A Stanford professor puts out a complete, 11-week-long, 100% free Machine Learning Course on Coursera for everyone to study. Google does the same with their artificial intelligence crash course which every new engineer has to take before working for them.
And just like that, with a simple search, you can also find other artificial intelligence free courses on Udacity or other collective learning platforms. I’m not making a point here for artificial intelligence, but for learning in general and how that has changed in the course of a few years.
If one hundred or two hundred years ago, the most learned people were the ones who had access to libraries and education was quite expensive, these days anyone can become an expert in artificial intelligence with a cheap Internet connection and an average laptop. You don’t need much to take on courses on different subjects, from all around the world. You just need the drive to learn. So, yes, education has changed.
School vs Education
You probably know this 8-year-old Youtube video which has amounted to nearly 10 million views and in which we are told that education is the key, but that education does not necessarily mean getting a degree. It is rather about learning to learn and finding your path in life. However, the dichotomy between schooling and education is not new. It has been a debate for almost 10 years now. It is somehow socially-accepted today that education is more than simply understanding the material learned in school. However, we still lack a clear definition of what an educated man really is. Do you feel like an educated person?
While being educated can be the result of being in school, being in school cannot be a guarantee of being educated. This is somehow the moral debate at hand. It is not the newest story in the book, it has been discussed and frowned upon by many, however, the cleavage between education and school still stands and it is made more abrupt by the Internet and the learning possibilities it offers. But is it really a matter of school versus education?
You Need a Lifetime for Education
Well, this is one way to put it and this way, the difference between school and education is huge. While school only lasts for a couple of years, education is a life-long process which can happen anytime, in any environment. Technology has made it possible for us to choose our environment and choose what we want to learn. Education is now much easier due to technology. Our study subjects are now completely up to us and while we are still depended on a degree to get a head-start in the system, technology skills that you cannot possibly acquire in school are more and more an asset and might completely surpass degrees in the near future.
Technology Is Changing the Dynamics of Education
Teachers start to rethink the learning experience so that it will chime with the new generations. There is an increasing use of laptops, tablets and other devices in school. Students nowadays are attending classes and taking notes directly on their laptops. Teachers are now trying to use technology for new learning experience for students. From the simplest videos to the most complicated digital animations or simulations, technology is constantly changing the schooling system as well.
Technology has also made it easy for students to access information. Teachers nowadays might just e-mail them or upload courses on an online platform for anyone to access. Technology is also making the transition from spoon-fed information to problem-solving learning more smoothly and natural. School can also become a place where knowledge is co-created, not just written down by students. It would seem that technology is not only changing the way we look at education, but also the oldest education system in history: school.
Online Learning Is the First Step up Your Education Game
Research results show that 160,000 students took an online course offered by Stanford in 2011. 20,000 learning apps have been built for iPad so far. There are 1.5 M iPads in schools today. 65% of the US students have participated in online classes.
These stats say a lot about how technology is changing education. Institutionalized learning institutions try to keep up with it. However, there is a high chance that you might not need a degree anymore in the following years. The young programming geniuses who learned coding on their own and now work for huge companies like Google or for their own startups are still rare, but they might not be so in the future. Technology makes learning and preparing for the career you love much easier.
To conclude, I’m saying education does not end with a degree and technology becomes the main promoter for education. Never cease learning!