a learning revolution is underway. And formal education does not center
The education system is changing, making the need for new requirements felt. Technology is taking on an increasingly prominent role in the search for new solutions, making new approaches possible, such as "upside down teaching", MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses, or large-scale open online courses) and "mobile learning ?, Learning with mobile devices. We constantly hear of a "revolution of education" in which technology involves a radical transformation in schools and universities.
There are positive changes in sight, but the latest news is rather discouraging. There was even talk of "backlash", a relegation, after Udacity, one of the most ambitious projects to revolutionize higher education, had changed direction by turning to corporate clients. Also other less known initiatives are in difficulty: some time ago at a conference I spoke about the future of education together with a manager of a publishing house that develops new digital products and a CEO of a startup that produced software to teach the maths. Both told of how they should convince governments, ministries and committees to use their new products. Even just to start a test phase it would have taken more than a year: not really the speed at which a revolution proceeds.
Education will change with the way we learn
The real changes and fractures with existing systems are normally "from the bottom": they arise from the decisions of individual persons rather than from government decrees imposed from above. From the car to the internet, to the tablet and the iPhone, it was individuals who decided to adopt the changes that technologies have brought into our lifestyle, not politicians.
The good news that there is indeed a revolution in progress, but it does not concern the educational system, but rather learning and how people want to manage it. And here is a new type of startup dedicated to e-learning that has decided to make learning easier for everyone. Their purpose is not to change the basic education or teaching at the university. They have nothing to do with governments: their end customers are not countries or nations. They are focused only on users, on individual people who want to learn something. And in this strength there is enormous potential.
Educational tools like Babbel are tailor-made for the user, without institutions that act as intermediaries. People decide for themselves whether or not the product helps them achieve their goal and whether it is worth buying. an initiative on a much smaller scale than the launch of new software for schools or the creation of an online university.
Even the educational sphere is affected by these changes, but they take place outside the canonical education systems. Students are not currently the most active part in this process of change. Normally, they study to get a degree or to pass the exam and have a very specific goal. The final purpose of formal education is to overcome, for example, a written test of French rather than being able to speak the language. And the reason why a certificate or a degree often has the same value as true knowledge or acquired ability.
The learning revolution takes place at home
More and more people are using new technologies to learn by themselves, without the support of teachers or classroom courses. Take language learning for example. It is estimated that today over one hundred million people worldwide learn languages ??online and only a fraction of them would consider using traditional material or taking part in courses. As part of my research I talked to some of them: the Louisville nurse would never have thought of buying a textbook or an expensive CD to learn a language, but is now studying German on the tablet after the shift of work. The same goes for the pensioner from Southern France who started learning English on his laptop at age 70, or for the London banker who goes home by metro doing Spanish exercises on the latest iPhone model. These people have decided to learn independently, because they have found new learning tools adapted to their needs.
The technology is not creating a new request, but it makes it possible to do more things. Sending an email, taking pictures with smartphones and reading articles on Wikipedia are just some examples of how it works. They replace "old" technologies and, at the same time, completely new spaces open up.
The possibilities are endless and increase at a fast pace. Already in the field of language learning alone the methods are very numerous: from virtual classes to tutoring via video chat, to learning communities with self-produced content, or to crowdsourced translation services and interactive self-learning learning services, there is only the embarrassment of choice. There are no established standards or clear expectations from the user. One thing is certain: the enormous interest and popularity of internet and smartphone apps for learning is growing exponentially.
Languages ??are only part of the self-taught learning trend. Every day many new offers are offered, from computer programming to mental exercise. It does not matter which country you speak, it is always the individual who decides to learn.
This revolution takes place in private homes and bars, on public transport and in offices. carried out by people who decide to learn on their own and who in this process have more and more products, always better quality, based on technology.
In the end, the education revolution can also be seen as a true revolution, of the old style: one that starts from the bottom, following unexpected paths to reach the nerve centers at a later time. And perhaps already in full swing and much more powerful than it seems if one looks only at the canonical education system.