Real-World Learning with a Little Help over the Internet

The New Yorker has a short article expressing the benefits of tying modern technology into real life childhood development. Out for a walk and your child wants to know how, exactly, bees make honey? You can whip out your mobile phone for a quick overview, and then head back home to watch more in-depth videos on a desktop computer.

Portrayed like this, highly functional mobile internet access sounds like we can walk around in a perpetual museum. Anything we encounter that we want to learn more about, we can instantly have a multimedia placard for whatever we see.

This was how the internet was presented, and television before that: a wondrous source of nonstop learning and education! Want to hear the greatest lectures from Harvard? You can simply turn on your television set! Want to study the latest research from the physicists at CERN? You are but mouse clicks away.

The resources are certainly available and growing to use the internet as a marvelous educational resource. More and more people seem to use it for perhaps less productive things, but the story of Alison and Augie in the New Yorker is inspiring. Instead of being sucked into the world of the internet itself, focus on using it to learn (and to teach) about our own.