Education, the new generation.
I started High School at Preston Lodge in 2007, teaching then seems almost primitive to what it is now, teaching now is more intuitive, it’s about building confidence, allowing people to grow and develop as people and tune their minds into subjects that matter most. If I move back to 2007, high school was almost regimental, it was basic, it would be a rare occurrence if computers, laptops or mobile phones were used. we mostly copied from sheets straight into notebooks or ruled paper, plain white boards were also used and if we step back into 2005 and 2006, even chalkboards were used frequently. But now in 2012 everything has changed, we’ve moved on, moved forward, we are able to instantly connect with anyone in the world, we can learn with each other from any point at any time we wish, we are able to expand our knowledge about even the finest detail by using the internet, tablets and mobile phones. As humans have developed, so has our method of learning.
Today we are taught our subjects but we are also taught about values and life, we are taught about how to be human beings and how to be good at it. Of course this is not in any textbook, but we do this by taking advantage of the world wide web, the interconnections, technology as a whole. There is now a countless number of resources available at our fingertips to expand our knowledge and increase our intelligence, within minutes we can endeavor and dig into information that 30 years ago would have taken us days or weeks.
In school today we use laptops, interactive boards and our phones to help with our learning and to improve methods of teaching. The old school teachers are not too fond of this ‘new idea’, they would rather stick to their books and ruled paper. Such search engines provide tens of thousands of pieces of selected information in milliseconds, services such as YouTube provide a basis for teachers and enthusiasts to share their projections and their knowledge to the world, without any cost of course, making everything available to everyone. Knowledge was always meant to be shared and this new generation of learning allows this to happen. Whenever. Wherever.
Personally I use Google as my primary search engine, I use it to decipher all of the information on the internet and then implement it into my learning, into my coursework, if I’m going to be honest, it’s hard to think of a world without it. The idea that I can get any information I want (within reason of course) fairly easily, all due to the services of Google, Yahoo and Bing, still amazes me, it’s free and it’s there, I still find it hard to comprehend that thought. Google’s sharing capabilities has proven that we can connect the world and has also inspired many other people to create their own websites and services to share information – my friends and I are already doing this through the ‘brand’ called “Neil takes on science”. Websites such as Peerwise and Tutor2u allow anyone in the world to share their information and also give others the chance to learn and enhance their skills, this idea blows books, textbooks, chalkboards and regimental teaching out of the water, it simply cannot compete. Such websites like Wikipedia, of which Google support and share is one of the greatest uses of the internet. Wikipedia is used to a huge extent within schools, homes and other educational facilities, it allows you to type in a name or a topic and it will probably and most likely come up with information going into immense detail (the only problem is sieving the good from the bad). Throughout my school career I have used the Wiki service for almost every single project that I have taken on, if that is just to deepen my knowledge or to compare another piece of information. Education within schools has got to a point where they are now using these readily available resources, not just that but they are beginning to use them well.
Google has changed, it is not just about being a search engine anymore, but it wants to connect people and that is why it is so good for educational purposes. Services such as Twitter and Facebook do the exact same thing, you are able to create a web of your friends and colleagues and you are able to share what ever you like, for some people that information may be useless, for others, useful. The point is that we are all connected, we are sharing, we are all learning.
Facebook as well as Google has changed the way that we learn and the way that we communicate, as of June 2012 facebook had 800 million active members, never mind total members, this accounts for 11.42% of the global population. Every single person is able to exchange thoughts, ideas and contribute to solving problems. We see the same with Twitter (who has 500 million total members), people can tweet a questions and others can reply. It is simply genius. These services allow people to expand and become who they were truly meant to be. We see it far too often that people are controlled and restrained by the rules and regulations that are in schools, this restricts growth and learning. In schools you are closed off from the world, surrounded by concrete and bleakness. It should not be this way. Schools should be like the internet, be like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Tutor2u. They should be about experiences, they should be open and students should feel like they are free and are able to learn in their own intuitive way, a way that allows them to learn to their full potential. We know that we all need guidance, and schools should provide this, guide lines, a way to show you the possibilities and explain how to reap the rewards of life, not just how to get an A in english.
The available resources do not just stop there, like I have talked about, we have moved on, there is now apps available for tablets, laptops and mobile phones, apps which allow you to organise and learn, these developments are not just social but also spark personal developments to. The use of Tablets, laptops and chromebooks in school is one of the best ideas I have heard in a long time, not just because they’re cool, but because it makes students want to learn. They want to see what they can do and they want to prove it to the world, to me this new way of education is how it should have always been, this time it may just work, and we will be more intuitive, faster and more mentally capable for real life situations.
Through implementing this in schools, allowing people to use these services, to add and contribute to the internet, to provide further connections and further knowledge is much greater than any other way of learning. This way people take control and responsibility over their own learning, therefore it is their own achievement and it allows them to truly deepen and broaden their own knowledge. That is the beauty of the new way of learning, that we are all interconnected, we are all learning together.