The amount of time our son is being required to spend memorizing whether Bismarck is the capital of North or South Dakota will dwarf the total amount of time he would spend in his lifteime looking it up at Google. This is information that adds nothing to this comprehension of the world. Memorizing the dates of the states' admissions to the union might at least sometime in his life help him notice a relationship of some consequence — that Texas was admitted before the abolition of slavery has some possible effect on his understanding, whereas that Austin is the capital will only matter if he runs for governor of Texas and doesn't want to look foolish in the debates.
There is a real opportunity for new media thinking to start embedding itself in public school education. But if you think corporations are closed and risk averse, try talking to the administration at your kids' school.
David ends with an "arrrrrgh". I concur. But what can we do to move schools from the purpose they were built for (to create factory workers) to enablers of the connected world?