The Future of Education on the Internet in 10 years
The Future of Education on the Internet
A new way of learning has been developed in the Netherlands. This new kind of school is called “Slash 21” or “/21” and depends on an electronic learning environment for students between the ages of 6 and 18 to be able to study individually or in peer groups. Central to the mission to accomplishing this revolutionary way of educating young students is the internet and e-mail. Slash 21 boasts that it has no teachers—only tutors--as the students are empowered to motivate themselves via a voracious learning appetite “to understand” versus the conventional approach of learning which is “to know”. The tutors are available anytime the students need their help guide them through their quest for understanding.
The fundamental reason for this new way of education is that it enables students to learn to find connections between subjects of different disciplines, primarily broken down into two main categories—Sciences and Humanities—and then combine them into the bigger picture. This method endeavors to prevent “fragmented thinking” which is what can arise from the conventional way of separating many subjects individually and having students sit in classrooms formally to be taught or lectured about these subjects.
This form of education is possible due to the power of technology, specifically information, communications, and telecommunications (ICT) technology. The ICT system at “/21” is essentially a “Learning Management System”. The ICT provides a means to bring the real world into school (again, McLuhan’s global village), helps monitoring of the students’ learning progress, sets the tutors free to roam the classrooms to provide individual attention to students’ needs, and allows the learning chaos to be managed (See Figure 1) .
This system of having the material on-line and with the encouragement of administrators, staff, and parents, will encourage more of these “Slash 21” concepts to sprout up around the world. Instead of going to “bibliotheeks” (libraries), the Dutch students access “mediateeks” (media libraries) via the internet.