There is much being written about how the Internet is interfering with the way in which we learn and some even go as far as saying “the Internet is making us stupid.” While this may, indeed, be the case if we rely on it for such things as spelling, grammar, punctuation and mathematical calculations, which we once did manually, with nothing more to rely on but the old grey matter as Detective Poirot would say, there is much the Internet can do to expand our minds by opening new pathways to explore. Consider the following three ways in which the Internet opens pathways in the mind, helping us learn and grow faster than ever before possible.
1. Greatly Expedited Communications
One of the ways in which the Internet can open channels of understanding faster than ever before is in the fact that communications with teachers, mentors and experts don’t need to be put on hold for days, or even weeks in some cases. With social media, email and video conferencing, it is possible to open lines of communications immediately without the need to set up an appointment that may have taken weeks to achieve. If getting answers now, in real time, while a question is fresh in your mind, doesn’t open up new pathways in the brain, perhaps not much will. There is nothing like the rapidity at which you can process information when studying for an advanced degree!
2. Access to Limitless Information and Resources to Put It in Perspective
Consider for a moment you are looking to earn your MBA online. You have a question about MBA articles you read for study purposes, and an issue arises that you want to explore further. By having the ability to access online MBA resources such as communications with your professors, you get your answer quickly, put it into perspective, and then move on in new directions. Most of today’s students won’t remember a time when they had to wait hours or days to access the school’s library or set up an appointment with a teacher, but by the time they had access to the help they needed, the question no longer carried the same weight and perhaps even the relevance was long-forgotten.
3. Opening Multi-Sensory Pathways
Finally, using the Internet as a tool for opening up the mind, you can take advantage of multi-sensory pathways. No, they haven’t found a way you can taste or smell what you are studying but you can see, feel and hear simultaneously, which has proven to help expedite the learning process. As you are typing on your keyboard (touch) you can listen to online resources such as a video on new tax laws (hearing) and flip back and forth to look at diagrams being drawn on the video whiteboard (sight). Can a text book do that?
While an obsession with gaming or social media might be ‘dumbing down’ our youth, the Internet is also a great place to explore information that can open greater pathways within the mind. It’s like anything else in life. A little goes a long way and too much of a good thing can be dangerous. Use digital media wisely and you can hope to expand the mind. It’s a great resource for those who use it wisely.