This should be a no brainer for any learner. The days of taking to time to stroll down to the library to discovery what something is all about died a death 10 years ago. The most probable place to get at least a range of answers to your question is good old fashioned GOOGLE.
The point I’m keen to make here is that what was once a ‘strange question’ is no more. One of the greatest things about now and the future is that Google just highlights not only how much people don’t know, but also how many other people are asking exactly the same question.
As we know over the years, this kind of searching for information has become second nature, but there are still those other perspectives that people may find quite difficult to decipher through the internet. What I’m talking about is ‘real experience’. But this is going to change too.
Something about the internet is that once you ask that question, you are logged in forever in data-space and may and could, in years to come be held accountable for asking such questions. This is one of the reasons why some people are not keen to ask online for answers. Well, get ready, the internet of things already knows this and will help you with this very thing and in ways you wan’t recognise, well for now that is.
Another consideration is that to ask online is great but how do you know that the answers you are going to get are accurate. This comes down to finding a ‘trusted site’ that you believe handles questions and answers in the way that you understand. And, by the way, they won’t be the same pages for everyone too. This is where things get tricky. But take some solace in knowing that the internet is just like you, it’s growing with certainty too, but the internet is also constantly growing and evolving just like you too, so you need to make peace with that level of knowing that only knowing something for now is still okay to knowing nothing at all.
As an educationist, this is where things get exciting but at the same time confusing. The days of the teacher knowing everything of course are well gone, and the role of teacher as facilitator is pivotal. But facilitation in itself still requires some kind of knowledge of navigation tools. Like a captain of a ship in the rough seas of learning, they need to hold the rudder strong and understand the winds and the currents to learn how to take the ship safely to it’s destination. Complete relinquishing of control of the ship to the crew for long periods of time can be a complete disaster. For one human being, this is a real challenge when you may have to contend with 30+ directions sitting in front of you. Well, get ready, help is on the way – virtually that is.
But so too is the journey through the internet. I do believe online learning is about to take hold in the next two years in a way we have never really thought of. It had it’s first insurgence around the mid 90s and failed, people weren’t ready to stay at home alone to learn. It resurfaced again around 10 years ago with it working for some courses more than others but ultimately suffered from the number one issue – lack of motivation from the self-learner.
I believe online learning is now changing to the next level over the next few years and will be as captivating as your mobile phone, as enthralling as truly being there in the classroom and even more useful due to lack of ‘human’ distraction.
Merging these three principles together gives us a new kind of learning process that involves:
- Knowing that all understanding starts with asking (now online)
- Gearing the teacher towards being more of a Captain of a ship than a facilitator either virtually or alone and
- Realising how online learning will be as everyday as checking your facebook page
Therefore integrating all this will somehow create an opportunity to indulge in ‘real learning experiences’ guided by a certified Captain (whether that be human or not) in such a dynamic convenient way online, hence forcing all of us to be in permanent ‘learning’ mode.
Therefore as of now, I challenge you to understand that to learn anything from here on – starts from asking – online that is.