#DigitalCitizen Series: Learn without Limits
Connected Smart Work Centers
Learn Without Limits
Today’s new technology trends, particularly those around digitization and the Internet of Everything, present education with an unprecedented opportunity. We now have the capacity to share knowledge with an exponentially larger number of people than ever before.
Literacy and the quest for knowledge are basic human rights that are currently unequally distributed among the world’s population. Despite global efforts, access to basic schooling and life-long learning is still far from a reality for many in today’s environment. And a lack of foundational education hinders economic prosperity, perpetuating levels of poverty in the world’s poorest societies. However, the digital age shines new hope on these groups. Technology advancements offer significant opportunities to improve access to learning and help to address the learning disparities in underserved populations, encouraging the movement toward broader education equity. Not only is technology closing the knowledge gap, but it also provides new and innovative ways to teach and to learn. In complementing traditional methods, technology can truly add value to how you provide and absorb knowledge.
All Those in Favor of Learning Say ‘Aye’
Last week, we met brave ten-year-old Thorben, who is battling cancer. The Internet of Everything is connecting Thorben to his classmates in a way that is as close as possible to being there in person. For Thorben and many UKE Hamburg patients, digital technologies are creating a quality of life and reducing the feelings of isolation from normal life prior to their diagnoses.
This week, our digital citizen, like Thorben, is a child in pursuit of connecting with teachers and platforms for learning. Education is the foundation of any modern society; and in today’s post, we’ll explore how digital learning is an evolutionary step in education.
For our citizen, like many around the world, conventional classrooms can be prohibitively expensive, both to build and to attend. However, open access to improved technology is changing that and it enables learning to be undertaken from anywhere at anytime. India’s Amrita University experienced similar challenges in educating those in remote locations. To address this, the University staff conducted both online and onsite courses, walking attendees through the same lesson plan as if the physical and digital worlds had merged into one.
Skip forward a few years and our digital citizen is struggling with balancing a job and finishing a university education. However, in what San Jose State University (SJSU) is calling the “next-generation classroom”, many learning institutions are removing the need to attend a course in person, eliminating travel time and costs. Immersive video lecture systems allow universities like SJSU educators to exchange teaching opportunities with students and visiting lecturers around the world within the classroom. Participants can see and hear one another, and participate live in the education process regardless of location.
So what about ingenious ways of educating young minds? Our digital citizen, like so many young people, is looking for new and exciting ways to learn. Schools, like Camberwell Girls Grammar in Australia, are taking advantage of the digital movement and creating an environment for students to thrive by teaching them new skills of creativity, collaboration, and how to be innovative in their approach to learning.
Speaking of those new and innovative skills, our citizen is on the career hunt and the need for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) professionals is rapidly increasing. Workforce training programs are helping to provide unparalleled economic and societal contributions to communities and countries by creating a more skilled and entrepreneurial workforce. Like Cisco’s Network Academy, which provides critical ICT education to more than 1 million students a year throughout the world – using that very technology to deliver the curriculum content.
The digital era is propelling us into a world where learning is embedded into daily life and no longer associated with traditional classrooms and school buildings. And education is on the move. The traditional model of knowledge-transfer is adapting to a collaborative, self-directed, engaging, and even customizable methodology that is helping to prepare students to succeed in today’s learning society.
Stay tuned for next weeks post. And be sure to check back each week as we explore new themes, challenges and observations.
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