Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Learning Curve

When I am digging around for information and trying to get my head round a topic or subject unfamiliar, what is a shock to the old system is that so much now can be done in minutes that once took me hours or days or even longer when travel might be involved.

I have done enough time to know that facts need checking, care taken over interpretation and analysis and that you need to look at quite a few things before coming to conclusions or theorising. Not least to make sure the sources are reliable.

But all those journeys, heaving of books and ledgers, going through card or other indexes, in recent decades squinting at microfilm screens or for ancient documents peering through magnifying glasses and the rest is now a rare event.

Because so much now is on the net. And not just in text. Want to know how to use a vacuum cleaner? There are many and various on Youtube. Want to know what a piece of unfamiliar music is like, go to Youtube etc. etc.

This article in FE News by Stefan Drew on The Death Of The Conventional College may seem to apply only to that sector. But one way or another the same issues apply to almost any educational provision. We see tots in the street tapping away at their gizmos, if they can do that they can pull up whatever they want or need.

Clearly, not all of present education can be done in this way. There is still a lot of hands on, practical and skilled work in many subjects and occupations. But how this is organised and programmed and where it might be done could be very different.

Notably, what might be studied at what ages. Are there things which we think are older secondary or college subjects that can be done rather earlier? Not so long ago who would have imagined children of not yet ten navigating their personal computers?

This is a very big subject and the article just brief ideas of what may be involved for one sector. Five hundred years ago Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door of a church and Europe, its religion and its governance changed.

Thanks to the net and the rapid advances being made the whole education systems derived from those times are now about to change and we have little or no idea of what the result may be.

1 comment:

  1. It's an interesting angle on the internet. It is already obvious that our grandson is educating himself simply by having access to the internet. It may not be structured now but one day it will be.