Monday, June 2, 2014

From the Good Old Encyclopedia Days to the Google Days: How We Have Advanced

By Manny Cohen

The learning process--we have so much information available to us today. In the past, the telephone wasn't as easy to use, and it was our source of communication. The mail and the post office was very important.

Things have changed so greatly on today's time frame that we can form an opinion that allows us to have a quicker and faster response to situations. We hear 'Don't take this because it's contaminated, don't take this drug because they know it's no longer good for you, and the doctors can give you a faster treatment for recovery.' Things are much faster today. For instance, we were getting mail in WWII from exchange students in England to Canada, and it would take 3-4 weeks for the letters to get back and forth.

The radio influenced everybody, because people made a habit of gathering around the radio for the news, the cultural programs, and some people were greatly influenced by these gatherings. But I do think that people had more time to discuss projects or things of interest, whereas today the information is at hand immediately through the computer, the cell phone, I think that Google is the greatest tool today. In the past, you had to do so much research to form an opinion but on today's time frame, with the information at hand, you can solve a problem or a situation within a very short time frame. I think we have more time to play, and a greater social society than we can intermingle with people.

We have transportation in our city, if you use public transportation, you can get across our city in short times, with the LRT and modern buses. Years ago, when I was a boy, if you were going somewhere, your journey took great amounts of your day. There's a benefit to our living style in the present situation. For example, in sports, the world series for young people was the greatest thing. We used to sit by the radio and listen to the commentary and we thought that that was the greatest thing in the world. Today, with television and computers, you can see it live. In my mind, that's unbelievable. You can see them throw the ball, see the curve, see the signals. In my mind, I can see what advancement we have in our daily lives.

Maybe the new generation can't fathom the advantage that they have.

We learned from our elders or our teachers, and they were always right, because we had no way of contradicting them because of the lack of information, and today, in schools especially, you can show the instructors that there is another way of forming an opinion, and from your research at hand, you believe that they should alter their opinion based on the present facts. In my day, if you went to the school and the teacher says 'The system dictates that this is the answer to the question,' you would assume that that was the only way to answer the question. Today, you can also find out different ways to handle these situations in learning, and you can explain yourself very well, you can contact the education system and say 'Instead of only one way of doing a task, there may be another way of doing a task, based on the information I have available to me.'

I would conclude that people today have the ability to come to more informed answers

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