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Education being online, for free

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Xboxless
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#1

Posted 08 January 2014 - 04:32 AM Edited by Xboxless, 08 January 2014 - 06:44 AM.

I did a quick search, so sorry if I missed it.

 

I have been thinking about this. If I could learn everything about a certain subject up to par with the experts in the field, by following their scientific studies then I could make meaningful contributions. What with the growing internet and such things as kickstarter programs that get people together from around with passions for the same thing to be able to work together and come up with great ideas.

 

Why couldn't I, say, keep up with all studies coming out about neuroscience, form my own conclusions and hypothesis and spread those ideas with fellow enthusiasts and work to gain more knowledge. All without the pre-tense, wasted money, stress, and overall crappiness of dealing with an education system. I simply want to learn, and help develop new ideas. 

 

If what matters is my ideas, then why should it matter that I got my knowledge from some prestigious school and not from just studying it online, on my own time?

 

There has got to be a way to fix this to allow for people to break into sciences and other disciplines without having to waste money on college. I will, for now, work within the system, but I want to change the system.

 

Thoughts?

 

Melchior, on so many levels, YES! You finally wrote what I was thinking in a much more concise, and obviously knowledgeable way.


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#2

Posted 08 January 2014 - 05:58 AM

Are you asking why you can't contribute to the scientific establishment as an autodidact? 

 

Good question. I guess it's part weeding out the cranks, and part elitism. I certainly agree that in an ideal society anyone who knows what they're talking about should be heard, regardless of whether or not they can take an exam and reference using the Harvard system or whatever. Generally, I think education should be much less formalised, although that would require serious societal growth: we'd need a more educated public, and we'd need to stop viewing intelligence and education as something belonging to a gifted elite, and instead treat intellectual self-betterment as something that anyone could, and certainly should partake in. But here and now, we live in a dumbed down, vapid culture and science remains the preserve of the priest hood.

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 07:07 AM

Yes. Absolutely yes.

 

I had no idea of the word autodidact. That's cool to know!

 

So how could we make a society that allows for this? A standardized test? No, because that is part of the problem of pushing people into a category they may not fit.

 

I can understand weeding out the crazies, but you will know if they are crazy if they don't know basic scientific rules like backing down from a point of view if the evidence doesn't support it. So maybe you do have a select few that have the ability to actually do the experiments, but they connect through forums just like these, with others that have ideas about whatever selected field. If the person is knowledgeable they will know when it's a crazy talking, of course, maybe their deemed "crazy" because they are so far forward thinking? I dunno. As long as the people involved in this scientific forum stay within the bounds of obvious scientific facts. I dunno. 

 

It's a tricky subject. I still have to push through the bull of the current system, but I want to make it easier for people in the future.


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#4

Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:18 AM

Why couldn't I, say, keep up with all studies coming out about neuroscience, form my own conclusions and hypothesis and spread those ideas with fellow enthusiasts and work to gain more knowledge. All without the pre-tense, wasted money, stress, and overall crappiness of dealing with an education system. I simply want to learn, and help develop new ideas. 

 

there's literally nothing stopping you from doing this.

in fact, people do it all the time and [try] to take it very seriously. technically speaking, there are already innumerable universities, programs, institutions, and entire bodies of work devoted to massive schools of thought which are complete nonsense or otherwise psuedo-science. I'm sure you don't need me to provide any examples.

 

Melchior fills in the blanks by reminding us exactly why we still need some semblance of a centralized, democratic institution that operates on strict peer-review and extensive duplication of research following standardized methods. other than that, I really can't argue against the general idea of free education and greater access.

the idea that education - on any level - should be reserved for the elite and/or those who can afford it is plainly illogical.

a rising tide always lifts all boats.

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#5

Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:50 AM

But isn't knowledge practically free? You have a countless number of books and the internet at your disposal. The problem I notice here is that you have no higher authority for you to rely on, before you actually become an expert in your field of interest. Nobody to challenge you, correct your mistakes or even answer your questions. You would need to be extremely self-disciplined to succeed.

