How should one prepare for the future?

Digital education: how we prepare our brain for the future

Digital education is an indispensable prerequisite for people and companies in order to deal successfully in the digital age and with the changes that digitization brings with it. But there is one aspect that worries me. A classification.

Digital education is a complex topic

What exactly does digital education mean? I think it is a complex issue with many facets. That's why I want to focus on knowledge and communication. For me, it's not just about knowledge that you acquire. Rather, it is about dealing with this knowledge.

I understand by digital education also the ability to develop knowledge on the one hand and to be able to deal with this knowledge on the other hand. This applies in particular to digital creativity and the critical questioning of the use and provision of digital offers.

As I understand it, this requires a great deal of self-reflection, serenity and looseness.

Corona reveals the deficits

Due to the Corona crisis, there was and is a great need for information. Since quick answers are desired, the medium that supposedly provides quick answers is used.

This is the Internet in all its forms - be it websites of established news providers, discussion forums filled with a mixture of opinions and facts or videos from supposed experts.

The problem is therefore to deal with the wealth of information, to think it through, to question it and, in particular, not to immediately suffer an emotional communicative outburst with every alleged discovery.

Volume beats knowledge

In addition, certain information is often not recorded in its entirety, but instead a concentration on parts that do not offer a comprehensive solution due to the isolated consideration, but only reinforce one's own opinion.

And finally, more importance is attached to the volume of an utterance than many years of practical experience or special training as the basis of an utterance.

Overall, this crisis, but of course also other decisive events, shows that the handling of information and knowledge is problematic. The knowledge itself is available, but what to do with it is not always clear to everyone.

Wrong classifications occur all the time

I only became aware of the handling problem again this week when someone posted a message on Facebook saying that they were now ‚Äúconsidering expropriations‚ÄĚ in order to offset certain costs.

What was it really about? To receive a message from Capital, according to which the federal government incurred additional costs of 189 million euros due to the procurement of protective masks by Jens Spahn. However, if you read through the report, you will see that it was not about expropriations at all.

From their point of view, however, the person who made the posting linked the issue of expropriation, which they seem to be preoccupied with, with the costs incurred. Since these costs were unnecessary, the taxpayer will have to pay for them. Et voila - that is only possible with expropriations.

Now such a posting could simply be dismissed. In my opinion, however, it reveals exactly the problem that I am concerned with with regard to digital education and the handling of knowledge: the recording of information in its entirety and then the handling of the information received and its classification.

How to "learn" digital education

So what can you do now to develop more digital education? I think a short post will not be able to give a complete answer on this. But it is definitely enough to present a few approaches that can help strengthen digital education.

1. Differentiate between opinion and education

First of all, one should be aware that education and opinion are two different things. I believe that education requires a foundation. Opinion, on the other hand, is often without a basis, but rather guided by emotions and feelings.

To have an opinion does not need any special requirements - especially not from an intellectual point of view. Everyone can have an opinion - and has one too. Digital education, on the other hand, needs a rational foundation.

2. Understand platforms and processes

Then one should deal with the functioning of platforms and with the reinforcement of opinions via unmoderated channels.

The new digital communication channels and the mass distribution possibilities together with the almost ubiquitous networking increase the appearance and perception of views that move in border areas or in unreflected expressions of opinion.

3. Recognize distortions in perception

And finally, digital education will presuppose that one learns to recognize how and which perceptual distortions can occur in people, which in turn influence our own opinions and views.

Getting these distortions under control in such a way that they do not have an immediate effect on our own behavior, for example panic without an objective reason or mentally steer us in directions for which there is no objective basis, will be the great challenge in the near future become.

Conclusion and outlook

Digital education continues to concern us because the topic hits us by surprise. We are not well prepared for dealing with knowledge in the digital age. We allow ourselves to be triggered by messages far too quickly, cannot classify their meaning and react to them without a headache.

Here we have to think about how we can get back to the bottom of the ratio. We must not allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the speed and mass of information.

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I am convinced that if we can do this, we can free ourselves from the cacophony. This exists not only with regard to discussions, but also with regard to the useful changes that digitization brings with it.

The result would be less fear and a clearer view. In my opinion that is worth striving for.

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