Alternate ways to learn


Education doesn’t only happen in a classroom. More should realise just what it means to acquire additional skills and knowledge, to make us more capable in the world. Of course, having more education means we’re more likely to be hired. We should therefore think about alternate ways we can educate people, especially kids.

Online tools

The rapid rise of technology has meant the way the world works has radically changed. The Internet has provided a great deal of opportunity for various kinds of media to become accessible to more people. This has been wonderful new to educators and students. Materials exist on servers students can access at any time; lectures are not only recorded but can be watched whenever is suitable; digital documents reduces  printing costs and the unavailability of documents. For educators, it means they don’t need to give the same lectures repeatedly, have extensive meetings and so on. Everyone can still communicate via emails or forums but more time can be spent completing higher priority tasks.

Importantly, more countries are recognising online learning as legitimate. Recently, as the Guardian reports: “Two major UK universities are to offer massive open online courses – or MOOCs – which for the first time will earn credits that count towards a final degree.”  

Learning through action

Of course, learning online still means traditional forms of learning: reading, writing and memorisation. There are other ways to learn. For example, in Indianapolis, America, one bike repair shop offers to teach kids engineering skills – without the kids realising it. As City Lab reports:

“Over the course of a year, around 300 local school kids participate in the program… Through the seven-week course, they learn to fix, ride, and maintain a donated bike, which they get to keep at the the end of the program.”

Repairing these kids bikes equips the students with skills they can use in a variety of ways. Furthermore, by using the incentive of getting their own bike, kids feel more enthusiastic about actually attending, listening and, therefore, learning.

Play learning

One of the best ways parents can teach kids is to allow them to play. Indeed, all species learn about their bodies and abilities through play. It facilitates a safe environment, often giving rise to responses that tend to only happen in dangerous situations (scientists call this “fight or flight” responses). Yet, we need these skills regardless of danger since they help develop motor skills, muscle strength, movement and so on. Additionally, it helps brain growth especially in younger children.

(Picture credit: Steve Jurvetson / Flickr)