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“Saa Vidyaa Yaa Vimuktaye” – Liberation thru learning. You must be concerned what the words “Saa Vidyaa Yaa Vimuktaye” mean. These words are taken from Sanskrit; the language in which ancient Hindu epics were written. The Sanskrit phrase above means “Education or true learning is that which liberates”. Liberation truly means freedom from confusion and everything that obstructs our vision. Education inspires the energy and the motivation to overcome challenges. Education does not mean being skilled or learnt in a specific area. It means finding meaning in things around you. It means seeing beyond obstructions. In that sense, true empowerment lies in education. In the ancient times, the Hindu sages used to live inside forests. Their disciples even if they were the King’s sons had to go to their abode and live like an ascetic and learn from them; education was the means to find greatness in life. True greatness is in rising above petty things, above smallness. However, learning does not always come by going to school. Sometimes you can find true learning in other sources too. Learning is truly effective if it empowers; empower not just you but everyone around you. ‘Vidya’ or learning frees us from our ego so we can see the largeness hidden in the small things around us. Things we consider small and useless might be full of learning. So, learning must not stop. We keep learning till we are alive. It is a never ending sojourn and there is much more to learn from the world than is in our textbooks. To record every small bit of knowledge would never be possible.
In today’s world, the mode and meaning of learning might have changed a lot but its value remains the same. It still means liberation and empowerment. However, the internet and technology has changed the way we access knowledge. Online learning is like the new norm and now more and more students are getting enrolled in online classes. There are three important factors that have fostered the growth of online education. The first is growth of technology. Increasing use of computers and internet has brought a major shift in how, where and when people learn. The second important reason is flexible schedule, which is possible only in case of online learning. A third important factor driving the growth of online learning is the growing cost of higher education.
Internet has emerged as the most valuable tool in the entire process of learning. At times, small pieces of information can be very valuable and can be accessed easily via the internet. Internet opened a new venue for learning where everyone can easily and freely access information. Google has played its central role in the process. Since always, at least two things have remained essential for anyone to learn. The first is the thirst. You must have a desire to learn. Unless the thirst is there, you would not acquire knowledge. If you have the desire, your task gets easier because this desire is the main source of motivation. The second is perseverance or the determination that you would not stop and that you would strive. Learning should continue uninterrupted. However, there is one very important thing that makes learning meaningful. It’s our ability to dream. The human mind is truly gifted. It can dream and work to achieve those dreams. To achieve a dream one should have clarity of vision. Clarity of vision comes from education and again education comes from the desire to learn.
In the 21st century, innovative learning has taken center stage. Teachers, professors, researchers, all are engaged in making learning interesting, engaging and innovative. From electronic gadgets to social media and educational websites all are a part of the ‘ great learning ecosystem’. While this system of learning is big, at its center are students and professors and the educational community. The best thing is that knowledge is much more accessible than ever. A large number of educational and multimedia tools are making it easier for the students and teachers. It is difficult to imagine how much the face of education would have changed by the 22nd century. However, big the change be, the purpose of learning will always be the same. We all have been a part of the same continuous change through which the development of humanity took place. This change is happening every second. With education, the humanity has kept growing better. We humans learnt through ages to reach the point where we are. Every small piece of learning acquired in the process is of importance. For this chain of development to continue learning must continue uninterrupted.
Learning is there in everything, whether it be a leaf in the garden or the flowing waters of Mississippi. Everything around us is full of knowledge. Like a learnt man once said, Mother Nature is the best teacher. It is also known that Shakespeare had studied in the school of nature. You want to study in the school of nature, you must have an open mind. Learning requires open mindedness. We need to open our minds to the things happening around us to make learning happen. Learning can be the source of transformation. It does transform us make us efficient, help us build our dreams. It enabled us to take the giant step to the moon and beyond. Imagine the space, imagine its beauty, its largeness and then its expansion. Learning has always inspired our imagination to see beyond and know more than we have known. In this way, it expands us by empowering our vision. However, it is up to us that we remain limited or be liberated; that we do meaningful things and add meaning and value to our world or do things ordinary.
The 21st century ushered in a new era in education. Technology started playing an indispensable role in the delivery of education. These changes have been rapid and are happening every second. A large number of websites, apps and social learning sites are there to make learning and education easier for all. Students and professors alike can benefit from them. It is also a new era of opportunities. Especially, with the rise of IT, new life changing opportunities came to the fore. The rise of the giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook is just a part of the story. The bigger story is the internet itself. Many other big and small ventures also dot the internet. In the coming days, it would not be wrong to expect the web to become the only venue of learning. Internet has made us smarter. Innovations happen at a rapid pace. In this rapidly changing world, the value of education has increased due to many factors. It is seen as the only means to quick growth. Higher education can be the key to a great life. However, simultaneously the cost of education has also increased. The burden of debt on the students has grown. Some of the developments in the area of education might not be as pleasant. While higher education is the dream of many, there are very few that get to realize it because of the investment involved. The proliferation of online education might become a solution in future. However, it seems that for online education to find full acceptance it is going to take some time. Still, education should not become a precious commodity available only to the rich. Instead it should remain equally accessible to all based on their desire to learn.
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Innovation became the buzzword of the industry in the 21st century. From business to the various corners of daily life, everywhere innovation is being talked of. Several emerging businesses have proved that innovation can be the way to the top. From Amazon to Google and Facebook, all have proved it. Many times people use the terms innovation and improvement interchangeably. However, the two terms vary in their meaning. The difference between improvement and innovation is the same as that between evolution and revolution. Improvement is like making improvements to an existing product or service to help it better respond to market demand.
However, such improvements are not always revolutionary. Improvement is just a small part of innovation. Innovation is the larger story. It is a much bigger term encompassing several more things. Innovation includes differentiation, value creation and many more things. It also means superior returns and improbability of imitation. While improvements can provide a competitive advantage in the short term, the danger of their being imitated looms large. Innovation is a far deeper process than simple improvement and the change it brings is far long lasting and full of impact. However, several times the question has been asked that where does innovation emerge from. There can be several answers to the question since there can be several sources of innovation. Peter F Drucker has provided seven sources which are discussed below. Read more…