There is a buzz regarding the development of micro schools. This phenomenon was quite apparent at #SXSWedu 2017. One of the early panels featured @4pt0schools, @blythtempleton and @elliotsanchez (unlearn education) in a vibrant conversation about how micro schools may shape the future of schools.
One of my favorite discussion points surrounded the concept of scale (I’ve written one post on this subject – maybe I’m obsessed).
Quick Digression: Scale is a brilliant question if we are thinking of schools in terms of factories and widgets. So, while we can apply the concept of scale to the current factory style model of education we so freely employ, I have a hard time using “scale” as a reasonable objective for future of schools. In fact, we know the result of scaling schools: it is the current large box highly bureaucratic model that the industrial era produced.
Elliot and Matt collaborated on a brilliant metaphor using Netflix. Once upon a time, a filmmaker could make a wonderful film, but would have to manage the gauntlet of a large studio and Hollywood bureaucracy to have the film 1) made 2) produced and 3) distributed. Not surprisingly, thousands of wonderful films never made it through the gauntlet. But, imagine if all of those films could be posted on a subscription based site where the user drove what they wanted to watch. We know the result: Netflix has surging profits, cabinets full of awards and millions of customers. Aggregated, those customers rival any network or large Hollywood studio. Couldn’t micro schools do the same?
That is our hope at Tiny Schools: a platform for you to start your own school. We want to serve educators the same way Netflix serves creators.