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  • Losing the essence of education
  • Posted By:
  • Jan R
  • Posted On:
  • 28-May-2009
  • Higher education first faced a threat from the after school coaching classes and tuitions. Students thought it was ok to bunk school and attend classes instead. Else they would join vacation classes and would have finished their portion before the new semester began. Therefore, they would either know everything or loose interest in what is being taught to in class.

    Today the higher education institutes face a new challenge and that is e-learning. Yes, e-learning which was started by educational organizations to help the students improve through interactive methods is now taking over the traditional way of learning. This is because today the web offers very usable, understandable, and adaptive methods of learning. The tools of the web allow them easy access to study material and in some cases the answers are prompt.

    With all this going on why would a regular student want to sit in a boring formal class? Why pay for school and tuitions when you can get everything sitting at home? This is not a revolutionary idea but well you call can it migratory. One can imagine that if all students resort to the same web culture, all the college, school and university campuses will be left empty, not a soul stirring anywhere. The students will have abandoned everything in the favor of the web tools and then everything will depend upon the content and communication technology. This technology doesn’t require much to understand and has ready made forums and communities. In short, the students will have everything and they will be spoon fed. No more application of logic or knowledge. This is not just a technology issue as it makes things easier for us by the day. it is deeper. It is leading to a social change. We can already see what the world is coming to with blogging, wikipedias, flickr and other tools. But the technology is not the problem really. It is just how we use it and what are we doing with it. The learner’s experience and the role of the teacher are being blurred.

    Take an example of a project called Social Learning. This concept wants all learners to have a social profile. This way they will all list their likes/dislikes, goals, contacts and the resources. Here, a third person can write to the students and any application can become a tool. There are so many applications being developed to help thee learners. But we still don’t know who all these learners are. We don’t even know if the learners require so many applications. It is just that because we can make so many applications we make them and we don’t realize that by doing so we are not allowing the students to think at all. They get everything they ask for. The aversion and the punishment theory also have no place here. Therefore, the learners will never learn the value of these applications.

    With this the learning curriculum becomes everything that the learners want and not what the teachers or educational institutions can decide upon. Certain courses or workshops might be run just for the fun of it because the learners, although they want to do it, have no clue how to go about it. But want to make use of it because it is available.

    What we do not realize is that by making education easier, we are diluting its essence and not much will come of it. it is more like a half baked job. It is not true that because there are web based tools such things are happening. But it is because we do not realize that although we get are getting things easily, we have to use them correctly and apply our logic to it.


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