In Fast Company, a magazine about “the future of business”, a writer wants us to know that TikTok “may be the future of education”.

She begins, as you might expect, by telling us why the current education system sucks.

Even pre-pandemic, the decline of traditional education was already underway. With exorbitant costs and a focus on standardized test scores, the industrial education model has become increasingly disconnected from the needs of both students and employers. Worse, little attention goes toward encouraging the skills and mentality needed for lifelong learning.

What is it about TikTok that makes it the future?

Creators are empowered: TikTok is designed to make it easy for anyone to be a video creator, to share information, and to find an audience.

Influence is the new accreditation: People are looking for demonstrated mastery or recognition versus traditional institutional credentials.

Learning is fun, and learners are actively engaged: It’s fun, engaging, and people are showing up by choice, sparked by a love of the subject matter and not for a certificate or course credit.

The future of learning will be social

Around ten years ago, I remember hearing many of the same claims being made for YouTube when that service was supposed to be the “future” of education.

However, all of those attributes actually sound pretty good. What school should be, and usually isn’t.

Anyway, having wandered through some content on TikTok,1 I have no doubt that kids are learning things from the videos. Or that users are making very creative use of the platform.

Does that mean TikTok would be a good tool for students to acquire skills they need to be successful at life?


The “future” of education?


Oh, and who is our education expert? She is cofounder of a “platform for creators to build and monetize live cohort-based courses and learning communities”. With the most important term in that description, of course, being “monetize”.

A photo of spring flowers, which again has nothing to do with the content of this post.

1. I sign up for pretty much any internet service that has been declared the next big thing for K12 education. I’ve also forgotten about most of them.