Fundamental Shift In Education: A Requirement Of Our Time

Fundamental shift in education is a requirement of our time.Searchable facts are available online. When you have the Internet at your fingertips aided by Google you can learn anything ever known to mankind.

Computational devices / apps {e.g., WolframAlpha} are available. We don’t need to do multiplications or divisions or even algebraic calculations anymore. Computer based Numerical Computing and Symbolic Algebra Systems (SageMathematicaMatlab) and Statistical Computing Systems (R) are available. All we need to learn is to turn real world problems into computer programs that can solve our problems.

 

Exponential growth of human knowledge means that much of what you know today would become obsolete ten years from now. So lifelong education is the norm.  

Breadth of knowledge will become increasingly important. You need to know what you need to know and once you know what you need to know, you can find it online.

Boundaries between different fields of study are opening up. We organized different fields of study (Physics, Chemistry, Biology etc.) more than hundred years ago. We organized everything related to life under Biology. The study of atoms and molecules and reactions was named Chemistry. Physics concerned itself with forces and matter of the universe and their interactions with the ultimate goal of reducing all forms of interaction into few fundamental laws (one law – “The Theory Of Everything” or so the Physicists say – if you are a bit ambitious!). But now in the light of new knowledge and better tools, new organization of fields of study is required.

As we gained knowledge about the chemical processes of life, we organized our knowledge under the name Biochemistry. Fields that used to be completely separate are merging in the light of new knowledge and better tools to tackle common problems. For example, Biology and Computer Science, once separated, have combined to form Computational Biology / Bioinformatics as a result of explosion both in genomic and more generally biological data and computational power. New fields of study like Bioengineering, Biophysics, Cognitive Neuroscience, Computational Materials Science have popped up. As we look forward into the future, we can see Computer Science and Physics combining to form Physical Digital Integration and creating a world that is much different and better than ours. 

The Education of future Engineers would be based on Science and Mathematics: learning a few concepts that can explain all the different tools, technologies, possibilities and limits.

With the proliferation of global collaboration platform The World Wide Web, we need to direct research in the right direction – one that centers on solving real problems collaboratively, not just publication of random research papers (for getting promoted!).

 
In short, a complete reorganization of Education as it is today. Are we ready?


Followups

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s