In the past, when you talk about “cloud,” everyone would simply associate it with the sky or the weather. Nowadays, when you say “cloud,” people would not only connect it to the sky, but also connect it to the web such as Amazon’s Web Services.
Besides this, what else can we do in the cloud? Like a school, maybe?
When I was younger I’ve always been interested in art and writing. However, I felt this enormous amount of “pressure” from the school curriculum and from my teachers as well. Imagine that I have to learn this, and that I have to learn that. I bet I’m the type whom you do not have to say anything. I would just learn it by myself “if” only I want to, but during my elementary days I cannot just follow my ‘own style’ of learning. What I must learn has to follow the educational system. So back then, let’s say, 15 years ago when the Computer subject was fairly new to our school system, our teacher enforced us to learn about HTML. I remember that so well because it was so tough that I had to give up and play Hangaroo instead. I think if he started to show us a game or a fancy web page, then we would all be excited of the power of HTML, but he didn’t. As a result of this, perhaps only a tiny bit of 2-3% from the class only learned it from the Computer teacher’s way. And I was not part of that 2-3% who learned.
Did I learn from a real school?
Now 2 decades have passed learning stuff “based on what the school says,” and right now I asked myself what I learned from school. I sure did learn something, but at this very point in my life, what I find useful is what I learned by myself. This photo below is what I’d like to call “My School in the Cloud.” This is both a personal plan and a challenge that I set to myself.
I have a huge passion for learning (anything that appeals to me at least), on the other hand, I also have a very short attention span. I made this list of what I wanted to learn, but not one at a time. To make up for this “short attention span”, I wanted to do all of them at once because I needed a break from one thing, and that “break” I give to myself is to learn a “new thing.” In case I get overloaded with HTML information, I would jump to learning Hiragana, and so on. So as you can see from the photo above, apart from all the computer technical stuff, I also want to learn how to ride a bike! Even riding a bicycle can be taught and learned online. You can get tips, you can learn how to build houses, print in 3D, etc. Everything is from the internet. I was too focused in my studies as a child (I wanted to pass the curriculum, graduate and move on to a higher level). Moreover, I never really had the opportunity to practice cycling because I was too ingrained in art. Art is something I really really love. I love it better than cycling, so to say.
Why learn HTML now?
You may wonder why I am learning HTML now, and not when I was an elementary student. The answer is simple. I was not interested in HTML before. I grew up with canvases, brushes, paint, so my point of view is quite different. I also do not aim to be a super genius in the computer world, I just want to give it a try and challenge myself to something I previously disliked. However, from my small research on HTML, I found out its ability. I saw that you can do amazing things with it. Honestly, I was nervous when I saw all those codes and symbols for the first time, but when I knew what I can do with it ONLY IF I learn it, then I can contribute. Last week, I set myself to learning HTML. And just because of my interest with it, within 2 days, I finished all the lessons. I never knew I could insert an image, create a table, etc. I guess it might take weeks or months to do all these activities in a real school. I deeply hated HTML as a child, but now I was surprised to enjoy it. From this event, I realized that we can all teach ourselves. I discovered that we can acquire so many skills and talents just by having a “deep curiosity” with a concept, with a subject. Yesterday, I watched a short TED video of Sugata Mitra, entitled “Build a School in the Cloud.” He said,
“Look at learning as the product of self-organization. If you allow the educational process to self-organize, then learning emerges. It’s not about making learning happen. It’s about letting it happen.”
Now I also realized that…
…learning new things are better when you do it your own way, at your own time, and having the total freedom to do things.
And I learned that in life, you neither need to follow any lesson plan, nor any system… All we have to do is to make our individual “School in the Cloud.”