When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

The Education Revolution Began Before The Pandemic

Technology is turning education into a data-driven, personalized learning process. It's up to humans to be sure it serves the needs of students, and societies.

21-century education
21-century education
Luis Galeazzi


BUENOS AIRES — One of the most striking effects of this time of social isolation is the way we have turned to digital tools to adapt our behaviors and routines. And in no area of society is this more evident than the experience of studying and learning online.

Knowledge is no longer perceived as a large store of information to be absorbed within a limited period of study. The emphasis today is on fomenting aptitudes and skills needed for research, experimentation and knowledge generation. Those are now the key educational values.

The student isn't an object or target of education anymore, but the subject or protagonist of a personal learning process. Developing the ability to learn becomes the decisive element in the evolution of students. Real talent, in other words, is having adaptive skills in the face of new challenges and conditions.

Here in the 21st century, people can choose the skills they wish to forge to propel their life projects. Educational trajectories are becoming ever more personalized, and constantly remolded to fit personal needs.

The difficulty has become knowing how to use the information.

This personal experience will develop in an infinite universe of educational materials, considering that access to information has become simplified to the point of allowing access to data — or courses, essays or books — within seconds.

Encyclopedic information used to compile knowledge that is now easily, even freely, accessible on a device. So the difficulty has become knowing how to use this information. How do we make an intelligent link between so much information and our specialized area and particular goals?

E-graduation day? — Photo: Mohammad Shahhosseini

The work now is to ensure that we don't drown in a sea of data, that we can put the information in context and weave it into a logical, progressive thread of knowledge that must then be used to solve the problems of our particular project.

Another dimension of the challenge is knowing how to socialize the learning process. We run the risk of becoming solitary explorers of a vast universe of contents, potentially overwhelmed by the impossibility of catching or assimilating relevant parts.

We are experiencing a violent transformation in the very concept of education. As traditional models begin revealing their limitations, a new educational paradigm is taking shape. This is not just about replacing traditional teaching materials with digital tools or questioning the roles of the school or teachers. It is about redefining our understanding of education, learning and talent cultivation beyond a finite schooling period, into a continuous process of personal development.

And it is not just local and national governments that must involve themselves in this teaching and learning revolution, but every entity that elaborates and makes intensive use of knowledge. Education can no longer be seen as restricted to school and university activity. It is an integral and transformative experience that marries the basic right to learn with every citizen's freedom to decide his or her future.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


A Refuge From China's Rat Race: The Young People Flocking To Buddhist Monasteries

Unemployment, stress in the workplace, economic difficulties: more and more young Chinese graduates are flocking to monasteries to find "another school of life."

Photograph of a girl praying at a temple during Chinese Lunar New Year. She is burning incense.

Feb 20, 2015 - Huaibei, China - Chinese worshippers pray at a temple during the Lunar New Yeat

Frédéric Schaeffer

JIAXING — It's already dawn at Xianghai Temple when Lin, 26, goes to the Hall of 10,000 Buddhas for the 5:30 a.m. prayer.

Still half-asleep, the young woman joins the monks in chanting mantras and reciting sacred texts for an hour. Kneeling, she bows three times to Vairocana, also known as the Great Sun Buddha, who dominates the 42-meter-high hall representing the cosmos.

Before grabbing a vegetarian breakfast in the adjacent refectory, monks and devotees chant around the hall to the sound of drums and gongs.

"I resigned last October from the e-commerce company where I had been working for the past two years in Nanjing, and joined the temple in January, where I am now a volunteer in residence," explains the young woman, soberly dressed in black pants and a cream linen jacket.

Located in the city of Jiaxing, over a hundred kilometers from Shanghai, in eastern China, the Xianghai temple is home to some 20 permanent volunteers.

Unlike Lin, most of them only stay for a couple days or a few weeks. But for Lin, who spends most of her free time studying Buddhist texts in the temple library, the change in her life has been radical. "I used to do the same job every day, sometimes until very late at night, writing all kinds of reports for my boss. I was exhausted physically and mentally. I felt my life had no meaning," she says.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest