My learning by observation story, What I learnt about education and internet.

Education is a fulcrum of the world around us. The urban society has come to invest a large part of their mind space into education. Child education is an obvious concern for the responsible adult. Education aids dreams of young adults and parents alike. Let’s also call skill-building as education. Transition to senior roles or lateral movement both will rely on training. There is the case for a self-help type of skill development. Courses on subjects of interest chosen voluntarily for a variety of reasons. Learning is a constant exercise. There is a marked movement towards giving constant learning, a formalized structure.

There is enough material on any topic. More than what riches of well-stocked libraries can offer. Educational content is doubling up as entertainment. Compare educational content to candy. It comes in all sorts of format and sizes.  Pedagogy or method of teaching has had an interesting journey. The important and interesting development is improving the focus on quality. A distinct effort to bring structure to content.

Allow yourself to drift back in time. Evaluate influences that shape our personalities. For many of us, the answers lie in experience form school, colleges, things a teacher said. Drift back further in time. The times when kings ruled the lands and sages wrote scriptures. Visualisation of schools from those days has pupils and teacher or guru, sitting under a tree. Note that education was the fulcrum of the world, even then. Teachers equated with saints and sages. The better teacher produced better warriors. Better warriors won the war. In modern day context, good mentors shape better professionals. That dear reader is empirical evidence of, how quality in education has shaped societies. We are products of good quality education. We are the data in the science of education.

Pedagogy has had an interesting journey. Educational content is better compared to candy. Comes in various sizes for ease of consumption. Educational content is getting commoditized, how do we address the issue of quality? In the vast space, there is a concerted effort to put quality work on the table. Quality in education is finding light in forms of bright sparks. Bright sparks like keerthana where she writes about digital marketing and Deepak Kanakraju. Rakesh who is making great strides with what he calls context writing. The effort of Shwetank Girish, Nisha, Ankita Sharma who collate information on careers, stock markets, books for kids among and quality in management among other areas of interest. These are an effort to bring quality to their chosen field of specialization. Individuals who went through the education system. Learned. Learnt by observation. We learn because we observe. Each one has a beautiful story.  Along the way they observed. They identified areas that need attention. Stories that need to be told. People who need advice. Students who need mentorship. How a standard format can be improved. Implemented their thoughts. And learned from what they implemented. When I look at each of these stories, to me it is learning by observation, with quality at its core. Honest effort to bring good quality work to the table. My worries about what kind of education my children will get have started to reduce. I wish the tribe of such people grow.

Questions about the influences that shape our personalities will have subjective answers. Each one would tread a certain path. There is no judgement on who picked what. There is a visible effort to address what did not feel right along the way. It has become simple to display content. It has become simpler to display intent. To display sincerity as the intent is heartening.

The growing trend in education focuses on bringing quality to the table. One of the simplest ways to do that would be to develop educational content; oneself. Do it yourself or DIY has a strange ability to inspire confidence. DIY. Write the python code for data extraction from a CSV file. Select/fill fields yourself when drafting a Google ads campaign. Write the SEO article yourself instead of outsourcing it. DIY has the strange ability to inspire confidence. Perhaps it is Karma learning by observation and sent confidence your way,, who knows!

Holistic education is education that transcends classroom. The humble pupil stays at the gurukul (boarding school). The teaching-learning process is continuous and not restricted to classroom lectures. You learn also because you observe.

The effort to leverage the internet to teach predates the COVID phase. COVID phase accelerated adoption of e-learning formats. The phrase has stayed for long enough to make online education robust. A reality that will flourish even after COVID is long gone. Surveys, establish, that digital adoption enforced by COVID phase is here to stay. There is a growing acceptance that online education can offer a quality education. Honest to an effort by mentors will address a need that has always existed. Possibility to interact in the virtual medium made things simpler.

Internet is this one big network of people. A huge source of data. All sorts of data. Verbal, numeric, pictorial etc. Social media offers space for expression. Online communities draw their strength from a common thought. Internet helps sustain collaborative tools. Reaching out to a selective group or anyone has never been easier. The lockdown brought fence-sitter into the arena. Many individuals willingly or unwillingly set up their online presence. And that artificial person called companies! Both big and small started to invest the effort to be relevant in the online market place. Among the chatter is the common thread. That single individual.

This is my learning by observation story. The internet may be a big network of people. It is a place where individuals connect. It is a place which makes connecting individual effort is possible. It is the place where students interested in learning meet good teachers. Bunking classes and chalk throwing teachers get pushed out of the equation. It is the place where a small enterprise meets a budding data scientist. The place where big data becomes a simple excel sheet. The data scientist helps an SME demystify Data analytics. An experienced finance professional can advise mango man.

In my learning by observation story, the internet is a small podium. A place which connects individuals and celebrates effort.

What is your learning by observation story?

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