The Most Important Question For Teachers in 2014

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It’s Economics 101: If people want something, it’s value is predicated on its scarcity. Before the web, because information was scarce, it had value.  If you wanted access to the facts contained in the pages of Encyclopaedia Britannica you had to pony-up $2200. If you wanted to know what was on TV tonight you had to buy a TV-Week, and if students wanted to acquire knowledge, they had to listen to their teacher and copy notes from the board. Teachers who “knew their subject” were valuable.

In 2014 Wikipedia is free (even Britannica costs only $15), there’s a free Electronic Program Guide built into your TV, and if a teacher is valuable to her students – it’s not because she know’s her subject.

So that’s the big question I have for teachers in 2014. In a world with Google; in a world with Wikipedia; in a world where knowledge has lost all it’s scarcity, what do you bring to the classroom that IS scarce?

It’s not a rhetorical question. I think teachers should be able to articulate what their value is.