Sunday, August 9, 2009

Efficacy Software, P. 2: Implementation

(part 1)
Once it is established that human achievement is a result of specific qualities in the individual that are both inherited and learned, which we may call Human Capital (HC), the challenge then becomes how to best develop social policy that facilitates its maximization across society. For if true freedom is the possibility of individual success, and individual success is the product of the sum of one's HC ( plus good fortune, which of course is an uncontrollable variable), then a society that values freedom must guarantee access to HC.

The great challenge then becomes developing a capable system of delivery. Much of this will be done organically, that is via natural human social and economic activity taking place in homes and neighborhoods. But if we are to truly endeavor to offer absolute freedom to very member of society, supplemental systems must be developed out of our common charter, which we of course call the "government".

This system will undoubtedly be multi-faceted, and composed of many different delivery subsystems and modalities. My focus here however, will be the applicability of free, internet-based training software, as it seems to present a viable, cost-effective delivery platform that is accessible, scalable, and sustainable.

To start with, here is no reason it could not be age universal; beginning with preschool, it could well extend to the elderly. Secondly, while a classroom curriculum could be developed, for use both in schools and community centers, logistic & financial challenges make this model less universally accessible. Although for many HC skills, a live and public environment would be ideal. Yet many HC skills could actually be better monitored and delivered via computer interface.

The first challenge is to properly identify the degree to which each element of HC impacts success, and then which offers the greatest possibility of delivery. Some elements will be enormously influential on success but difficult to deliver, while others easy to deliver yet of lesser value towards success. The overall challenge will be to examine the cost/benefit ratio, and determine what is the most effective use of what will always be limited resources. Into this equation must also come equitability considerations.

This chart is from a 2008 Australian study in which Socio-Economic Status correlated strongly with student test scores. On average, a 10 point increase in socioeconomic status scores is associated with a 6 percentage point increase in the pass rate.

It seems appropriate to examine social statistics to see what patterns emerge. It is reasonable to assume that income in general be tied to personal fulfillment, as it is generally the result of HC. However a software interface should be universally applicable to all groups. Certainly its use in the K-12 public education system would be used by students of all income levels, and built-in assessment and differentiation would scale to each student's HC level. However, when offered to the adult population, group targeting addresses both issues of cost and need.

Lower income communities, having less HC to begin with, can be assumed to have more limited access to computers and internet. Just as early telephone access necessitated government intervention, high-speed data lines may be a required component to fully implement a robust HC development campaign. As technology progresses, the provision of free, or low cost wireless notebooks may be a sensible option. To discourage fraud, they might be locked to an individual's government account.

No comments:

Post a Comment