Cyberspace not the place for learning and success
Fifteen years ago when I wrote a letter or two regarding the life of students and teachers, everything around was sunny and rosy to my mainland eyes.
Now experience has sobered me somewhat, and though I still see the sun everywhere, so also I see the clouds.
The new academic year has started. So how about it? I thought I should say something and if you find it of value, it will appear to bother the public.
Students these days are more knowledgeable and goal oriented than before. To accommodate this increase in awareness, teachers are also trying harder to make learning more accessible, interesting and rewarding. Use of multi-media is an example.
And ‘ay! there’s the rub’ as Hamlet exclaimed pondering on more lethal matters.
One would expect that our modern cyber innovations would help students to learn better and get good grades. But that does not seem to be the case. The minds of the young these days are quite scattered with constant and instant access to frivolous information and visuals (Facebook), oral and written companionships between and during classes and while doing homework (cellphones), and muzak during other mundane activities like bicycling, walking, driving etc.
I know that some university/college students would rather use their cellphones instead of a calculator. As a consequence, the majority of the young are unable to concentrate on one thing for a length of time as they are used to instant gratifications with minimal effort as a result of the cyber revolution. I even suspect that, among students, respect for knowledge is not ‘cool’ but talent in quickly accessing “information” is. Such a ‘scattered mind-set’ is not good for learning. I should not try the patience of the public and the editor with a lecture on ‘how to learn and study.’ But I cannot let you go without hearing this: parents should encourage and even tell their sons and daughters to shut off their phones and focus while doing homework; go to classes and listen, spend more time in the library, allot specific times for ‘power chill-outs’ etc.
Discipline, hard work and routine are the only keys to success, not cellphones and Facebook.
K.S. Ramadurai writes from Carbonear.