Monday, October 08, 2012

Tuesday Live Interview - Blake Boles on "Better Than College"

Join me Tuesday, October 9th, for a one-hour live and interactive FutureofEducation.com interview with Blake Boles, entrepreneur, educator, and author of Better Than College: How to Build a Successful Life Without a Four-Year Degree.

Blake is also the author of College Without High School), is the director of Unschool Adventures, and the founder of Zero Tuition College. In 2003 Blake was studying astrophysics at UC Berkeley when he stumbled upon a treasure trove of books by authors John Taylor Gatto, Grace Llewellyn, John Holt, and other pioneers in the realm of alternative education. Deeply inspired by the philosophies of unschooling and free schooling, Blake custom-designed his final two years of college to study these subjects full-time. After graduating he joined the Not Back to School Camp community and began writing and speaking widely on the subject of self-directed learning.

In Blake’s previous lives, he has worked as a high-volume cook, Aurora Borealis physics research assistant, delivery truck driver, math tutor, outdoor science teacher, EMT medic, summer camp director, market researcher, web designer, and windsurfing and tree climbing instructor. He keeps a running goal (and failure) list. His biggest passion is sharing his enthusiasm and experience with young adults who are blazing their own trails through life. He is 30 years old.

Date: Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
Time: 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern (international times here)
Duration: 1 hour
Location: In Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate). Log in at http://futureofed.info. The Blackboard Collaborate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early. To make sure that your computer is configured for Blackboard Collaborate, please visit the support and configuration page.
Recordings: The full Blackboard Collaborate recording is at https://sas.elluminate.com/p.jnlp?psid=2012-10-09.1416.M.9E9FE58134BE68C3B413F24B3586CF.vcr&sid=2008350 and a portable .mp3 recording is at http://audio.edtechlive.com/foe/blakeboles.mp3.
Mightybell Space: Resources, videos, links, and conversation about the interview can be found HERE.

Do you need college in order to be taken seriously and earn a real living? 
Conventional wisdom says yes. But true success relies upon self-knowledge and entrepreneurship: two qualities that you can obtain effectively and inexpensively without traditional college.

Better Than College provides the step-by-step guidance and inspiration necessary to design your own higher education. This book teaches you how to find community, stay on track, and get hired or start your own venture, all without a four-year degree. Curious college students will learn to think clearly about their motivations, plan a gap year, or navigate life after school. And Better Than College will show parents how self-directed learning can lead to a lifetime of achievement no expensive institution required.


Why I Wrote Better Than College (from Blake)

Since the 2008-9 recession, we've seen a flurry of books that criticize the notion of college-for-all--such as Academically Adrift, Higher Education?, The Five-Year Party, and Crisis on Campus--as well as many articles and op-ed pieces that make similar arguments. Condensed, these arguments typically amount to:

  • college is overpriced, 
  • college no longer guarantees success, and 
  • college no longer offers a rigorous experience.

But what we haven't seen are concrete suggestions for what a bright young adult might do with her time instead of going to college. Even if the above arguments are correct, what is a young person to do if there are no viable alternatives to college?

That's why I wrote Better Than College. Drawing from my years of involvement in the world of "unschooling" and interviews with dozens of young people who consciously made the decision to skip (or leave) college, I constructed a "how-to" guide for giving yourself a higher education without four-year college.

My book doesn't focus on the Gates' and Zuckerbergs who made huge amounts of money without a college degree; for that, take a look at Michael Ellsberg's excellent book The Education of Millionaires. Instead, I focus on how a young person can become financially independent, self-employed (or very happily employed), well-rounded, and well-connected without the grace of a college institution.

You don't have to be a young genius to put my principles and concrete advice into action. Rather, this book is for any young adult (or adult-adult) who wants to define his own version of success and isn't satisfied to wait four years (and take on tens of thousands of dollars in debt) to do so.

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