A few years ago, I wrote a glowing review of a book called “In Defense of the American Teen” by Ryan Teves. Fast forward to today, and Ryan has started a company, Nexbooks, dedicated to fixing at least ONE of the issues he brought up: kids do better when allowed to learn things that interest them.
We all remember the choices of electives we were given … choir, band, shop, a language, and maybe a couple more. A little has changed, but school districts, already under fiscal pressure, still do not offer a wide range of electives. In the meantime, kids are spending countless hours learning what they WANT to learn via YouTube. Martial arts, drums, wealth-building, fixing a car … the options are nearly limitless.
What if kids could follow their passions, but as part of a school curriculum, following standardized methodologies, but in a format they prefer? Well, Nexbooks is building a library of video-based, self-paced, internet-enabled courses, complete with a self-grading capability. So those school districts don’t have to hire a hundred specialists to offer a hundred electives. Or those home-school parents can offer things they themselves have no expertise in. When I talk about this with my friends, they all slap their foreheads and say “why didn’t I think of that”? Well Ryan and his team at Nexbooks are doing it. Bravo.