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Hyperconnectivity and education. Are they compatible?

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  • Hyperconnectivity has helped us mitigate the isolation suffered during confinement and has been a crucial catalyst for areas such as education.
  • Incorporating technologies into the classroom can change the behavior and skills needed for learning

 

New habits, permanent connectivity

 

What is the first thing you do when you get up? Do you look at your email? Answer a WhatsApp? Or go on Twitter to see what’s going on in the world? No matter how old you are, I’m sure taht the first thing you do every day is pick up your mobile phone and connect to your digital world, even before you say good morning to an individual. Everything happens in front of a screen, between 5 and 12 inches that open the door to hyperconnectivity and of course, affect our personal environment, changing the way we communicate, consume, learn or even work.

 

Permanent connectivity has been a great ally in education to try to continue with a certain normality despite the difficulties of distance experienced during the last year. A headache that affected not only students and families, but also teachers and schools, who had to adopt new digital skills to reach their students and be able to transmit their knowledge through a screen.

 

But should we talk about connectivity or hyperconnectivity?

 

Hyperconnectivity is probably the clearest symbol of globalization. Today it is common for a very large part of the population to be able to control virtually their entire environment from their mobile device. In fact, if we look back at what we have described in recent weeks about changes in learning and especially about how students learn and the role teachers have to play, we will remember that many of these changes occur due to permanent connectivity.

 

In the field of education, high connectivity has played an essential role, generating new challenges marked by the unlimited access of students, teachers have had to face a new reality, where the structure of their evaluation processes have been completely modified. According to Mario Harraez, Global Educator and International Speaker. “Many educators faced the problem that they did not know if the students really knew the answers to their questions, or if they had copied them from the network.”

 

However, this hyperconnectivity also entails certain changes in behavior. In 2018, the prestigious American social observatory Pew Research Center prepared the study “The future of well-being in a world saturated with technology” and concluded that in the coming years, negative contributions will be perceived more strongly from technology. Some of the consequences we can already perceive today; Sherry Turkle, a psychologist who more than 10 years ago warned of the loneliness caused by hyperconnectivity, and who sums it up with the phrase: “Connected but alone“, explains that technology gives us the false feeling of being connected to others when we actually lose true proximity.

 

Can we combat the side effects of hyperconnectivity?

 

This hyperconnectivity therefore entails side effects that we have to deal with, accepting that this revolution can change people’s behavior and even almost completely eliminate control of other skills.

 

However, it has undoubtedly helped us to mitigate the effects of isolation suffered during confinement and has been a crucial catalyst for areas such as education. We have an opportunity to bring out other skills, hidden so far. Without going any further, today’s or tomorrow’s students no longer need to memorize like it has been done in decades past, as machines provide us with the information we previously stored in our brains; today any student can find in tenths of a second the information they are looking for on the internet.

 

These new dynamics of access to information and permanent connectivity shape us as a society, for which we must face this new paradigm with a critical vision. We need to empower future students to make conscious use of this hyperconnectivity; emphasizing that access to information must be selective and critical, as not everything is worthwhile, nor is everything that the search engine puts us in the first place always relevant and truthful.