How are you thinking about the “package” we call “school?” #MVIFI

Do you ever wish you could choose the particular cable (or satellite) TV channels that you most want? Instead of having to buy the package service that comes with 361 channels or 902 channels, you could autonomously select, a la carte, the specific channels that you want to view.

Well, I’ve wanted to do that.

Listening to NPR’s Planet MoneyEpisode 488: The Secret History of Your Cable Bill” on a recent morning walk, I started to wonder how traditional school is like cable or satellite TV. Will student learners always have to “buy the entire package” of this class of math and that class of science, this class of English and that class of social studies? Or will we soon see student learners able to individualize their school subscription bundles?

It’s happened in music. We no longer have to purchase the entire album or CD. We can just buy the particular song we want and create our own playlists. It’s happened in news and broadcast journalism, and we now have the ability to create personal news stations and narrowcast our own story collections.

And it’s going to happen in schools. Well, it IS happening around schools. Think Khan Academy. Think Coursera and Udacity (Hat tip to EdSurge). Think Mozilla OpenBadges project. Think Juliette LaMontagne’s Breaker. Think Seth Godin’s Krypton Community College. Think of the future mashup of those ideas and ventures!

It’s highly likely that my 9 and 6 year-old sons will be able to autonomously aggregate courses and experiences (with badges and endorsements like on LinkedIn) and bundle their own “College Degree,” which I hope will include some residential, face-to-face relationship building in a particular physical community, too. (I imagine that it will.) But who knows?!

Learners entering MIT, Stanford, etc., will more and more be able to enter with NUMEROUS courses from those institutions already IN their digital portfolios. Will our schools require the seat-time, residential equivalents of those MOOCs? Or will they we build on the increased capacity that’s already been built when the learners reach them us?

How are you thinking about the way we package and bundle “school” in an age where people can increasingly pull and self-package the content-and-experience streams that best work for them, their passions, their interests, and their needs (with mentorship, of course!)?