Learning: Disposable Knowledge and Learning

I was in the middle of the following discussion that ignited in the Mobile Learning Course. The Professor wrote:

In reviewing the blog posts, I came across some interesting comments. Some of which I am bringing into the class for further discussion:

Anas’ comments to Brandy’s post read

“Hi Brandy, like you, I am still researching and checking all Apps as much as possible. I haven’t made my mind what would be really useful. So far, I find myself heavily attached to Media Apps (Movies and news). I use the How To apps (cooking, do it yourself) a lot. Those help me get things done quickly but I do not retain the information. For example, I can cook the best disk from Betty Crockers App, but I cannot repeat it unless I have the app next to me. Is this learning? Don’t you agree that these small devices are forcing us to redefine the term “learning”.

Good post. Thank you.”

What is learning in this respect? Has retention been relegated to rote learning and therefore dated? Does the fact that most of the information we need are available on the mobile device, in our hands or the computer hard disk at home, prevent us from retaining knowledge? Where do you think the future of mobile learning could lead to when we consider what is retained and what is not? When can we apply the “sixth sense” as provided by our mobile devices and when are we allowed not to? Can we ask our job interviewer to wait while we contact our mobile device for a response to his/her question?

Here is my answer:

Yes, definition of learning needs to be modified.

According to earlier work of Clifton and Buckingham, and recently by Robinson, we have certain talents and strengths that in many cases ignored by the educational systems. Very few individuals align their talent to the requirement of education. These individuals become high academic achievers. The majority have talents that does not match the educational requirements. These individuals are forced to learn things they do not feel comfortable with. Those students memories the information and rarely convert them to knowledge or apply them. Consequently, due to modern knowledge tools, they can use mobile devices to learn on demand. We do not have to retain them for they are readily accessible. Does this mean we stop learning? No! Because we have tendency to learn concepts related to our talents with no problems. We will continue learning them. It is those we do not like, or have talent to do, we capture them through the knowledge tool and dispose them when not needed. This is good. Developing such an attitude will help to endorse change instantaneously. It will increase the human ability to evolve. I like to call this “disposable knowledge”!

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