 

 

we'd need a more educated public, and we'd need to stop viewing intelligence and education as something belonging to a gifted elite, and instead treat intellectual self-betterment as something that anyone could, and certainly should partake in. But here and now, we live in a dumbed down, vapid culture and science remains the preserve of the priest hood.

 

I think the whole education system is at fault for this.Countless of children and/or young adults simply lose interest in school. Only after a decade or two, after realizing the demand for educated workers is getting higher, they acknowledge their mistake, but by then its already too late to go back.


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#6

Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:14 AM

But isn't knowledge practically free? You have a countless number of books and the internet at your disposal.

 

yes but the internet isn't free nor is it truly worldwide.

not yet.

 

and knowledge isn't "practically" free, it's absolutely free. knowledge is simply a concept.

but access has always been the issue. access to knowledge has historically been exclusive and expensive. the 21st century is really the first time in all of human history that technology may allow access to knowledge to become free for any person who wants it. of course the internet is incredible and revolutionary, but people forget just how young and immature it still is.

 

there's still a long way to go, but I have a hard time believing that higher education will not one day be universally accessible, affordable, and/or subsidized in some way across the baseline. there will probably always be some kind of achievement and/or monetary-based access to other forms of advanced, expertise level education and research. though I see no reason why the current equivalent of a 4-year college degree cannot be made available to citizens like K through 12.

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#7

Posted 11 January 2014 - 06:21 PM

I've wondered this myself at times.

 

The thing with structured education is that, particularly in science, there's core information that you really do need to know before you break into something as complicated as neuroscience. I suppose you could just sit down and teach yourself how neurons work, but it's important to understand the other basics because the body is a woven complex where one thing easily depends on the other. It's important to know the differences between hormones, neurotransmitters, neurohormones, etc. It's important to know what types there are and where in the body they act. It's important to understand basic chemistry, basic physiological functions, etc.

 

Now, I suppose we could all sit down and teach this to ourselves, but how do we know we're comprehending the information the proper way? Even in structured classrooms, students often digest the information incorrectly, and it must be corrected because science is just one of those complicated fields. This goes for any subject, really.

 

Should the option be there for those who want to self-teach? I guess so, but I guarantee that you'll skew your learning to something you're most interested in instead of, say, sitting yourself down and making yourself read Beowulf or a Spanish vocab chart or a history book.

 

There's also the idea that so much information out there is simply incorrect, especially on the Internet. And then, as what we want to learn becomes more specialized, such as neuroscience, we tend to need equipment and materials that become more expensive to maintain. Without a structured college system, I wouldn't have been able to study how cancer cells multiply and spread under a microscope, and I wouldn't have had the opportunity to learn how to work gel electrophoresis, etc. Especially with science, the materials simply become more expensive, and that's where we need to put in a lot of money. I agree that the knowledge and books should be cheaper, at least (my chemistry textbook was $450 this year, c'mon), but for higher education? I just don't know how possible it is to make research and lab experiments free for everyone.

 

Education is affordable for most. I go to a school that costs $60,000 a year, and that's just how much a lot of schools cost in America.  But, I pay maybe 1-2k out of pocket. The school and government provide grants to me because my family income isn't as high as that of a brain surgeon and a lawyer.  Even the most prestigious schools in the U.S., at least, try to make themselves as affordable as possible. Why don't we just lower the price in general? Well, I have no idea. Private schools must raise their tuition every year, which is a big problem here. Why? Who knows. America sucks.

 

I totally rambled, but whatever. You get me.

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#8

Posted 12 January 2014 - 06:49 AM

Panz, I don't think anyone is saying that we should abandon school entirely and that we should all just learn specialised skills in our own time. Think of education as a spectrum from the most to the least formalised: on one side we have the current tertiary education system, and on the other side we have half-drunkenly browsing wikipedia in your underwear. No rational person would suggest that we swing all the way to the other extreme, but there's got to be some attractive middle ground. 

