Diversity and differences are widespread throughout the world. The more points of views and opinions one hears, the more information and knowledge they have upon which to base their own opinions. Hence, having knowledge of a broad range of cultures, societies, philosophies and psychologies increases ones chances of being a well informed and deep thinking individual. Furthermore, technology is now readily available to practically everyone in the world. As time goes on, even the most economically disadvantaged people have the potential to utilize the Internet. Hence, there is no longer any real excuse for being ill informed and out of touch. The Internet is making information of all kinds available to anyone who merely has a will to learn about a specific subject.
Online classes and tutorials can be found everywhere from websites to YouTube to official colleges. Although degree programs remain costly, anyone can watch YouTube or Google educational websites free of charge. This makes it possible for information about any subject (meaning from mending a blouse to rocket science) to be researched and absorbed. Hence, as long as there is a will there is a way and education can thereby be lifelong and endless.
Online learning systems are a fairly new phenomenon that has been gaining popularity in the past few years. One of the most innovative new concepts are MOOCS “Massive Open Online Courses” that allow students from around the world to take courses online free of charge. Although few of these courses actually offer any kind of certification—and none offer anything that would be considered “accredited” by traditional college degree standards—they are a great way for people who are interested in a subject to learn about it. MOOC classes are open to people of all ages from all over the world. This gives students a chance to learn about the subject, each other, and even about other places across the globe all in one virtual location.
MOOCs and “open education” sources are still evolving and have yet to reach their full potential. However, the very concepts of what they stand for should not go ignored. MOOCs give people the ability to better themselves by using the Internet. Coursera is among the most famous offers of MOOCs and their website proudly announces the many classes and possibilities that their system has to offer. Potentially, the things that people learn in these courses and those they meet within them could change their lives. If this is thrilling at the moment, just imagine the future.
Currently, many people don’t join MOOCs because they might not speak English (or whichever language is being used in the class). However, as technology advances there are systems being developed that will allow language barriers to be broken-down to the point that they are nonexistent. Currently there are many online translators that can be used for free. In fact, there are translators for Instant Messages that allow a person to type a message in one language and have it appear instantly to the other person in their language. These translation systems are in their early years and there can still be “quirks” in the system that result in certain phrases being “lost in translation” especially when the languages have to be translated from different alphabetic symbols (such as Russian to English or French to Chinese). That being said, if technology continues to move forward at the same rapid pace as in the past decade, it is logical to assume that any glitches in these language systems will soon be nonexistent.
If online translators can master the ability to flawlessly translate anything from blog posts, to Instant Messages (and perhaps even YouTube audio) between any two dialects in the world, then the potential for connection and communication will become limitless. For the first time ever, language barriers will not exist and everyone will be able to speak with everyone else, even if they do not know a single word of each other’s actual language. This will increase the opportunity for learning and understanding and perhaps even help us avoid conflicts borne of misunderstandings and misinterpretations.
The possibility for endless education with International classmates is something truly cutting edge and exciting—especially when it is free of charge. Education results in enlightenment and if people interact with one another they will discover that, as a species, we are really more alike than unalike. Communication is key to the positive progression of the quality of life for all. Although interacting with others is an emotional experience that is driven by the core instincts within human beings, technology can help us acquire the ability to interact. Hence, by using technology to enable communication humans have the potential to broaden our horizons on a massive and limitless scale that will create a truly “global” society.