Sunday, January 17, 2010

Anyone can learn anything, from anyone, anywhere, at anytime

To some extent, because of Web 2.0 it is true that anyone can learn anything, from anyone, anywhere, at anytime. Nowadays, a person can find anything online. Whether you have a question on homework or would like to learn how to knit, the Internet will provide the answer. Instead of purchasing textbooks, they are becoming increasingly available to read online, such as our calculus book. Web 2.0 allows us to read the opinions of others, which can significantly help a person understand a problem or a topic through blogs, forums and even videos. For example, in physics we were asked to build a spaghetti bridge. Having the Internet available to research successful structures in terms of videos and blueprints proved extremely resourceful.
Although I believe Web 2.0 is a useful resource in finding many different types of information, I do not believe it should be the sole informant. Schools and formal education, in my opinion are very important components of education. Teachers and classrooms encourage learning and focus. In addition, a student faculty relationship is created, predominantly one that pushes the students to complete their work to their best ability. Internet sources, on the other hand, can often provide distractions. Focus while on the Internet often requires control and restraint in terms of the distractions. I believe the Internet can and does provide a source to find anything from anyone anywhere at anytime, but schools and a formal education are also a necessity in order to create a balanced education.


  1. BlueElephants,

    I agree with you that schools and formal education provide the needed structure for learning to occur. It takes self-discipline and a strong work ethic, together with intrinsic motivation for a person to sit in front of a computer focused on a subject. For many learners the distractions are too great and lack of interaction with others too isolating.

    I also agree that an important part of schooling is the relationships established with peers and faculty. It is much more satisfying to be a part of a learning community where everyone is learning and growing together. Thanx for your thoughtful post.

  2. Great point about focus. In one of my education classes we watched a video where some people claimed that because of the internet and other computer use by teenagers, a whole generation is developing a different kind of working style. In particular, multi-tasking in the extreme (listening to music, chatting with friends online, checking facebook, doing homework all at once). The teachers in the video argued that since students are used to this, they need to be flashier in the classroom and have all sorts of multimedia approaches, etc. since that is what students are used to. What do you think about this? Is schools role to adapt to changing conditions? Or to act as a sort of emergency brake on this sort of attention deficit?

  3. Thank you both for your insights. Kwad, in response to your questions, I think that although students may be used to multimedia approaches, they are not always necessary in classrooms. I believe teachers should adapt their ways in some cases maybe adding some multimedia approaches, but not to an extreme extent. I think traditional classroom approaches provide a balance to the students' exposure to multimedia. Without this balance, the conditions would continue to change more drastically and we would be left with a generation completely dependent on technology.