Zacharias 🐝 Voulgaris

2 anni fa Β· 2 min. di lettura Β· visibility 0 Β·

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What Is an Educational Site Anyway?

What Is an Educational Site Anyway?


Lately education has seen a renaissance particularly when it comes to tools to facilitate it. Even reputable universities have an e-learning option for students who don't want or cannot afford to attend in person. Yet, today everyone who can utter more than a handful of words in a row and who is not a total newcomer to the tech world can fashion an "educational" site and if he is ambitious enough, even a platform, to spread the fruits of knowledge around the globe. Since many of these sites are a total waste of time and are borderline scams, considering the quality of the information they offer (it would be too much to consider it knowledge), it raises the question "what is an educational site anyway?"

What Is Not an Educational Site

First of all, let's look at what is not such a site. Basically, any site (or channel) that doesn't provide interaction between the students and an instructor (or at least a mentor), is something that serves only its creators. Why are interactions important? Well, it is this environment of brainstorming and challenging ideas (not people) that often brings about the most powerful insights in the learners. The instructor is important as a facilitator of all this too, not just as someone who provides the content of the class. The latter is important, but if it's not accompanied by an interactive aspect in the learning process, it's bound to be incomplete and shallow. Also, an educational site that has just multiple choice test is screaming out "scam" since it is basically the most superficial way to assess one's knowledge. Since it also happens to be the easiest way to do so (due to the wonders of automation through JavaScript and other online wonders), it is often preferred by those who want to make a quick buck in the education industry.

What Is a (Real) Educational Site

So, if you invert all the aforementioned characteristics, you can get an idea of what a real educational site is like. Also, it's interesting to view the whole matter in relation to how each one of these types of sites is promoted. A true educational site is often promoted via articles, other educators, and even news outlets. Such a site often has a substancial financial backing and a solid business plan (if it's a for-profit organization), while its educators are also respected and treated professionally. Rarely would you hear such people complain about the place after they leave it, due to some financial disagreement. Also, real educational sites focus on building the right mindset in the learners, instead of just stuffing their heads with facts and figures that can be easily found elsewhere, oftentimes for free. Finally, real educational sites have a vetting process on their content, which they also update regularly.


Although it's not evident, education is going through a crisis today. That's not because universities and other educational institutions are not doing their job right (well, that might be part of the reason, at least for some countries), but because there is now a plethora of quasi-educational platforms out there that try to get a piece of the pie, without offering substantial knowledge and know-how to their clients. After all, if someone is doing all this just for the money, they are missing an important point of education, which should be differentiated from the acquisition of skills solely. Fortunately, faux educational sites are not too difficult to spot and although user-friendly and well-designed, they are not something you would entrust your children's education with, right? Something to think about.

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Jerry Fletcher

2 anni fa #18

Michael, What scares me is the possibility that the electric plug could get pulled. All the communications skills abandoned by the Digerati would be back in the lime light. Just imagine going back to what is called a Steam Punk world. That is scary!

Jerry Fletcher

2 anni fa #17

David, I'll go take a look at that. Success of any youngster without solid role models is just about impossible in my view. And then some kid that learned to read with comic books turns out to be a fantastic coder. Mother nature never fails to make us think twice. And so it goes...

Jerry Fletcher

2 anni fa #16

Deas, Always want to see your two cents worth because they are worth a great deal more.

David Navarro LΓ³pez

2 anni fa #15

Jerry, I agree entirely that teachers and the surroundings of children have a great impact. Some time ago I wrote something on this line The fact that orphans can be successful too, could be the exception that confirms the rule. Concerning wisdom, it is basically the good management of your thoughts, that leads to action. Plain knowledge might help to increase wisdom, but not the one which can be learnt in a book, but, as you say, "process that data in the real world forming conclusions" which need intelligence to connect the points, but then wisdom applies the lesson to your own life. All I am trying to say is that many parents think that to give a good education the only needed thing is to bring children to school, whilst they forget that the most important lessons, "emotional intelligence", are to be given at home.

Jerry Fletcher

2 anni fa #14

David, Glad to see someone else is concerned about the future of humanity. I lack your erudition but I may have a few years more experience. As I see it, wisdom is the aggregate of knowledge plus experience. That means the individual must acquire information beyond their natural intelligence and process that data in the real world forming conclusions. In some cultures that is the purview of the elder members of the society. that has become untenable in a world where the pace of change is so rapid. How we approach the acquisition and processing of the data we put to use to get to wisdom is indeed a set of skills initially learned at home. The skills resident in a home are an accident of birth. Wealth does not guarantee them. Nor does good intentions. Orphans can grow up to be successful and respected members of the community. There is a saying: It takes a village to raise a child" which I believe is a simple way to say that all the individuals a child comes in contact with have an impact on that child. That includes religious leaders, politicians, teachers, business people and others outside the home. Each of us is the sum total of our experiences for good or ill. Teachers have a massive impact because of the inordinate amount of time we spend with them. That's why I consider them so important. They are important but not omnipotent. And so it goes...

