Raven Osborne and the Future of Free Education

raven-osborneI have a strong interest in all things educationally related as I once worked as a Technology Trainer. One of the big topics we see in this field is the so-called Right to an education. A young woman named Raven Osborne, and her accomplishments, give what I believe is a peek into what education will eventually be for everyone.

Osborne was able to take a number of college credit courses through her high school. She also completed courses online. She will now get a college degree in Sociology at the same time she graduates high school. All at no cost.

One of the most interesting things about this is that it harkens to the past. In the old days, we did not have nearly the formalized schooling environment we see today. It was quite possible to obtain a license to practice law without attending law school. You simply educated yourself through available resources and then proved an adequate knowledge of the material. Can you say Abraham Lincoln?

While Lincoln had to read books, we now have the Internet and people can take many classes online. It’s certainly possible to pay for these classes and accumulate college credits but it is becoming increasingly easy to simply watch videos for free. I’ve always had an interest in law and I’ve been watching YouTube videos about Contract Law. I think it’s quite likely if I studied diligently enough, I could learn as much as was necessary to pass the Bar Exam. I could do all this without a single payment of any kind other than internet access.

As more and more educational opportunities became available through the Internet, it seems increasingly likely people will take advantage of them, as did Osborne. We’ll see a whole new generation of doctors, lawyers, massage therapists, and professionals in every field imaginable simply learning their skills through free sources and setting out in the world to make a living.

There is a huge debate among various factions about how education is a right. In a number of countries, a college education is paid for by the state. There are those who want such a system here in the United States. There are many who think this is prohibitively expensive.

Well, I’ve got good news. It’s all going to happen without any government intervention. It’s just going to require the sort of personal initiative that we see from Osborne and we saw from Lincoln. There is coming a time to this world where an education, in any field you might want to pursue, is completely available for all; at the cost of an internet connection. How incredible is that?

Technology and innovation is going to completely solve the problem. It is based on the personal initiative of educators posting their knowledge and colleges making classes available online to view. I challenge you to go, right now, to the internet and search for an educational topic that interests you. Find some videos and learn. Become a Photoshop master. Learn the law. Start on your way toward a career in veterinarian care. It’s mostly out there already and the catalog of available information is growing quickly.

I foresee a time when there are no schools at all. Every person will have the opportunity to get any education they desire for free. Then there are no excuses. If you want to be a lawyer but don’t take advantage of what is available, the onus is upon you.

The future is impossible to predict but it seems quite clear to me that education will be free. That more and more people will have the opportunity to enrich their lives without being limited by financial wherewithal. This means those most motivated and talented will succeed regardless of the circumstances of their birth. One of the great tragedies in this world is when a person with ability and desire is unable to fulfill their potential because of economic or social circumstances.

When the most motivated and the brightest are allowed to succeed, that is good for all of us.

Tom Liberman

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