Now that we’ve figured out that the global budget for online language learning is the same as the global budget for learning, period, what kind of cash are we looking at?

Actually, now that I think of it, let’s first take a closer look at The Correct Problem, also known (depending on where you’re from) The Opportunity.

From Henry Roediger — learning & memory übermensch author of Make It Stick* — comes the following assessment of the situation.

Psychologists have been studying learning and memory with experimental methods for roughly 130 years — since Hermann Ebbinghaus compiled his Curve of Forgetting experiments.

What changes have been translated from Basic Research into widespread educational applications?

What difference has all this research made for the average 4th grader?


Nothing at all has changed in Education as a function of anything that cognitive psychologists have done in the last 130 years.

Anant Agarwal, co-founder of edX, a collaborative Massively Open Online Classroom (MOOC) project between MIT and Harvard University, goes even further:

“Education,” he opines, “really hasn’t changed in the past 500 years. The last big innovation in education was the printing press and the textbooks. Everything else has changed around us…but education hasn’t changed.”

Somewhere, in the back of my mind, is some distinguished speaker joking that a thousand years ago, a professor would read their notes to an auditorium of students – all trying to keep up with the lecture by scribbling everything down the verbatim. Said distinguished speaker was making the point that nothing has changed since Europe’s first Universities opened for business in the 11th century —  and, as you may by now have guessed, I am inclined to agree with them.

If you have the link, do please ping us. It could even be in this here RT vault. As soon as we find it, we’ll will add it to the mix because, obviously, closing the millennial loop is a lot more exciting than closing the mid-millennial loop, or the centennial or the mid-centennial loop. Although most fun of all, of course, is closing all four of them. At once.

OK. Ready from some front burner talk?

What does the United States Central Intelligence Agency have to say, when it comes to guesstimating the global budget for education?

Nothing. NA. Not Available. Even though they do have a fair chunk in the trunk.

Bless the CIA’s willingness to step forward with all sorts of undeniably useful guesstimates, but they are not willing to venture a guess when it comes to the size of the global market for education.

Apparently, they do not know about — or agree with — the World Bank’s figures. Why, I wonder, for instance, are they not simply asking the Algerians directly?

To the wiki we must turn:

Given that the Global GDP (2016) is guesstimated by the CIA at 128.7 Trillion $US and — according to averaged numbers culled from Wikipedia — 10% of that was spent on education, what does a projected profits for 2027 of 81.73 Billion $US start to look like?

10% of $130 T, folks, vs the Current Best Guess of $82 B.

Let’s feel this one up a bit.

If you had an annual budget of $13,000, you might actually be stuck budgeting just $82 bucks a year for your kids’ educations.

But let’s say your neighbour has an annual budget of $130,000 – and they ponied up that same purse of just $82 bucks for just their kids’ educations that same year — and called it a win! What would you have to say about that?

If you had to come up with one word to summarize your neighbour’s ambitions for their kids, without so much as a peep for anyone else’s (more about this later), what would that word be?

But maybe you are of the opinion, as many seem to be, that all education is just decorative.

An astonishing number of people still think people are born with how smart they’re going to be – and formal education is nothing more than a fancy watering can.

As if 1949 never happened.

These are not necessarily the same people who are still thinking that the human brain starts to literally disintegrate, with no way back, as soon as they reached the age of 25.

People get stuck in silo’s. Everybody has blindspots. It’s not their fault. But we’ve learned a LOT, actually, since 1949. So maybe we could start sowing and reaping.

. . .

What’s up next?

* Make It Stick has been translated into French, Spanish, German and even Traditional Chinese – but not Italian? Every other German is fluent in English — or 56%, 39% of French are and 22% of Spaniards. Meanwhile, 34% of Italians have good English. So where’s the Logic there? (This from a fabulous table, btw, if you’re interested in that 13T. And. Even if you have been reading Roediger’s classic and it’s dog-eared beyond resale value, it’s worth checking out the book’s very spiffy web presence. And. Isn’t it somehow wonderful that so many Germans have so many wonderful things to say about the Jake Knapp’s German translation of How to Make Time?
I’ve been using the CIA World Fact Book, to model global markets, since it was available only in hardback – that’s right, as a big old book – and here is the scoop on that: The UX has, if possible, actually gone backwards.