Parental Attention, Global Citizens, and ‘Anytime, Anywhere’
The 21st century is characterized by rapid progress in technology and the spotlight is on innovation and its benefits to society. However, this is also accompanied by the inherent prerequisite of being up-to-date with changing trends, having the required knowledge to tap into technology, and possessing skills to compete and stand out. A pertinent question that is often asked, especially in the US, is whether parents are devoting enough attention to the education of their children. It is a very uncomfortable question!
As the US has evolved into a consumer nation, it is said that people do not have the same outlook on education as they had, possibly 50 years ago. School-going children do not receive sufficient attention from their parents due to unavailability of time, extensive hours at work, and other pressures of today’s fast life. However, parents have now started realizing the fact that they need to put in the right kind of effort required to develop the children into individuals who can get decently well-paying jobs. Another challenge is the non-availability of sufficient qualified and experienced teachers, which has, regrettably, made education undesirable for at least some of the students. Not so encouraging grades are a clear pointer to this. However, it is heartening to know that this concern has not been relegated to the backburner. Governments, educationists, school authorities, teachers, and parents have started focusing more on the education of their children. Supplemental education by way of online tutoring has been gaining a lot of attention in the U.S, as it has in South Korea, Singapore, and other educationally advanced Asian countries.
The bottom line is that children require quality education including technical aspects and guidance on how to succeed in today’s world of globalization and ruthless competition. There are a few very essential technical skills that a student should acquire to progress with confidence. A reader survey done in September 2012 by a U.S e-School media site says, “being a tech-savvy student in the 21st century is about much more than learning how to use a certain software program or device—it’s about being able to adapt to what’s constantly changing”. The five essential technical skills that readers felt important for today’s students are – online literacy (quantity of content vs. quality of content), critical thinking (learn how to learn), the science behind the technology (understand the science and history of the technology), adaptability (resourcefulness and creativity to master technology), and courage (being able to experiment with technology without fear). These are apart from the very fundamental skills such as typing, Office suite, social media, and netiquette.
The need of the hour is to be global citizens. Americans need to regain the position that they once enjoyed as a knowledge powerhouse. Students need to look beyond the classroom and towards their planet. Understanding world history, social structure, economies, and other issues are of paramount importance. This will endow them with ideas and awareness of a much diverse nature. Every student should be able to appreciate cultural diversity and enhance their competitive skills. Many business leaders today concede that it is very important to broaden their knowledge of the world and expand the horizons of their world view. Internationalization of education has become the buzzword!
Online learning is an excellent and cost-effective way for students to shift gears and become global citizens. The biggest advantage is the ‘anytime, anywhere’ concept. You can pursue the subject of your choice, anytime – morning, noon, or night – and anywhere you wish – from the comfort of your home, or a library with an internet connection, or your local hangout club. Besides 24*7 access to materials, you can benefit from student-centered teaching concepts. Some of the other benefits are easy to access to your tutors and collaboration with students from different nationalities. Moreover, it allows parents to participate in your learning through opportunities to review your progress, guide you forward, and enjoy the convenience and affordable prices offered by such a system.
Online education is expected to play a key role in developing students of the future and helping them compete with their counterparts across the globe. Today, numerous students are choosing this manner of education and reaping the benefits early.
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