Recognize & Develop Economic Opportunities In Education

Universities have already recognized international students as an important profit centre. However they are not doing a good job providing a better immersive experience with ESL students. This is one opportunity . A second relates to a recent study by UBC showing that children can learn some things equally well from iPads as from live teachers ( However our politicized BC teachers are lining up to challenge this finding to protect their jobs rather than embracing it as an economic opportunity for all of BC in curriculum development for other jurisdictions. Granville Island is home to one of the world's first completely online schools. The Vancouver Animation School ( is involved in some exceptional secondary and post-secondary courses in computer animation. Embracing their creative approach could make BC a leader in distance learning.


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  • Robert Farrow
    commented 2017-02-04 15:55:16 -0800
    The point isn’t that iPads should replace teachers – but rather that some content can be delivered electronically very well, freeing up live teachers to do the things that they do best. In the 1980s I studied accounting by correspondence. I remember my exam coach telling me that the correspondence students were often much better prepared that those attending college courses in person. Of course my education also depended on very good practical experience, working with professional accountants.

    The combination of self-study and in-person coaching and mentoring is an excellent way to learn – at least it was in my case.

    These days I work with a new staff member from the Philippines and spend about an hour a day with her going over her previous work, answering her questions and providing guidance for new work. The work is done over Skype with shared files, shared screens, and we share observations about our files in real time. This approach works well for me and for my staff member.

    In fact we recently decided to develop an Access Database to replace one of our core applications for preparing working paper files. She began by taking some online courses from and has spent the greater part of 2 weeks building the application under my (light-handed) supervision.
  • Julian Prior
    commented 2017-02-02 09:40:56 -0800
    Robert – interesting suggestion, thanks. I work as a learning technologist in a local college so would love to see more emphasis on the potential of technologies (even better if they are green/sustainable) to enhance teaching and learning. I think we need to be careful around the issue of “iPads replacing teachers” though – for obvious reasons :-) Our students are always telling us that they value highly the face to face interaction with teachers – it is about how we empower teachers and students to use various technologies to enhance that face to face interaction and help them with the digital skills necessary for lifelong learning and sustainable jobs.
  • Bill Masse
    commented 2016-12-14 14:04:48 -0800
    Robert, as Research and Policy Chair and Vice Chair on the Platform Policy Advisory Committee I want to thank you for your suggestions. The new economy is one of the important issues we have been discussing and education of course plays a critical role.
    Bill Masse
  • Robert Farrow
    published this page in Make a suggestion 2016-11-27 03:43:49 -0800
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