Lifelong Learning

The Evolving Landscape of Education

Landscape of EducationEducation has always been a fluid, evolving concept. Before written texts became common, an educated person was expected t memorize troves of information and recite it upon demand. Of course, the printing press changed this, as people could store information and then check it later, if necessary. Since this time, education had many different purposes, from building or strengthening communities to training workers for the industrialized world.

The current form of education dominating most countries still mostly centers around producing workers capable of performing in industrialized spaces, such as factories or offices. Essentially, this approach to learning trains people to maintain their concentration on very specific tasks over a sustained period of time. Students learn to show up on time, concentrate and meet deadlines and complete tests and other activities within a time limit—all of which reflect skills required when working in a large company or institution.

Now, educators are scrambling to adapt to new technologies and a new skills required for increasingly high-tech workplaces. Experiments integrating technology into the classroom have met with varied success. Many argue that access to Internet-ready computers and tablets ultimately result in students playing around and not really learning. Others claim that students will rely on the web or the cloud to complete tasks instead of getting through the work on their own.

On the other hand, some believe the collaborative nature of the Internet is indicative of the future of work. Just as we

no longer memorize long passages like the ancient Greeks, in the future we will rely on the cumulative knowledge online in order to complete tasks more efficiently. While no consensus has been reached about this, educators will have to face this and other similar issues as they continue to rethink the classroom in the context of a dramatically different work environment.