How is ‘Learning’ different from ‘Education”
Sean: But I’m wondering now, how did Milestone come to be? Who thought of this?
Patrick: Okay, so this is this is a journey that I and my co-founder, Josh, the chief exec, have been on together for the last couple of years now. My background is a little unusual for a tech startup. I’m actually a high school teacher. I was in education in Britain, teaching 17 and 18-year-olds for nearly 20 years, and I was frustrated by the British education system, which, like the education system in much of the Western world, is badly equipped for the job that we need to do. It doesn’t prepare people for the world of work. It doesn’t prepare people for university. It doesn’t help people to become self-starters and independent thinkers. And so I was looking for a way of extending my influence beyond the classroom and also doing something about these underlying problems. Now I met Josh, who’s a serial entrepreneur, and we got talking he was coming to the end of his time with his previous startup company called Super Awesome, which is the world’s largest kids tech company. And they were just at the time being acquired by Epic Games. And he was thinking about his next mission, his next goal. And he wanted to do something around learning.
And what really got us excited together was this idea that learning and education are completely separate things and the tools of education are bad tools for learning a lot of the time. And let’s focus exclusively on learners, not education. So we’re not LND we don’t represent a university, we don’t represent an employer, we don’t represent a school, we don’t represent a parent, we represent learners and we build for them. So that’s the core of the vision is of a learner-centered world where anybody can learn anything as fast as is humanly possible, and that that will then be recognized everywhere. Because currently, the ways that employers have of recognizing learning are imperfect proxies. Things like a university degree are a very poor measure of what somebody has learned, and it’s an even worse measure of how good a learner they are.
And we want to build a way of signaling how well you learned so that all of those podcasts and the blog posts and the newsletters that you read and all of the comments that you wrote in the margins and all the questions that you asked on Reddit, and Quora, and StackOverflow, and all the answers you gave to other people. All of those things can be combined to form a signal. This guy is an amazing learner. This woman is a thoughtful learner. This person is resourceful, this person is resilient, and doesn’t give up. So that we’ve got a granular record that employers can look at and go, Well, we know what this person, skillset, and attitude are like. So that’s the story of how we came to that vision.
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