, every community has the ability to come together and work toward a better future.

Kathryn Peters is one of the many students who found success through the support of her community. “Is [my success] a result of luck? Maybe. Is it because I worked hard? Most likely. Does it have anything to do with the fact that I grew up in a small town with a huge support network? Definitely.”

No matter where we live or who we are, the support of our friends, teachers, parents and community continues to be as important to our students as the content we are teaching them. In a time of teacher’s strikes and tumbling test scores on a national level, it’s important that we keep this in mind and continue to be there for each other every step of the way. Over at OurPangea, that’s an idea everyone can appreciate.

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