Learning Support System

 

We need a new system supporting:

·        perpetual learning of individuals

·        perpetual development of learning and teaching materials and methods.

 

Motivation

    In environment with deployed Artificial Intelligence and Robots, old skills become obsolete and entire professions disappear, while the need for new skills and professions appear. One has to learn quickly to acquire new knowledge and skills. Already, a large part of the society, previously relatively insulated from pressures of technological revolution, is affected by new technological developments.

The society has to learn perpetually and learn quickly. People feel the pressure and they are ready to adjust to new situation and ready to put efforts and resources into learning, to be able to succeed in this new environment. Traditional education system cannot support this effort.

Traditional education system shapes students thinking to operate in uniform, “educated”, “rational” way, which leads to uniform presentation of ideas. It has its advantages: people acquire “common language” to communicate and to present results of their explorations.

However, the process of thinking, which it shapes, is slow. There are so many different ways individual minds operate; especially, innovators think in a highly unusual way.

In the environment of perpetual innovation, a different approach has to be adopted. However the “common language”, which traditional education system provides, cannot be abandoned, the “common language” is needed more than ever, because the number of new situations and new ideas is increasing and the need in communication of ideas is increasing.

 

New System

High speed of learning could be achieved only with the system oriented on support of quick learning and understanding, where presentation of ideas using some “common language” is perceived as a process of “translation” of own understanding into a form acceptable to a group, for which such presentation is made. Thus, the system should be focused more on “learning” and “presentation” and much less on “universal way of thinking”. Hence, what is needed is a “learning support system”, not an “education system”.

Since, in new environment, learning should be perceived as perpetual activity, an individual should be engaged with the “learning support system” perpetually. This should be not difficult to accept.

Obviously, such system has to use all the possibilities provided by the Internet: learning materials should be updated on remote sites and accessed by a user through connection to these sites. Thus, the system should operate as a “service”.

The system should provide numerous variants of learning materials dedicated to the same subject to allow an individual to choose one, which matches his way of thinking better. Even more, it should support such selection of an appropriate variant.

The selection of a proper variant should be guided by the system itself and by teachers. Hence teachers should be provided with their materials supporting such selection.

It is desirable to have a few different entities engaged in development of learning materials covering the same subject, where each such entity develops a set of variants of such materials for an individual to choose. This way:

·        the number of different variants of learning materials covering the same area of study  increases

·        competition between these entities improves quality of learning materials.

 

 

Crucial new Element

    There is one crucial element, which has to be added to the system: examples of use of ideas, theories, models, etc., found in “learning materials”, in some practical applications.

    These examples have to be artfully written stories, where one could see how subject presented in learning materials could be used in real life situations, for example in making some decision collectively.

    These stories should be aimed to accomplish two goals. First, they should become memory anchors, which make ideas memorable. Second, they serve as examples of ways of actual application of newly learned ideas in real life, which always involves many steps and numerous attempts.

    These stories could describe real events, but often they could be works of fiction, with personages, plot, etc.  

 

Intermediaries

It makes sense to built specialization in the system.

One type of specialists and organizations should develop learning materials for students and for teachers.

The other type of specialists and organizations should write stories-examples of use of ideas presented in these learning materials.

The third type of specialists and organizations should serve as intermediaries between first two types of specialists and organizations on one hand and students and teachers on the other hand.

Intermediaries should handle technical side of storing and providing access to learning materials and commercial side of charging for this access and of compensating developers of learning materials and writers of stories.

Sufficiently large number of Intermediaries independent each from another, should support level of competition between them sufficient for keeping entire system quick and efficient.

Alexander Liss 9/15/2019