 

I think this ties into a broader discussion about anti-intellectualism in our culture. The overwhelming majority of the population have never read an academic journal in their lives no matter how simple the subject matter, and while I'd like to blame it all on intentional obfuscation (read:physics envy, excessive jargon) and lack of free access academic work, I think it's deeper than that.

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#9

Posted 14 January 2014 - 06:12 PM Edited by Panz, 14 January 2014 - 06:14 PM.

I was worried someone would interpret my post that way.

 

I don't think we're heading towards an abandonment of classroom teaching or anything, no. I'm trying to say that there are important principles that the classroom teaches you that self-learning will not. Whether it's all of a student's education or just one class, I think that he/she could misinterpret information with the absence of a teacher, and I think that face-to-face discussions about material (especially in classes that consider social issues, environmental issues, etc.) further a person's abilities in public speaking and debate, which is generally a good life skill and a fantastic quality to have for interviews and various jobs. Of course, that doesn't mean that all self-taught students will turn out this way, but it's something to keep in mind. I know we could have discussions via webcams and do the virtual class room debate type of thing, but I don't think that a student would get as much out of it in that type of setting. 

 

I'm not saying it's bad, and I'm sure we're not headed completely in that direction, but it could be more detrimental than helpful especially if it's implemented in subject areas that it simply doesn't suit. It also depends on how each student handles it, so that's something to keep in mind, too.


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#10

Posted 20 January 2014 - 09:05 AM

Why can't we just have all the information out there and available on some government website or something, and we can go learn what we want. I am not saying this education counts towards anything and if you want a degree, you would still need to attend a university, but at least this way people can start learning stuff on their own for their own curiosity, and perhaps this will allow them to gain a proper scope on a subject before going to University.

Perhaps people could start studying an economics degree on their own, at home when they want, then perhaps after doing that for a few years, they might go "Hey, I actually like this field and i'm good at it" and go to Uni and perhaps perform some sort of accelerated course and start a career. I would study a number of things, but I don't wanna leave my career and be forced to pay thousands of dollars going to a uni, then deciding after studying for a time that I hate it, completely it's not what I expected, or perhaps I will realize it's too difficult for me, and then i'm in a hard place because I would have quit my career to do something that didn't work out at all.

If this information could simply become publicly available somehow then people could start self-learning and realize what they're good at.


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#11

Posted 20 January 2014 - 09:39 AM

Why can't we just have all the information out there and available on some government website or something, and we can go learn what we want. I am not saying this education counts towards anything and if you want a degree, you would still need to attend a university, but at least this way people can start learning stuff on their own for their own curiosity, and perhaps this will allow them to gain a proper scope on a subject before going to University.

Perhaps people could start studying an economics degree on their own, at home when they want, then perhaps after doing that for a few years, they might go "Hey, I actually like this field and i'm good at it" and go to Uni and perhaps perform some sort of accelerated course and start a career. I would study a number of things, but I don't wanna leave my career and be forced to pay thousands of dollars going to a uni, then deciding after studying for a time that I hate it, completely it's not what I expected, or perhaps I will realize it's too difficult for me, and then i'm in a hard place because I would have quit my career to do something that didn't work out at all.

If this information could simply become publicly available somehow then people could start self-learning and realize what they're good at.

Yeah, if there were only some form of INTERconnected NETwork to which all this information could be loaded and accessed. Or maybe some sort of building where knowledge is kept in the form of binded papyrus, which you could take out for as long as you want and return at a later date, completely free of charge.

 

Well we can only dream.

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#12

Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:56 PM Edited by Vlynor, 20 January 2014 - 03:59 PM.

