Education has long been called one of the cornerstones of society. Throughout history, education was used to develop society, uplift individual’s lives, provide knowledge and increase societal performance. Education helps people grow, develop and maintain healthy attitudes and thought. It also equips individuals with skills that enable them to compete effectively in the global marketplace. The value of education is undeniable.
Education refers to the whole process by which people acquire knowledge, develop and apply it. Education is the process of educating people, whether at formal school, university or other types of learning institution. Education involves both formal and informal education. Informal education is what we generally refer to as “social media” such as blogging, wikis and chat rooms. On the other hand, formal education involves discipline based learning, usually done through classrooms. Forms of formal education include disciplines such as psychology, English literature, mathematics and science.
Education includes many aspects and includes various ways in which students learn. There is formal and informal education. Parents who send their children to formal schools usually have a desired outcome in mind, for example they may be looking for a well-rounded, discipline-oriented school that can prepare them for higher education or career. Others look to informal learning schools to provide a fun, interesting and stimulating environment where children can learn without having to worry about academics.
While there are some benefits of both kinds of learning, parents often consider non-formal education more attractive for their children. After all, many parents want their children to get good grades in school and be able to participate readily in society. Formal education, while time consuming, requires one to regularly attend classes and meet specific deadlines. Children who take part in informal learning are free to pursue their interests and passions at their own pace.
With informal education, children develop their own interests and passions and may choose to learn a variety of subjects. The flexibility of the learning process allows the student to follow his or her own preferred learning path. This is especially beneficial to those students who are interested in a particular subject but are apprehensive about giving up their present occupation or extracurricular activities for a study abroad program. An online learning process can be used to supplement or replace the primary school experience. This means that students who have opted for non-formal education can be able to join in the social media aspect of the social media sites but still get the same benefits.
Education can also be affected by technology. It is important, however, not to lose sight of the fact that education is primarily aimed at helping people grow and become productive members of society. Technology can enhance the quality of education, as it does for formal education. However, informal education has managed to overcome the disadvantages brought about by technology by imparting education at its most basic level – from birth.
Informal education can be formal or non-formal. It can be taught through live tutoring, telephonic teaching and distance education. Online tutoring and remote teaching are the two most popular modes of informal education. Live tutoring, as the name suggests, provides students with real-time support and is an effective means of imparting education when it is done face to face. Telephonic teaching is a form of informal education wherein audio and video materials are taught to students either by voice or by text. Distance education refers to teaching education in the form of lectures over the Internet or through some other medium.
The benefits of informal education have been recognized by governments around the world. Some of these include the fact that it creates a better workforce, promotes economic development and results in increased levels of social productivity. It can be characterized as a way of imparting education at its heart – the direct experience of living. In a highly competitive environment where formal education has been growing steadily for decades, the informal education system has managed to creep up and provide the much needed momentum in the educational system.