Education as we know it is over.
In an increasingly complex, digital, and connected world, the traditional way of learning no longer works. This is because the volatile, fast-changing scenario in which we live demands us to take the lead in our education process and to learn constantly.
Reality has become more demanding in a way that, whenever you think you know all you need to succeed, a disruption happens and changes the whole context. Then, you find yourself again in the need of learning something new.
When I was at school, teachers would use most of their time in the classroom to "download" new content on students. They were the "sage on a stage" who had all the knowledge and wisdom, but very rarely would give us the opportunity to put the information we learned into real-life context.
Also, most of the exercises and practical work were assigned as homework, where we would struggle with our questions by ourselves, only to find out that in the next lesson content "downloading" would start all over again. There was a lot of telling and very little of sharing.
Fortunately, these days are gone.
In 1995, the internet was launched and started a big transformation. Some years later, came social media to revolutionize the way we connect and relate to others. With social media, we are now not only content consumers, but we can also qualify, produce and share new content. This gives us a lot of autonomy, but it also brings along a lot of responsibility as we share our knowledge, thoughts, and ideas with others.
It has become clear that access to information is no longer an issue since a tremendous amount of content is easily reachable through the internet. You no longer need a teacher to tell you the formula to calculate the area of a circle. You can watch a video-tutorial on YouTube or, even better, ask a chatbot like Siri or Watson as artificial intelligence evolves.
You can choose what, where and when you want to learn by accessing different devices and media: interactive videos, e-books, podcasts, games, infographics, etc. However, navigating through this sea of information to find what you need to solve real-life puzzles and challenges is not always easy.
The good news is that change is leading teachers to take over a valuable and essential role: not a content downloader, but a facilitator who will guide you and your group through the process of finding meaning, relevance and use to what you've read, watched and learned by yourself.
So what is the challenge of the new education?
For a teacher, it is to be the tutor on the side who gives context to content and who creates an environment that stimulates problem-solving through collaboration and experience learning.
For you, is to take charge of your own learning experience, as it will be everlasting if you want to succeed in this new world.