Knowledge is power and the capability to acquire, process and use it makes a person unique and successful in this life. Education, both on a personal and social level, is the key to becoming a person of merit and, therefore, it is one of the most important aspects of modern life. If one wishes to achieve financial success one needs to educate themselves about economics and market behavior, if one wishes to become an engineer, they need to educate themselves about mathematics and natural science and if one wishes to become a professional essay writer, one needs to learn about the intricate and sophisticated nature of language, preferably from a young age, such as creative writing classes primary school. Virtually in every case of such aspiration and inclination, education is important in acquiring crucial knowledge about the respective subject matter to develop skills and techniques in order to succeed.
For such an important subject matter, it is of crucial importance for educators and students alike to agree on ways to conduct learning: should the schools provide all the necessary equipment and tools for their students or should the students also contribute and in some cases, replace the institution’s offerings with their own and better ones? Matt Richel for The New York Times reports on the newly developing educational motto, B.Y.O.T. which stands for “Bring Your Own Technology” as a new approach to education and learning in America. In Volusia School District in Central Florida, the school administrations are allowing students to bring in their own cellular phones and similar technologies to the classrooms to supplement their learning processes. The only problem observed so far is that the gadgets run out of juice and charging them becomes a serious problem in the classroom. Such an approach enables educators to use applications or software to help their students learn faster and more efficiently which has turned Florida school grounds into an interactive playground for fundamental learning exercises.
Online education among all the change observed in the educational paradigm also are useful in making information more accessible and helping students learn from a distance, whether it be from their homes or any other location with an internet connection. Kabir Chibber for BBC reports how in several higher learning institutions such as Kansas State University and Stanford University, thousands of printed volumes have been replaced with electronic copies in the year 2000. Similarly, over at the University of Texas at San Antonio, the students have embraced a new and all-digital library consisting of online academic resources while the school administration has made it a priority to provide iPads and e-readers to support this trend. The only observed problem so far was in regards to publishing rights with academic publishers refusing to give up on their profits from the eight billion dollars a year industry and refusing to supply innovator institutions such as UTSA with all the textbooks and material they demand which has created a certain print bias. While disputes continue, it has become evidently clear that the social momentum created by the digitalization process will continue to dominate the new paradigm of higher learning in America and presumably elsewhere in the world for the obvious advantages it provides for the students and educators alike.
The funding for the new age of higher learning is also a subject of frequent dispute and innovation with new options popping up everyday. Crowdfunding and donations have always been typical methods used by established institutions to finance their operations while for up-comers and new institutions, such methods never solidified into actual causes. Daniel Douglas-Gabriel for The Washington Post reports about the system GiveCampus, which was launched in 2014 that enables people to donate to educational institutions through a simple online process. The founders Kestrel Linder and Michael Kong intended to help their own alma mater, Johns Hopkins University initially, after realizing how the bond between the university and its graduates was observable broken which created issues with respect to endowment. However, the system went onto become a nation-wide phenomenon, helping more than 70 colleges, high schools and elementary schools raise more than ten million dollars since its launch in 2015, providing subscriptions starting around one thousand dollars and moving upwards from there. Thanks to the online system, it has become a lot easier for alumni or interested parties to invest into education in America in a very direct and useful manner to support educational causes, infrastructure and strategy in various locations around the US through simple yet constructive financial contributions.