This article takes a quick look at how well education is transitioning into the digital age and the obstacles that loom ahead.
The Internet being able to provide more convenient and reliable channels can help students professionally.
Students are now able to make good use of online resources to help shape their skills and advance their careers at their pace.
Online Courses Make It Easier for People to Acquire Skills and Accreditation
Educational institutions and students have seen massive success from online courses and open universities. Students have been able to take career-focused online training to further their professional lives.
The main advantage of online courses is that the information is better structured and organized than those found freely on the Internet. The organization allows students to go through study materials systematically and this improves comprehension in a big way.
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Also, learners now have more responsibilities than ever and the flexibility of online courses is a blessing.
The rate at which information and skills are becoming obsolete in the digital age is astonishing. Workers are realizing that they have to be continuously updating their skills and knowledge to remain competitive in the marketplace.
This means that there is much demand for various professional courses. The spaces and infrastructure available in our colleges cannot support all these people. Online courses and open universities can help our educational institutions meet this demand.
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The Minecraft Generation
Online gaming can be seen in a negative light by way of high school students spending more time playing them instead of pursuing other activities perceived as enriching such as reading a book or experiencing the outside world.
However, the preferences of today's generation are telling signs of the paradigm shift taking place in education. Instead of prioritizing reading and writing like traditional education would, the digital age puts a premium on problem-solving skills and dealing with challenges.
This is most evident by the reception that students have toward Minecraft.
A compelling piece by The New York Times reveals that the popularity of the Swedish computer game, in which the objective is to create things and worlds out of digital blocks, stems from giving players a sense of freedom on how to play it.
Since there are no official instructional manuals or guides released by the game developers on how to play Minecraft, gamers are left to figure it out on their own. Players tap into their problem-solving skills to create objects and navigate through different worlds created by their peers.
As a result, players develop a heightened sense of troubleshooting things until they figure out what is causing the problem.
There are other benefits that students gain from playing Minecraft that teachers are integrating the game into their curriculum to help students sharpen their goal-setting, science, and collaboration skills, among others.
Problems Still Loom
While significant progress has been made in finding ways to make online learning effective, there are still some problems that need urgent attention. One of the problems that need to be addressed is students' tendency to outsource writing assignments to professional writers.
Some students, not finding time or use for developing writing skills, can just hop on to a site like Omnipapers that offers the rating of best essay writing companies to do the writing for them.
The demand is so high that even online job boards have sections dedicated to academic writing. The writers have varied skills and submit excellent work most of the time.
This presents problems to professors. It is hard knowing the real writing skills of a student you have never actually met before. Spotting outsourced work is, therefore, a difficult task and most students get away with it.
Moral issues like this are hard to tackle. What is wrong or right under such circumstances can be easily justified so appealing to the moral sense of students will not yield lasting results.
Going back to the general shift toward a more student-centric education, students may view writing an essay as an obstacle and submitting a paper as the obstacle. By logic, students take away the morals from the equation and deal with the problem by referring to essay writing services as the solution.
This type of approach to the issue is plausible, given how today's generation deals with problems from a more pragmatic viewpoint.
Whether this is wrong or not by moral standards may not be important to students. What is important for them is that they were able to solve the problem and move on to the next set of problems.
Moving forward, it would be interesting to see the correlation between their approach to education from this perspective that is heavily influenced by student-based education which focuses on goal setting and problem solving.
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Education is slowly being shaped by the demands of people in the digital age. Learning is no longer confined within the four walls of the classroom. As a result, People can sign up to an online course from an accredited open university, study the coursework from the comforts of their own home, and earn a diploma after a couple of months of hard work.
At the same time, education now belongs to the students. Alternatives to traditional educations such as online courses provide students the chance to acquire valuable skills in the workplace at their own pace.
The student-centric education, along with how the digital age has put the premium on real-world skills such as problem-solving, collaboration, and goal setting, is developing professionals who are more capable of dealing with the demands of the corporate world.