Why can't we just have all the information out there and available on some government website or something, and we can go learn what we want. I am not saying this education counts towards anything and if you want a degree, you would still need to attend a university, but at least this way people can start learning stuff on their own for their own curiosity, and perhaps this will allow them to gain a proper scope on a subject before going to University.

Perhaps people could start studying an economics degree on their own, at home when they want, then perhaps after doing that for a few years, they might go "Hey, I actually like this field and i'm good at it" and go to Uni and perhaps perform some sort of accelerated course and start a career. I would study a number of things, but I don't wanna leave my career and be forced to pay thousands of dollars going to a uni, then deciding after studying for a time that I hate it, completely it's not what I expected, or perhaps I will realize it's too difficult for me, and then i'm in a hard place because I would have quit my career to do something that didn't work out at all.

If this information could simply become publicly available somehow then people could start self-learning and realize what they're good at.

 

We have those in the U.S., at least, in New York we do. You can go in, take a test for a class, and you get the credit as if you had taken the entire class. It's called a CLEP credit. There are numerous sites for you to learn basic skills, such as Macro/Micro economics, Humanities, Mathematics up to and including Calculus, Science, Programming, as well as Civics. The first that comes to mind is the Khan Academy


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#13

Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:34 PM


Why can't we just have all the information out there and available on some government website or something, and we can go learn what we want. I am not saying this education counts towards anything and if you want a degree, you would still need to attend a university, but at least this way people can start learning stuff on their own for their own curiosity, and perhaps this will allow them to gain a proper scope on a subject before going to University.

Perhaps people could start studying an economics degree on their own, at home when they want, then perhaps after doing that for a few years, they might go "Hey, I actually like this field and i'm good at it" and go to Uni and perhaps perform some sort of accelerated course and start a career. I would study a number of things, but I don't wanna leave my career and be forced to pay thousands of dollars going to a uni, then deciding after studying for a time that I hate it, completely it's not what I expected, or perhaps I will realize it's too difficult for me, and then i'm in a hard place because I would have quit my career to do something that didn't work out at all.

If this information could simply become publicly available somehow then people could start self-learning and realize what they're good at.

 
We have those in the U.S., at least, in New York we do. You can go in, take a test for a class, and you get the credit as if you had taken the entire class. It's called a CLEP credit. There are numerous sites for you to learn basic skills, such as Macro/Micro economics, Humanities, Mathematics up to and including Calculus, Science, Programming, as well as Civics. The first that comes to mind is the Khan Academy
Interesting actually, the more you know,I wasn't aware of that.

Yes I've used Khan Academy before, but there are large gaps in the information at times and there isn't a whole lot there, there's a lot, but you can get through it pretty quickly, if you coupled that up With a text book you'd probably be doing alright for the most part, and there are online courses you can enrol in, those are a bit full on for average Joe wanting to learn some.

I dunno, I guess the information is out there, and I'm talking out of my ass, but it'd be nice if it was made easy by a/the government, put in one place in the proper curriculum order for people to just start reading about on a boring Sunday kinda thing.

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#14

Posted 21 January 2014 - 03:57 PM Edited by Vlynor, 21 January 2014 - 03:57 PM.

 

 

Why can't we just have all the information out there and available on some government website or something, and we can go learn what we want. I am not saying this education counts towards anything and if you want a degree, you would still need to attend a university, but at least this way people can start learning stuff on their own for their own curiosity, and perhaps this will allow them to gain a proper scope on a subject before going to University.

Perhaps people could start studying an economics degree on their own, at home when they want, then perhaps after doing that for a few years, they might go "Hey, I actually like this field and i'm good at it" and go to Uni and perhaps perform some sort of accelerated course and start a career. I would study a number of things, but I don't wanna leave my career and be forced to pay thousands of dollars going to a uni, then deciding after studying for a time that I hate it, completely it's not what I expected, or perhaps I will realize it's too difficult for me, and then i'm in a hard place because I would have quit my career to do something that didn't work out at all.

