Jahan Choudry Ba(hons) PG/DTLLS shares his thoughts with us on education in the digital age, based on 15 years teaching experience of English for Academic Purposes , including at Regents University, London. He currently supports students with their blended and online learning experience at ABS.
Education is very fundamental to human existence. Without knowledge man cannot survive or progress. The process of acquiring and expanding one's knowledge is known to us as "education". From the beginning of humanity man has always had if not go to the source of knowledge to educate himself, be in immediate proximity to it even if the source of knowledge i.e. the educator/teacher comes to the person himself. In other words either the student goes to the teacher or the student goes to the teacher but in either case they must be physically next to each other.
The information technology age which we live in, the world of the internet, social media and the smartphone is changing our lives in key ways. For millenia students have had to go to their teachers and this can mean students travel to the other side of the world to take a portion of their lives out to gain knowledge from some of the world's leading educators and experts at leading prestigious universities, colleges and other schools throughout the world.
However this process has always had the limitation, and in certain contexts advantage, of physical limitation e.g. only a certain number of students could fit in to a lecture hall for example. The digital age that we live in changes that.
Now with technology that enables direct and instantaneous audio-visual communication between two or more people (e.g. skype type software), students do not need to go all the way across the world to access education. One particular field where this is quite relevant is in the language learning sector. Someone in a remote town in Russia or China may not easily be able to access a native English language speaking tutor physically but can definitely do so online e.g. skype lessons.
How will universities and other learning institutions react to this new dynamic?
This is a very relevant question particularly when considering that history has often shown that those that refuse to embrace change and stay stagnant will often suffer and may fall by the wayside.
I will talk more about this in my next blog....
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