We are in the most exciting time in the history of the human race. We are in a time where technology has made it so that anyone can create something and make a huge difference. We are in the times of Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google. We may not be setting out with this website to show you how to create the next Facebook, but you do have that potential. Some of the teachers that I have met have way beyond that potential. I am excited and I can’t wait to see what you can create.
I know about ⅓ of you are saying I teach history, I know history. I personally am not qualified to teach history. But I am qualified to teach you how to act on history.
In the past, since I don’t know when – Greeks, Romans, Egyptians – economies have been based on who owns the real estate. Farmers, peasants, slaves, workers in general worked for the landowner. Land owners needed a small army to defend it, skilled labor to keep it up, farmers to harvest the land. Landowners were basically small businessmen. In history there have been many times where landowners were much more. Look at the Royal family in England. They are huge landowners and still get much of their income from people using the land. So large in fact that they still hold power over a nation that has free elections.
In America we fought over land, taking it away from the British. In our early history we all know about the horrible practice of slavery. We know that the american dream is to own our little piece of land, with our little house, and little white picket fence, 2 cars, 2 dogs, and 3.5 children. OK some of us have bigger dreams where we own mansions and have people take care of it for us as we sit under an umbrella and sip cocktails by our private pool.
For a long time those landowners were seen as cruel, corrupt, evil, there to take advantage of us.
Then came along the Industrial age where mechanical industry was born. Then the business owners had the power. Ford, Edison, Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Morgan, and more built America on the backs of its laborers. Now all of a sudden the power shifted to the business owners. To make a brief period of history even shorter…big business became the bad guys. With all the power and money they were seen as controlling, as not giving their fair share to the people who worked for them, as tyrants. Unions became a powerful tool to protect their rights. Organizations ruled. It did create the middle class and give lots of us a great life.
The Information Age
Sometime in the 90’s history was thrown out and everything changed. Computers became cheap and powerful. HTML and the World Wide Web was created. All of a sudden everything was virtual, existed on a computer, on the internet, out in the ether of space. You don’t have to own land, you don’t have to build a business hiring tons of employees, you only need internet access. Heck you don’t even need a computer the library provides one for you. All you need is an idea, information, or the ability to teach.
Information now rules the money. Watch the news, listen to the pundits talk about the job rate, failing economy, loss of manufacturing and labor jobs. It is bad out there. but they are stuck in an old age. Look at technology companies. Have you seen pictures of Google headquarters? It is a place of fantasy, wonder, and intellectual freedom. Those that are stuck in the Industrial Age are about to lose everything. That middle class is about to become extinct. Scary. But those that migrate into the Industrial Age will be just fine. As a matter of fact they will create a better life. A life of freedom, enjoyment, and comfortable living. More on that later in the site.
The information age has already brought about many, many, many instant millionaires. All we are looking to do is reach out and grab a little bit of it.
Caution Soapbox Warning! So what are we teaching our children? How has education changed? What is different from the early one room school houses? Is introducing computers to our classrooms really any help at all? The world is completely different. Teaching the way we do worked in the landowner age and the industrial age, but it does not work now. Is this the teachers fault? Is this the schools fault? Yes to both. But I know that you are like me and want to change. Huge massive change is not likely. It is difficult to take that chance. I know our evaluation structure does not promote that. It takes a lot of money to really change the schools around to suit the modern information age teaching. Those that don’t understand the change we are going though are opposed to it and want to keep it the way it is. There are a lot of reasons against it. The reason for it is clear. It is the path that should be taken. (end of soapbox)
What we can do as teachers is teach the way we want to, use what works, deliver information effectively, without constraints on the Internet. And you know what? We can make a ton of money doing it. Yippee for us.
Information now rules the world, it also controls the money. Those that have the information have the ability to create money out of nothing. However, what the new books and people who get it don’t yet understand is that Information is useless with out people who can deliver it in an understandable and usable way. Those that deliver the information will be the ones to reap the money tree. If you have both information and can deliver it you are in the sweet spot.
This site is here to get you started. To learn something new we know what we need a little success in the beginning. My suggestion is that you write about a hobby of yours and create an informational product (book, video, education course). It is simple but effective. You can easily replace your current income with a well run site that does not take much time to run. Once your site is up and running and producing a good income my suggestion is to think big. Be the next big thing. Create the next big learning tool on the web. Then get out your leaf rake because you will need something to rake in all the money that will pour into your piggy bank.