If this information could simply become publicly available somehow then people could start self-learning and realize what they're good at.

 
We have those in the U.S., at least, in New York we do. You can go in, take a test for a class, and you get the credit as if you had taken the entire class. It's called a CLEP credit. There are numerous sites for you to learn basic skills, such as Macro/Micro economics, Humanities, Mathematics up to and including Calculus, Science, Programming, as well as Civics. The first that comes to mind is the Khan Academy
Interesting actually, the more you know,I wasn't aware of that.

Yes I've used Khan Academy before, but there are large gaps in the information at times and there isn't a whole lot there, there's a lot, but you can get through it pretty quickly, if you coupled that up With a text book you'd probably be doing alright for the most part, and there are online courses you can enrol in, those are a bit full on for average Joe wanting to learn some.

I dunno, I guess the information is out there, and I'm talking out of my ass, but it'd be nice if it was made easy by a/the government, put in one place in the proper curriculum order for people to just start reading about on a boring Sunday kinda thing.

 

 

You can also check out Coursera, if you want. If you're not a busy person it's useful. It's non-credit college/university classes given by places like Harvard, Stanford, UPenn, UToronto, etc. There are also some places (at least here in the U.S.) that are accredited institutions online. So, you can do K-12 (your entire school life) online. 

 

I think what you want is out there, it's just not provided by the government.

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#15

Posted 15 March 2014 - 01:29 AM

To add to dice's explanation, I think that even with the ultimate resources of books, examples, scripts, and enough texted information to stack up to scrapers, there's always a lack of the practical side of things. Take for example, I could read up on how to make a chocolate cake, I could study every recipe, every little detail. I could completely learn all there is to learn in crafting the perfect chocolate cake. However, if I can't bake the cake, if I can't go into the practical side of things and create and experiment, I'm never going to be able to apply that knowledge and information.

 

I believe that more Western countries should be allowed to give out free education. I mean, we're forced to decide what we want to do when we have no idea. I mean, I didn't know what I wanted to do until I was twenty, and by then, in UK laws, you must pay for your own college courses. I think that kind of is a very bad way of executing solid education laws. If people want to learn, they should be allowed regardless of the fact they cannot afford the costs of learning. 

 

 

The proportion of 16-18 year olds in full-time education fell from 

68.6% in 2011 to 67.2% in 2012. The proportion in part-time 
education rose slightly, from 5.5% to 5.8%, over the same period

 

67% is quite high, but still. 

 

Online education is something that is always available. You can learn anything you want, but the parameters of having somebody with experience to teach you is going to always be the more greater, and that is a factor that will always arise when learning online and not in a classroom. I for one agree that education should be free online either way for those who do have the dexterity and strength to complete such tasks well, without the aid of others. But not everybody is so skilled at such things. 


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Posted 27 March 2014 - 07:07 AM

At a time where ADHD and attention span disorder are increasing. I don't think we should switch to online studying. First off not everyone has his disposable on a computer that is connected to an internet connection. But let's avoid the economic dues some families have to pay (electricity, internet, a printer (possibly)). Xboxless, you write that it doesn't matter where you got your education from, online or some "prestigious" school. Well first off, for all I know, you are just switching tabs and clicking your way through it without even skimming it. Human nature does force us to be cynical a good majority of the time. But ahh there is a test at the end, but isn't that what we are going against? Standardised testing. There has to be some form of testing at the end of any course. With schools, there is no (legitimate) way of getting higher grades in uni or secondary school other than working towards it. Also by "prestigious" I assume you mean private institutions? I am going to continue briefly assuming that you are. With private institutions, you are far advanced with the resources that are provided in library's and other services and most of them go unused. Also with private institutions, it is a pure business transaction. They give you sh*t, you confront them. You are the "customer". You can ask for things that will make your study more comfortable. Also with private institutions, you have a full disposal of over qualified teachers. Private institutions tend to hire their teachers from other "prestigious" institutions that offer the next level or 2 in education. 

