The Elements, especially Earth
If you look at the top of this page, you’ll notice 6 circular icons. These buttons are the essence of WorkCraft’s “Game of Creation”. This game can be the vehicle for any success you can imagine, and these Elements help structure your success. If you want to know more about the game as a whole, click here. However, each of these Elements can be stand-alone concepts, and each takes a large number of WorkCraft resources to create. In order to ensure that we at WorkCraft are creating the best possible vehicle of success, we are going one Element at a time. The Element we’re starting with is Earth.
On the Difference Between Personal Earth and Professional Earth; Professional Earth is Project Earth
Earth is about creating a foundation for yourself. Since WorkCraft wants its members’ success, both in their personal and professional lives, Earth is designed around helping you build a personal foundation by encouraging improvement in physical, mental, and spiritual health. It also helps build a professional foundation by helping to structure a business or lay out a plan for career advancement. But the most robust manifestation of Earth on site is an education system that equips participants with cutting edge knowledge of a craft, as well as knowledge of how to work well with others and maintain self-respect. It also helps prevent being taken advantage of, as well as builds as a foundation for relevant business and legal knowledge. WorkCraft’s creation of this Education System, which is at this moment being specifically designed for artists, is Project Earth. To learn about the rest of Earth, click here .
What Project Earth is; What it Does; Why is Does it
We at WorkCraft have seen the other amazing education systems that the Internet has to offer: the passionate Khan Academy; the liminal Stanford online courses; the innovative YouTube school; the successful Florida Virtual Learning School. We have been awed by many of the less structured ones such as the inspired TED talks, RSAs, and the Story of Stuff projects. And we would be truly remiss to leave unmentioned the original purveyor of crowd-sourced, free education—Wikipedia. We were enchanted by the niche learnings at BodyRock.tv, Smashboards.com, and Deviant Art, and hopeful for the unfortunately defunct Hangout Academy (not to mention competitively nervous). Obviously this list goes on and on. However, we felt each of these education systems were not enough to truly prepare people to deal with what is affectionately called “The Real World.” We also feel as though the hierarchical structure of traditional university education is problematic and, in many ways, not appropriate for today’s society.
To begin with, many people ascribe to the philosophy that “education is freedom”, even though there are a number of flaws with that idea:
Education often comes at the cost of becoming financially indebted. Forced to pay off student loans, many young people do not find the freedom promised to them after they have finished their education, aka the job of their dreams. Rather, they find a struggle to “pay back society’s graciousness” and clear their financial record.
2) The choice of university in many ways determines the opportunities you are given in life. Even now, popular politicians are met with agreement from large crowds when they speak of “the right schools” and “the right breeding”. This idea of hierarchizing the brands of universities is flawed and we believe leads to the stratification of society, as well as income inequality. To make matters worse, the first and most influential time the question of university is posed is during the teenage years, before it fully sinks in how pivotal that choice is.
However, the problems with current education don’t end there. University professors in some cases are treated as glorified babysitters, as they are dealing with semi-irresponsible young people who are exploring the transition to adulthood. Teachers are often seen as people that spew out facts, rather than ones who discuss ideas and mentor young people to success. Some teachers feel more determined to teach their course rather than help their students grow. At the end of four or so years, students may leave school feeling like they’ve learned nothing, not even knowing that they should have interned with a company for the all-important idea of “experience”.
But of course the problems don’t stop there—employers hire people based off of connections and assumed levels of education all of the time. The university name on your diploma will also either help or hurt you as a prospective employee. Even prospective entrepreneurs consider where a potential partner went to school, sometimes for no other reason than they have nothing else to base their assumptions on.
We realized that this dated form of education should no longer be the case. We decided that we had to create an education system based on the following principles:
1) Education must cost the person being educated nothing but effort and diligence.
a) Understanding that education is not free, we’re creating a system where, through 20 minutes of effort a week, education’s costs are mitigated and the highest level of learning is freely obtainable.
2) Education should be a communal experience. It is communities that give ideas value, and it is communities that create industry, science, and entertainment.
3) Education must be on the cutting edge; when a community values an idea, we must create a structured education (with additional unstructured lessons, readings, and activities) around that idea. This makes sure the education system will always be up to date.
4) Our education system must be transparent; everyone—employers, teachers, and competitors—should be able to see our curriculum; this way, it is verifiable that students of the Earth system actually did get the best education around.
5) Testing is most important. We know this because quickly and easily being able to prove you know something, and having proof of excellence, makes getting someone to work with you and trust your expertise easier than trusting a resume or a name on a diploma. It is equally important to have the ability to retake modified versions of tests however many times are necessary – people understand concepts in different ways and at different paces. No one should be punished for that.
6) Teachers are a necessary part of education, and their roles should center around mentoring a pupil in a subject of shared interest, not giving information to be regurgitated; there are videos for that. ‘Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.’ (Yeats/Plutarch, ca. The Past) WorkCraft will have teachers and Guru Initiates (people that are looking to be hired as teachers) to provide extra help, create discussions, and explore new theories. Teachers will have 1-year contracts, reviewed yearly by the community as to whether or not they are a good fit for that community. They are not babysitters, they are the partners of a curious mind.
7) Education should be a place to begin networking, a medium where people share ideas and work together.
8) Education is a continuous cycle – even if you already have a degree in your field of interest, Project Earth can improve the breadth and depth of one’s knowledge.
9) Education should be thorough; you shouldn’t just be taught a craft. You should be taught basic, business and legal ideas to ensure you will not be taken advantage of and can organize yourself for success. You should learn the importance of communication, positivity, and mental health, so that working with others and being part of a team is something you can easily do.
10) Courses structured the same as college level courses are pivotal, especially to provide a complete education. However, input is necessary from industry leaders, teachers, and students in order to be a truly holistic learning environment.
11) We want to share every amazing educational idea we’ve seen. We understand that if it’s already been properly presented, we don’t need to do it again. ‘Let’s not recreate the wheel.” (Anonymous, ca. The Past)
12) Finally, education should be really fun—it should be a game, with a prize at the end (in addition to the prize of realizing you are a successful individual). Rather than force people to believe the abstract idea of “freedom” as a prize, education is part of our Element system, which has significant prizes of its own.
We believe if we follow these principles, we will create the best education system the world can currently offer, especially when it’s connected to the rest of the Elements. And with this system we can, in many ways incubate ‘disruptive ideas’ that can positively influence the world.