Got the new Droid or perhaps you’re moving to an I-Phone with Verizon, or perhaps you’re using Second Life, the virtual world to conduct your meetings. Whatever your technology of choice, the impact of these technologies on life-long learning are irrefutable.
Turn back the clock not so many years ago and learning came from reading books and listening to parents and teachers tell stories, and that grew of course into listening to the radio, which grew into watching the television, which has now exploded into the internet and the massive quantity of real time communications that we live with. There can no question that these new technologies have changed forever the very concept of learning. Let’s look at a simple fact. Children, 50 years ago learned to respect their parents and teachers partly because those were the two authority figures that held the answers to life’s questions. Now however, when children need answers, they simply run to Google, or to their Facebook friends. Yes, we still attend schools where teachers and professors teach from books and resources, but that’s greatly supplemented by a virtual online world MTK Droid Tools.
This notion of constant virtual learning is undoubtedly good in some respects. Information is power and the more readily available information becomes, the more empowered we become. But there are three primary problems with the awesome amount of information we now process. 1) There is increasing difficulty in discriminating true information from non-true information, or partial truths, 2) there is a lack of “wisdom” relating to how to process this unfiltered information, and 3) there’s so much quantity, it’s difficult to process it all into usable information.
As it relates to the first issue, we’ve all seen the viral nature of sometimes untrue information. As we age, we are better able to discriminate truth versus fiction based on experience. What we are seeing here though is an increasing “cynicism” among young people who are quick to process almost everything they hear as potentially untrue. This will affect our society as it relates to political discourse, business and family. The second issue relates to experience in being able to deal with the massive amounts of information. It’s been said that knowledge is “learned”, but wisdom is “earned”. This was true 1000 years ago and its true today. We need more than ever “adults” who can guide young people and provide the wisdom to interpret and process the information they receive without being reactive to it, but being thoughtful about it. The final issue is the simple quantity of information we process and the need to determine which information is usable and relevant versus unusable and irrelevant. An interesting analogy appears when we think about our current fighter pilots in the military. The aircraft are so sophisticated and so information loaded, that pilots have to learn which information sources to turn OFF so that they actually process the most necessary information. Like that, we need to learn to process what’s important and turn off the rest. Yes, if you caught on, this does enter the Emotional Path and gets to the point of spending energy thinking about things we can affect, or control, and letting go of the rest.