Yesterday I was reading El caparazón, one of the most relevant blogs about semantic applications in Spanish language, when I found this post about “Education and Web 2.0”. Undoubtedly this is an area where semantic technologies will have an important say in the future.
Some experts state that most of the knowledge that an elementary school student will need to perform his job when he will grow up, don’t exist yet. How can we focus the education in so a rapidly changing environment?. Certainly knowledge is advancing so quickly that it is an almost impossible task trying to keep the pace. This raises a fundamental change in the education approach, as its key task will be to transmit information to the students, to help them to manage all this information, to help them to distinguish useful one from useless, to help them to extract knowledge from all this information… This is, learning how to learn.
No doubt Internet will change education approach at all levels. No longer students will go to university to pick up some notes, or to listen a one way explanation in which the teacher talks and students listen. Because to access to information we have Google, and to hear lectures, we can easily access to those of the outstanding experts in each subject.
Any country that wants to maintain a high level in the knowledge society must be capable of integrating technologies within education systems at all levels. We’re going to be bombarded along all our lives with millions and millions of information bytes, this is a real fact we must live with. In this situation it will be paramount to extract useful knowledge from this information, indeed this will mark the difference among efficient and no efficient people. In this environment semantic technologies will play an important role, because they will help us to navigate through information and to adapt it to our needs, that is to contextualize it. Nowadays, semantic technologies have got an important level of madurity and standards as RDF, or OWL will help us to give the jump form a “textual” management of information to a “concept” treatment of this information. This is a first step and a very important achievement. However, some years will be required to settle these concepts, and to develop technologies allowing us to extract knowledge from all the information around us: this means tools to show us to learn.