Back in the good ol’ days…

I do not want all my posts to harp on about education this and education that…but I realized something when working on my website. It was the idea of self-taught learning.

In the age of YouTube and sites such as makezine.com or instructables.com, it is so easy to go online and fine the information we need to complete a project.  Therefore, it was simple to find internet sources to learn more about how to use HTML or CSS code or find the perfect hex-color for my background. Not to say there is not work involved, but the information is always there if we want to take advantage of it. I truly feel bad for those older members of our society who did not have the wealth of internet knowledge at their disposal.

I have used the internet to learn how to ski backwards, make an impressive dinner for my girlfriend and I, and how to beat a level in “The Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of  Time” that always gave me trouble. Whenever I have a question or a problem I resort to the internet for a step-by-step tutorial from someone that knows a lot more about the subject than I do.

After realizing how much I have used the internet to self teach myself, I attempted to remember a time in which I could not utilize the internet. Even though our childhood, a time when the internet was not as available or widespread, was not too long ago, I cannot remember ever picking up a book or something else to teach myself how to do something before the internet took off. Has the internet made us more capable? Or has it always been a matter of laziness?

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4 Responses to Back in the good ol’ days…

  1. Vicster says:

    This is definitely a hard question to ask as, for many of us, it’s hard to imagine that the Internet could be a negative thing or something that is making the world gradually more lazy or stupid (A lot of people have debated whether or not Google is actually causing the human race to become both: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/6868/).
    While I can see where they are coming from in these claims, I personally believe that the Internet has made us more capable and even more knowledgeable. At any moment (with the right connection) anybody can have access to information on any subject, expanding their knowledge on a topic they don’t understand or answering a question. People can get instant access to news updates and make themselves more aware of topics and controversies not talked about in the media. As you brought up, anybody can learn to do things like cooking, making, crafting, etc. using Internet DIYs and video tutorials.
    Though it may seem that this would make us lazy because we easily find things without looking them up in a library or learning to do it ourselves, I think the opposite. Now that people have a way to expand their knowledge more easily and a quicker rate than ever before, they will do it. Our world is fast paced and so our information should follow suit.
    Many may use the internet to look up homework solutions, avoid having to read a whole book, or only learn by summaries of information but I say that that is their loss. The Internet may not be a complete substitute for these things, but in our world today it is definitely an asset not a hindrance.

  2. marsonze says:

    I believe that the internet has made us more capable. The depiction of laziness comes along when associated with the idea of just sitting around browsing the Internet. However, every piece you read no matter how educational or just purely entertaining, you are still learning about something. I feel that if the internet was not available, then people may just give up on what they are doing instead of trying to finish, depending upon the individual’s perseverance. Frankly, I don’t think we have the time now to sit and search through a book or make that trip to the library to figure out how to do something. Similar to Vicster’s comment, I believe that we have to utilize tools like the Internet in order to keep pace with the fast moving world.

    I go on Stumble almost everyday, yes it makes me procrastinate, however, I still learn about random things that I would have never come across if I wasn’t using the Internet. In a sense the Internet makes us lazy because all we have to do is click the Firefox, Safari, etc. symbol to get the majority of the information we need. In another sense, it makes us more likely to actually learn on our own and take on new goals that we ordinarily would not have embarked upon.

  3. regina says:

    After reading this post I had to put some thought into my answer. I would like to think that the internet has made us more capable, but I did not come to this decision lightly. At first I was completely against this idea because I myself learn in a very particular way. If I do not sit down and teach myself step by step and understand the reasoning behind concepts I will not truly learn, which I sometimes feel the internet inhibits. Then I realized that it is all about how you use the internet. Although the majority of the time it is a distraction for people like me, it is full of useful information that if I took the time to look for, could be of use.
    On a broader scale, the internet is a source that fuels learning, possibly without you even knowing it. We stumble across things every day that we may have never learned without access to the internet. It has also created a connection across the globe that could have never been accomplished otherwise. The internet does not create lazy people. A lazy person is a lazy person. If anything the internet fills me with great ideas of things to get up and do.

  4. Socrates says:

    I think the internet has simply become a huge “Go TO” for everything. need to make food Google it…. need a good laugh go on reddit,… bored go on YouTube. we just imply use the internet to supplement our natural curiosity in life. We as a species have this need to know everything and we strive to find out more and more. Btw if you talking about the water temple…..soo….hard…. Thanks for the input :)