Wednesday, December 30, 2015

“Throw away thy books!”

That’s what the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121 to 180 AD) wrote in his “Meditations” (167 AD).  His advice couldn't be more appropriate and valid today than it was back then, for one reason, which Marcus Aurelius couldn't have possibly envisioned at the time.

Going online gives you access to vast knowledge resources which didn't exist until a short time ago.  Today via online, the world is at your fingertips, or if you prefer, you can talk with Siri or Cortana, your personal digital assistant, to bring you to different sites to look for lectures, books, movies, games, what-have-you.

Yes, why not replace textbooks for learning with online access to the same materials, which, by the way, can be kept up to date much easier that way, all at greatly reduced cost, not to mention the convenience.

Actually, your entire studies can be done online nowadays instead of having to go to a physical location and sit down in a classroom, making sure being on time, having test anxieties and then having to follow the curriculum.  Online lets you work, study, have fun (learning should be fun!) from wherever you happen to be, in your home, in a park under a tree, or with friends who are interested in the same matter.

Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate Degrees can be obtained this way.  They may not have the show-off value of a Harvard, Princeton, MIT or such, institutions which have easy name and value recognition, but they should receive even higher recognition because the online learner did not get kindergarten-like attention and support to do his/her studies, but did so with self determination and dogged persistence, qualities which bode well for people who are going to accomplish things. 

All that is needed to make the online option work are three preconditions, which, by the way, will be helpful in whichever way one is going to pursue learning:  (1) Be able to read and write a language well. (2) Have the motivation and the drive to learn and strive to do whatever it takes to learn.  That’s truly the most important!  (3) Sufficient computer knowledge to make the computer do the legwork of searching, finding, reading, repeating, contacting and communicating with teachers, co-students, friends, the rest of the world, printing out when necessary, and more.  That’s all.  It’s as easy, or as hard, as that.

Paper is becoming a thing of the past, for museums to show how humans in one stage of their development used to store and handle knowledge and information.  The present and future will be almost entirely paperless, making it far easier to carry with you, paperless being easier to access and utilize from anywhere at any time at the right time for you.  Thank you, Marcus Aurelius;  Electronically available to all, via online, a fairer, fuller life ahead!

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