How many tutorials, must a man sit through…

Hey there, I’ve been pretty inactive lately while I’m working on my Unity project, but I decided to jot down a little bit on the subject of online learning. More than ever in history, the people have access to information. The internet is as big a revolution as the printing press, and will change the world forever. But is it really a valid form of education?

Good will hunting

Large amounts of the information floating about this ether we call the web is false. Combine this with people’s tendency to seek out positive validation rather than reasons why they are wrong, and you have a witch’s brew of ignorance we haven’t seen since the dark ages

That’s not to say it’s all bad of course. For just about any field imaginable, there are quality tutorials, how-to’s, docs, hell us peasants have free easy access to research papers, literature, statistics, you name it. If you have the motivation, the discipline, and the intelligence, you can get an amazing education for the cost of dsl.

But to get that amazing education, you need one more attribute. A good bullshit detector. The ability to recognize when the person talking doesn’t know anything, and is just trying to make some money. These people have existed throughout time, but the internet has given them their own marketplace.

When you don’t know a subject, it can be very difficult to differentiate between good teachers and bad ones. This is one of the flaws seen when comparing freeform online education to a more traditional education, such as college learning.

There are others, though not all inherent. As a society we put a lot of importance on degrees, and understandably. They are a tangible proof of one’s competence in a field, to a point. However we must also be careful not to disregard those who pursue different paths of education.

College isn’t for everyone. It could be for financial reasons, social, or just fear that it will stifle your creativity in some manner. I’m not here to tell people not to go to college, but if you have an interest in a field; don’t be afraid to educate yourself on it. You’ll find that once you have grasped the fundamentals, there is a great freedom to this path.

Just remember that with freedom, comes responsibility.

How has the internet impacted your education?

Do you think someone can be as competent from self-teaching as someone who went to college, in a similar time-scale?

P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures on this one, very busy. I’ll be putting up some details and pictures of my game when it’s further along, as well as some musings on theories of game design.


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