Matt Bowman & Creating an Education Platform for the Information Age
“When you educate one person you can change a life, when you educate many you can change the world”- Shai Reshef
Depending on who you speak to, the current state of education in the US will elicit opinions that range from “outdated” to “broken.” It may come as a surprise that the pedagogical framework we trust carte blanche is over 100-years old, initially conceived during the industrial era.
This model may have worked in the early 20th century, but today it’s failing a significant proportion of children who don’t learn well with the framework we accept.
Still, trailblazers like Matt Bowman — Founder and CEO of My Tech High — finally see an opening to change education for the better. It relies on leveraging new remote learning platforms alongside substantive changes in curriculum.
Ultimately, our children’s future will depend upon whether or not we accept the old model as gospel or push for something different — something new, modern, and tailored to the information age, not the previous era.
Is the current education model working well for all students?
Indeed, the most accurate predictor of financial success is a student’s socioeconomic status from birth. In short, if their parents did well, children have a higher probability of following along.
But what about kids who aren’t as fortunate to win the lotto, so to speak? The point-blank, bottom-line answer is this: their peers leave them behind, and they ultimately suffer more hardships.
That’s why Matt has worked tirelessly for over 30 years to champion a new education platform that doesn’t leave disadvantaged children behind due to circumstances beyond their control.
In the traditional model, teachers are essentially mouthpieces of standardized curriculum decided at the state level. The problem is that this high-level approach isn’t filtering down to students when they put pencil to paper; they would fare better by placing hands on the keyboard instead.
Did COVID-19 accelerate the shift to online learning?
Undoubtedly, the challenge appeared monumental until the COVID-19 pandemic forced parents to turn to online learning platforms en masse. Now, parents must adapt to a hybrid, online learning model; they no longer have the luxury of complete in-person instruction.
We’re still waiting for research to quantify how effective online learning was during 2020, but our current statistics aren’t encouraging. A considerable proportion of students around the country received failing grades after switching to online learning with a standardized testing model.
We now see that standardized, “well-rounded” instruction blends with virtual learning as well as warm oil blends with cold water. No matter how much the glass stirs, the two mediums will never wholly mix.
No one knows what will happen in the coming years, but the momentum for a new pedagogical framework is building, so how is My Tech High at the forefront of a shifting paradigm?
Online education 2.0 — My Tech High
By partnering with school districts around the country, My High Tech delivers personalized education programs for students based on their unique learning styles and goals.
In short, standardized education doesn’t work for everyone, has hardly ever worked, and won’t work down the line if substantial changes don’t happen soon.
From Matt’s perspective, education needs to transition away from standardized instruction and toward a more a la carte style where parents have genuine choices.
The overarching concept is that if schools personalize education, students will be far more responsive and participatory, engaged throughout the day rather than only during the subjects they like.
If parents feel that their child needs a book-learning experience, they can select that type of curriculum in the My High Tech platform, but this flexibility doesn’t mean every subject will use the same technique.
With My High Tech, parents can customize their child’s track and take advantage of a blend of learning styles.
For instance, if reading about geology doesn’t interest the child, parents can choose a different model for that particular subject. On the contrary, there are also options for an entrepreneurial track that most school districts can’t offer or willfully ignore the opportunity.
Best of all, My Tech High is a tuition-free program, so every student has an equal opportunity regardless of socioeconomic status.
It’s a misconception to view My High Tech as another homeschooling solution because parents don’t pay for the program. They simply enroll their child remotely in a school district that works with the My High Tech platform, and that’s how students with fewer resources gain access.
It’s about ownership of a child’s education and giving parents options without forcing a particular model upon them.
Moreover, My High Tech doesn’t merely sit a child in front of a computer for 6 hours a day. Replicating a classroom virtually was the idea, but after COVID-19, it’s clear something is missing.
Home-based and community-based learning has a profound opportunity to influence monolithic learning models, and this shift can’t happen without more inclusive education technology.
Today, educators can’t afford to be the deliveryman of instruction and hope that children respond. New software tools are coming to market, and the effect on education quality will be remarkable.
Nonetheless, with thought leaders like Matt pushing for lasting change, the industrial-age education model is finally receding to where it belongs, the past.