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Why is online education a natural evolution to traditional learning

Source | LinkedIn : By Tushar Bansal

Some of you might have heard buzzwords in the media such as online education, ed-tech, MOOC, e-learning and many more. A bunch of companies have mushroomed in this space trying to catapult on the advancements in inter-connectivity. You might wonder whats the big hoopla all about and when to have the leap of faith. Let me share some thoughts on what has lead to its evolution.

Let me start by explaining the changes in human behavior due to rapid advancements in technology and easy availability of internet. Anyone will argue that we are getting more impatient by the day and want things at the same moment. The whole world is turning into one massive community called the internet. People across the globe are connected to each other even if they are just acquaintances. They are peering into each other’s lives, finding out the local cuisines on a remote island and even buying a handicraft from a local street artisan. Everyone keeps track of world news, even though it might not impact them. We are all tuned to ted talks, which is again trying to connect advances in science, technology, ecology and human behavior to everyone in the world. Companies outsource projects to be done by some unknown people halfway down the world. I guess the only thing left is teleportation 🙂

There are 2 points in the para above that apply to this blog – impatience, availability of the best. Lets understand impatience a bit more (impatient to understand, arent you :)). We were used to studying for years together, pursuing PhDs, and painting the picture of how the world will look like. Well, the world is changing so fast, that by the time you think about it, its changed again! There are numerous stats you will find out about these social networks that tell you what happens in a second – millions of tweets are exchanged, hours of youtube content is watched, yada, yada. Imagine people who are going through graduation right now. They must feel an eternity to finish their degree, watching in slow motion their entire syllabus become irrelevant. I know I have stretched the imagination a bit, but you get the idea. Everyone would want to keep abreast of the latest, because guess what, when they graduate they will not get jobs. Companies will spend millions training them to teach the latest, but the irony is why not learn the latest while you are still at it. I agree that there will be some courses that will form the bedrock of their thinking, but lets ask those who graduated 10 years back what all is relevant from their graduation. Course wise – zilch. Probably it taught us to think more rationally and analytically. But why go through that grind of learning things that you know for sure are going to be irrelevant. And this is going to get accelerated with time, which is why in some countries like India you find graduates not “job-ready”. Students are going to get more impatient to make themselves more marketable because not everyone can change the world.

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