Redefining Learning For the 21st Century
“The whole movement of life is learning” Jiddu Krishnamurti
Learning is a continuous process of growth and self-development, we learn as we live. However, we can also make a conscious decision to immerse ourselves fully in a learning environment to pick up a new skill or to reinforce knowledge of an existing skill.
Over the years teaching methods have evolved and the idea of learning has changed significantly. There is no one size fits all anymore, the digital age has gifted us with new, fresh ways to learn. With online learning platforms rapidly becoming the norm and YouTube or Google University teaching people new skills without enrolling in a college course or spending thousands on traditional degrees.
Recently Google announced their new comprehensive courses that will provide students with the relevant qualifications to work for Google or other companies without going down the traditional college degree route.
Redefining learning for the 21st century means that we have to recognize the need to move with the times, evolve and change the way we think when it comes to education.
Learning Online is the Norm
Five years ago, learning online was perceived as a relatively new concept. Although various online learning platforms did exist, it was less prominent. The pandemic has definitely been a catalyst for the growth of online education.
The growth has been mindblowing with major online education platforms like edX experiencing a staggering 160% rise in registrations from April 2020 onwards. Unemployment has been a major factor for young adults wanting to upskill in order to improve job prospects.
Another issue accelerating the growth of online education is automation. The World Economic Forum recently published a report that revealed that the rise of machines and automation would eliminate 85 million jobs by 2025. The need to learn and develop new skills is becoming more important.
Traditional Education is not Dead
With the rapid growth of online education, there is a tendency to dismiss traditional education because of the upswing in online learning however, traditional education is not dead. As the schools, colleges and learning centres start to open up, traditional education is showing no sign of completely fading away.
However, technology will continue to play a major role in teaching and learning methods with some educational institutions offering a Flexi-school education. This allows students to learn part-time in a traditional setting and part-time online. This could be the future of education, utilizing the power of technology to diversify and strengthen learning and teaching methods.
No one size fits all
The cookie-cutter concept of learning is dead, there is no one size fits all when it comes to learning. The Internet is providing opportunities for people to learn at their own pace and choose short courses to develop existing skills or learn new skills to build their skillset.
Educational institutions need to continue to recognize the need for flexible learning systems to cater for varied learning styles and reasons for learning new skills and ideas.
The world is ever-changing, we were unprepared for the pandemic for example however, it has taught us a valuable lesson regarding preparation and education. Being fully equipped to switch from traditional learning methods to new tech-focused methods is necessary. The idea that learning is linear is archaic and technology has gifted us with the opportunity to quickly learn new skills from the comfort of our bedrooms.
To redefine learning for the 21st century is to understand the need for continuous technological advancements to facilitate the learning and teaching process.
The way we view education has changed, there is no doubt about that. You no longer need a traditional degree to work in large corporations, you can teach yourself pretty much anything on the Internet and there are thousands of online learning platforms providing comprehensive courses to help you build and develop your skillset.