Picture a Revolution in Learning

The winning video in a recent competition about the "Future of Electronics Innovations" is an outstanding perspective on how the students of today are likely to be affected by the rapidly changing landscape in information gathering.

It’s worth a look at all the videos, but the first place video was by far my favorite. Check out this excellent piece, “Enlightenment 2.0: A Revolution in Learning,” from two students at National University Singapore (NUS), Tan Han We and Sanjiv Nair, who won a cash prize of S$8,000 (>$6,400).

From the students’ perspective, here are the three key reasons that show we’ve made a “promising start of an age of spectacular delivery of content and learning”:

  • References that have transformed from dictionaries and almanacs to Google and Wikipedia, and are moving toward a personal context-relevant reference system, making information much more personalized and relevant.
  • Crowd sourcing. Because devices are shrinking in size and price, almost anyone will be able to get their hands on electronic devices, making information more and more democratized.
  • Lots of fun storytelling and studying. According to behavioral economist and MacArthur Grant winner Sendhil Mullainathan, we’ve got data, information and solutions in place, but we have stopped short of making these solutions friendly enough for actual use by the layman. Electronics can humanize the interface, making learning fun.

The YouTube video competition was developed by the Young Talent Outreach Program, which is geared toward inspiring students in Singapore to pursue a career in engineering. It was launched specifically with a view to the electronics industry (involved parties are SEMI, the Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association, and the Singapore Economic Development Board), but its messages are relevant to a broad range of technical pursuits.

For the competition, 25 student teams from 10 schools produced videos using the theme of “Impact of Electronics Innovations on Future Lifestyle, Quality of Life and Development.” The winners were announced last week at Semicon Singapore.