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If we compare education the way it was in the twentieth century to how it is today, we see considerable difference. Back then it was an institutionalized, factory-made manner of instruction designed to hammer into the minds of students some basic bits of instruction deemed necessary to be able to ‘make it’ in the professional world.
Sadly, in many ways it is still how education is done almost everywhere in the world. Most schools lack a decent internet connection, thus depriving students the chance to learn from countless useful educational tools and services available online. Instead, students are shown a predetermined path that is supposed to lead them to success by following a set of predefined rules while learning information to a limited extent, rather than learning new skills and ways of thinking using their own minds that would help them solve real-life problems and come up with solutions. In this regard, it is necessary to change the way education is seen and underwent all over the world.
Introducing Education Through New Mediums
The skills required to be a successful professional are nowadays quite different to those of two generations ago, and education should be remolded as such. Technology has developed to such an extent that a traditional classroom environment is almost completely replicated using the computer and an internet connection. Laptops and tablets find themselves in use more often than not, and this has changed the way going to an educational institution is perceived nowadays. Cloud-related services are helping students build communities to share knowledge, better communication and nurturing a culture where education can be handled professionally online. Research is also being conducted into ‘game-based learning’, which focuses on simulating real-life problems for students for them to be able to exercise their mathematics, science and engineering skills while sharpening their creative thinking skills.
Massive Open Online Courses
One giant step for education in the 21st century has been the introduction of Massive Open Online Courses – MOOCs for short. These are designed for an unlimited number of participants with open access online. While also providing conventional educational tools such as lectures (in video format usually), course materials, reading assignments and problem sets, they also give students forums to interact with teachers as well as among themselves. MOOCs have been a large part of online distance learning – a development that well underlines how far education has come in recent times.
Education in the 21st century still has a long way to go, but the future looks good as it is headed in the right direction. Paper-based learning materials finding themselves in use less and less as mobile devices such as laptops and tablets take over, and distance learning becomes more popular by the day.
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