The Start of the Learning Revolution
Jun 12, 2017
A lot of countries have already accepted the fact that old formal education system, which we have been using since 1900s, has become completely obsolete in the beginning of the 21st century. As it was based on the needs of industrial era, where people were prepared to perform a certain set of functions for the invariant set of professions, now, when the rules have changed and new professions appear faster than educational system can react, that system has quickly become outdated. The new harbingers of the educational revolution that we are expecting are mobile learning, problem-based learning and open online courses. These three approaches along with other new concepts are what is supposed to change the educational system as we know it.
Unfortunately, the embodiment of learning revolution is far from being realized. Both small and big educational platforms often do not give free courses. Software developers are trying hard to make ministries and government officials understand that they should give a try to the newest educational technologies and the latter don’t always like this idea because it can take up to year to prepare a test run for a university or school. That’s definitely not what a revolutionary pace assumes.
Indeed, if we look at official reforms, there’s nothing groundbreaking that we can find there. However, if we consider the individual level, we will clearly see that it is at this level where the revolution will take place, because government cannot influence people’s demand for the new type of education.
So, while politicians and officials make test runs or make assumptions about the efficiency of this or that educational tool or program, people have already started the revolution. This revolution is heralded by many innovative start-ups and people who are eager to engage in their initiatives. These start-ups are becoming more and more successful because they don’t plan to change the existing educational system, they’re slowly creating a new one. While, unfortunately, the goal of many students in the formal educational system is to pass the final exams and get a degree, instead of developing certain qualities and professional competencies, the new educational start-ups are aiming to provide people with what’s valued most about education – actual skills and competencies.
Self-learning trend is showing especially good result in language learning. Babbel, Busuu, Duolingo and other platforms have already gathered more than 140 million users who are eager to challenge conventional educational methods. And it’s impossible to imagine this revolution happening without the advent and development of technological marvels, which have already become indispensable parts of our life. Smartphones, tablets, Wikipedia, e-mails, webcams are some of the tools that made this revolution possible. Modern language learning platforms include virtual classrooms, interactive online platforms as well as crowd-sourced translation communities. Moreover, the demand for mobile learning tools is growing every year.
However, foreign languages is not the only learning revolution trend. Musical, programming and brain training courses emerge every week. New solutions allow people to learn literally everywhere.
Although the pace of learning revolution is relatively slow, the fire that can be seen in the eyes if its heralds makes us understand that transformation of the formal educational system is just a matter of time.