Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Future Of Learning & Technology

Where did most of you learn how to use a computer? Did you take a night-course, or was it part of your daily curriculum at school? Or if you are like a lot of people out there, you just purchased a computer and figured it out as you went?

Learning about computers isn't as straight-forward as it once was. Technology is always changing and the knowledge that you had 5 years ago is most likely obsolete by today's standards. So it stands to reason that you can't keep going back to school, constantly, that would make no sense. Furthermore, the real world changes faster than schools can keep pace with, so if you did go back to school to learn new things, chances are you are learning things that are completely obsolete.

That leaves only one other option in keeping yourself up-to-date on the latest technology. I'm talking about Tech Articles. When I say Tech Articles, I'm referring to information that is posted by like-minded individuals on their websites, forums or other places where information can be exchanged, usually for free. This is important, because it means that technology has now transcended into the realm of information exchange between individuals and not the trickle-down effect of information as it applies to learning institutions. This is important because we as a society are now headed into a new age where information is always within our grasp, and this in turn creates new ideas and concepts that push the envelope forward, challenging the methods of traditional learning institutions.

Does that mean that I find no value in traditional learning methods, like Colleges and Universities? Of course not! There is a place for learning institutions that are still vital to our learning process. But my view is that these learning institutions are only necessary in a preparatory form as opposed to it serving as a full education. This is important because it means that we as a people, globally, are now the true custodians of information, effectively superseding the roles of learning institutions. This wasn't so 10 or 20 years ago. And anyone who desires to learn, can do so without the restrictions of time or space.

This means that information is now formless, it can no longer be contained within a pre-digested format as dictated by those who call themselves are intellectual superiors. Professors are no longer the containers of information, but to a large extent, seekers of information themselves and often students of the students they profess to instruct. This is a real paradigm shift that promises to catapult technology forward, and as it gains momentum it will radically change our ideas of how education should be applied and will result in new technologies faster than we ever expected.

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