I can’t say that I agree with everything Niall Ferguson says or writes, particularly concerning politics, but he’s got some good points here about technology and learning. We can compare our school systems against others around the world or instead we can engage in a much more intimate process of ensuring a great education for each student. Rather than working to structure a system that is designed to (hopefully) produce a well-rounded citizen (after a decade and a half or so of studies), we should work harder with students to maximize their proficiency in technologies that aid their own teaching and learning.
I’m not saying the traditional school system is obsolete, but we surely need to totally rethink how we “do” school. I also certainly wouldn’t go as far as Ferguson does by claiming that our educational problems will solve themselves due to new technologies. I think we’ll always need (and desire) a teacher, leader, or learning facilitator within a well-organized system (I’m refraining from saying “bureaucracy” because of negative connotations, but more or less…) who assists students as they use technologies and other new forms of learning created by technologies. I recommend the article to fans of online learning, the future of ed., ed tech, etc.