John Rylance

2 anni fa #13

One of the most important parts of school education is the often overlooked skill of learning how learn. Once we have learnt how we learn best then we can succeed. Those who claim not to have learnt anything at school, learnt one thing their education would be found elsewhere. It's gaining knowledge in the best way for you. The most important skill we learn at school is the ability to read.  Hence the car bumper sticker "If you can read this thank a teacher"

David Navarro LΓ³pez

2 anni fa #12

Thank you Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee for calling my attention to this great debate. To Jerry Fletcher: With all the due respect, I don't think that the future of the humankind resides in the education which can be given in a school. The same way that it is not the intelligence which helps us to survive, but the wisdom. Intelligence, (from Latin interlocare) is the skill of connecting two issues which at first glance were disconnected. Wisdom is taking advantage of intelligence and erudition. Erudition can be harvested in school, intelligence can be further developed as well there, but wisdom and intelligence have their inception at home, together with much other human virtues which can turn black into white any knowledge learnt in school. Many intelligent people have been complete losers on their own private life. Respect and self-respect, altruism, empathy, trustworthiness, confidence, courage, resilience, are the common characteristics of successful people. Again, there is no school teaching these. Home is were this needs to be taught. To Zacharias: Education is not going through a crisis today. Family is. human values are. This is why "fake" schools appear, with no intention of teaching but just to make not decent money out of "family handicapped" human beings, unwanted children converted into failure scholars, no matter the school.

Jerry Fletcher

2 anni fa #11

Deas, I agree with your premise regarding freedom. I can only hope that a solution for the problem of real education emerges.

Thank you for the share Pascal Derrien!

John Rylance

2 anni fa #9

Your two pieces reminded me of this quote from the late football manager Brian Clough.  " We sit down and discuss the problem, then agree I was right"

I invite Deas Plant

Jerry Fletcher

2 anni fa #7

Zacharias, Thank you for bringing up a topic I believe is critical to the fate of humanity. I have considered this topic at length and come to the conclusion that a true education site be it brick and mortar, open air or digitally based teaches people to think. BUT that skill should be in addition to learning how to do. Here, in the United States children are channeled into college. many of them have never learned how to work or spent time in a trade. (It is strange when you consider the number of Millionaires that are Plumbers, HVAC contractors and electricians.) Seeing the solutions to problems without a degree has never been a fiction. Through the centuries, intelligence has triumphed. Some learn by doing, experimentation and repeating solutions found earlier but not shared. Others, the educators that make a difference find a way to share their knowledge. The open university/digital applications are at last opening up a way for the general populace to learn. The old tenure based model simply is not designed to educate. it imposes a form of slavery on graduate students to include massive teaching requirements. I've searched unsuccessfully for a better model. I'm hoping that technology can provide education with the interactive component you have noted because cross pollination of ideas in an open mannered conversation is the source of the innovation we need. And so it goes.

Thank you Zacharias \ud83d\udc1d Voulgaris. You explained your idea thoroughly well "it's more fruitful to challenge the ideas instead of attacking the individuals who harbour them". Great clarification.

Thank you @Gloria (Glo) for sharing the buzz to another hive!

Thank you for your kind remarks, Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee and for your question. You are right, sometimes my writing isn't very clear, partly because English is not my first language, and partly because I wrote this article amid a warm summer day! To clarify that part, I meant to emphasize that when conversing with others, it's more fruitful to challenge the ideas instead of attacking the individuals who harbour them. The former kind of challenge helps us converse, while the latter can easily devolve into a personal rivalry leading nowhere. However, you are right; sometimes the ideas and the people are intertwined, so it's hard to challenge the former without challenging the latter.

Thank you for your clarification @John Rylance. You have a point and I am digesting it.

John Rylance

2 anni fa #2

I wonder if inserting "people's" between challenging and ideas, would both add the meaning you are seeking and maintain the essence of what Zacharias is trying to say. I think efforts need to be made to enhance the validity of distance interactive learning.  While sites like the Open University in the UK are recognised as providing high class learning.  The sites this piece is discussing still have earn their "spurs".Their success or failure we depend on their ability to provide the level of learning and results the "users" expect.

Zacharias \ud83d\udc1d Voulgaris- you touched upon a topic that is rarely discussed in spite of its huge importance. I agree with your points and the need for educational sites to be interactive. One thing that I "fell short" of comprehending is your writing "Well, it is this environment of brainstorming and challenging ideas (not people) that often brings about the most powerful insights in the learners". But do ideas come from their own or the people involved? The quality of ideas is at least partly linked to the quality of people involved. You must have a good reason for bracketing not people, which is beyond my realization at the moment.

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