The lego block. Pure genius.
Even as toys get more complex with remote controls and flashing lights, the lego block remains supreme. Fads come and go, but there is always lego.
Its pure simplicity is its brilliance, but also its power.
A block with endless possibilities. A unit of wonder. A cell that can be built upon in any way you imagine to form shapes of incredible complexity.
Just like our own human bodies, small units of wonder, protons and neutrons that are arranged to create infinite combinations of cells and organs.
That is the power in the lego block.
The winners of all categories in life understand the power of the unit.
Yogis have units of poses
Meditation the breath
Construction, a wood plank
Artists, a color
Experts who master their art, understand the components it is made of.
In the end our success is mastery of the unit.
However, until recently, education did not understand this fact. Education like every other field is made of blocks, of competencies, of skills that create a curriculum of competencies. However, while educators claim to “teach” we never let them touch the unit. We don’t let them build, we give them sets.
Lego also has this business. For $200 bucks you can have this.
I get the appeal. It’s easy. It’s no risk and you get this pretty globe. I would even say therapeutic like knitting.
It’s also good business. Lego can charge crazy money for this packaged experience and you really have no idea what the true cost is? You only see a packed deal.
That’s college. A lego set. The sets are majors. English, Science, etc with clear requirements and a large check to go with it. We funnel our students through these sets and yes we can charge a lot!
But let’s be clear, that is not true learning and today’s jobs don’t come in majors. Nor does mastery come from this track as we haven’t given them the block. We haven’t allowed them to create and stack. They have only learned regurgitation. They have learned to follow instructions that come in the format of papers and tests. There is no expectation nor should we expect it after completing a list of steps, that a student on demand can make another lego globe or make an iteration that is all there own. That currently is not part of the learning process.
Education needs to change to allow students to be the builders. Give our learners access to the blocks and build their own unique shapes that map directly to their core interests and goals.
We’ve seen other industries go through this transition fueled by the consumer’s demands for the block, the power. The music industry is a good example.
Remember the days when we bought albums? Entire albums of music to get that one song. We would pay 20x for that one song. And remember what we did in return? We created mixtapes! You could not stop us even then from creating. We want the song, but in the order and next to the other songs we want to listen to.
And that is what the modern student is saying. I want the unit. I want to MYX my education. I want to be the decision maker and create something truly my own that gives me the exact skills I require for my next. My own reMYX. I will create. I will build.
I am the master of the lego block.
The movement where education is a continuous self made soundtrack is upon us. Where personalization reigns supreme.
The future of higher education is here and the student is holding the mic.
And with that I drop mine!