 

I am more for a book and paper type of education. With youths today growing up thinking it's okay to stay isolated in your bedroom, with a laptop on surfing the web. We need to have that classroom engagement. Debates with others. Humans clarifying sh*t we don't understand from the book. This whole amplifies the learning experience, friends, competition. Just because we are moving to a digital age doesn't merit the old teaching ways useless. Sure you might have a 5 inch electronic device in your pocket that virtually is able to browse through the entire recorded knowledge humanity has written. But how much do you know? With books, there is no avoiding that knowledge with a single click of the home button. With a book, there is text that is written or no text at all. That's it. Read or don't read. There is a statistical correlation with internet connected devices and the knowledge an average person holds. The more information that is available, the less a human is knowledgeable. This can be accounted for the increase in information through said internet connected devices.

 

I apologise for the grammar lads, my right eye has been twitching whenever I read or focus lately. 


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#17

Posted 27 March 2014 - 09:45 AM

If You mean after 10 years in normal school, why not.
Learning also changes in school, You have more freedom than in 80s.
If You mean no traditional school at all, I'd be really concerned.
You still need teachers, they can note for example if there was something wrong with your learning. Who is taking care of that if You self-teach alone? Learning is not only reading, it's how well You pick the right information from what You read.
In school You are also supposed to learn manners and meticulousness. We got numbers from those.

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#18

Posted 27 March 2014 - 08:25 PM


1. I am more for a book and paper type of education. With youths today growing up thinking it's okay to stay isolated in your bedroom, with a laptop on surfing the web. We need to have that classroom engagement. Debates with others. Humans clarifying sh*t we don't understand from the book.

 

2.This whole amplifies the learning experience, friends, competition. Just because we are moving to a digital age doesn't merit the old teaching ways useless. Sure you might have a 5 inch electronic device in your pocket that virtually is able to browse through the entire recorded knowledge humanity has written. But how much do you know?

 

3. With books, there is no avoiding that knowledge with a single click of the home button. With a book, there is text that is written or no text at all. That's it. Read or don't read.

 

4. There is a statistical correlation with internet connected devices and the knowledge an average person holds. The more information that is available, the less a human is knowledgeable. This can be accounted for the increase in information through said internet connected devices.

OK I've split your second paragraph up into a couple of smaller numbered pieces as it was a bit long to respond to all at once. I may return to the first paragraph in a little while and respond to a few points from that -- but by and large I tend to agree with the majority of the points that you raised in that paragraph, especially to do with private institutions being better for the most part.

 

But now on to the parts that I didn't agree with.

 

1. First of all this is a crude generalisation of today's young people. Secondly you can easily debate things online and seek clarification on things through emails and such-like. I already do that with some of my lecturers now as it's easier than standing and waiting around afterwards when we both have things to do and people to talk to. And with video-conferencing software now making it possible for groups of up to 200 people to collaborate on things without leaving their screens I can only see these things getting easier.

 

2. Just because you're moving to a new teaching age doesn't mean that you won't be competing with people. If you are on the same online course as your friend you are going to be in competition with them and vice-versa, you may not be able to speak to them directly but you will be able to compare results.

 

3. What a phenomenally stupid thing to say. You can avoid knowledge in a book by closing it. It's just as easy as going back to the homepage on a phone or tablet.

 

4. I'm going to have to ask for proof. Most people these days in the Western world have 2-5 devices that are capable of connecting to the internet (I have 4, although I only regularly browse the internet from 2 of them). And I haven't noticed an incredible drop in IQ scores or other measures of intelligence since we got connected. So I reckon that you're probably talking nonsense.

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#19

Posted 27 April 2014 - 08:29 AM

Your last post was hidden for a reason. Ten word posts aren't really acceptable in D&D and it was a bit of a pointless thread bump.




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