The twenty-first century is largely viewed by many as the information age. Unlike centuries prior, technology has reached the point where subjects of interest are readily accessible in the privacy of your own home. With the invention of the internet, all it takes now is a simple search to find exactly the type of material you’re looking for; this never used to be the case. As a result, a far greater emphasis has been placed on accumulating new information and expanding mental horizons in order to increase learning capacity.
Firstly, it’s important to clear up any misconceptions about what education means today. When the word education is mentioned, people tend to make an immediate connection to school. Making that connection is not inaccurate, but the process of education today can be done entirely on one’s own accord. Of course, the role of school does still hold an important place in today’s society. For example, many future career paths require a college degree; in order to become a doctor, one should expect to spend roughly eleven years on the path, eight of which involve hospital work. Career paths that extend beyond the standard four years spent in college require a substantial amount of devotion and willingness to continue. For many, the path becomes too difficult and they inevitably fall off, but with new technological tools, maintaining interest has become easier to a certain degree.
Interest is one of the main driving forces that keeps people going. When someone displays a passionate interest in a certain area of knowledge, they are able to subjectively turn what might otherwise be viewed as arduous work into a hobby. Though the commonly held belief is that one must attend school in order to learn a specific subject, new developments in cyberspace have helped make acquiring knowledge less stressful. Two notable examples include Khan Academy and MIT OpenCourseWare. Khan Academy essentially allows anyone to select different academic subjects of interest and learn about them through video guides, providing a low-stress alternative to being stuck inside of a classroom. Also worth noting is that many people in school use Khan Academy to better grasp material that they had difficulty learning in school. MIT CourseWare gives people the college class-taking experience without actually having to physically be present in class. The material can be found through their website and is organized in the same fashion as a typical college class.
The amount of information that people can access today is astonishing, but the fact that it’s there for anyone to use puts into perspective why education has a much greater importance today. The future holds infinite possibilities that can only be achieved through learning today to promise a better tomorrow.