The world is defined as the togetherness of earth, its people, its countries, and its natural features. How valuable is the idea of six degrees of separation in a world that has transcended into a mass of ongoing and emerging technology? Technology has allowed us to reach someone from the tip of the panhandle to the edge of the Bermuda Triangle. This "new dawn" of communication is arguably as exquisite, if not more so, than the age known as the period of "Enlightenment". There is a profound amount of emphasis on individualism and reason in this day and age, and adolescents are the critical elements to the exploration of such empowering skills.
"Brain Networking", is the idea that kids can exist in a global community of learning, and become responsible for the discovery and delivery of knowledge. Recently, I came across a website/app entitled: www.brainly.com. A few things struck me: 1.) it was free to join, 2.) it was an educational learning community, and 3.) it's a community of students helping students. To some, there may be nothing truly mindboggling or maybe even phenomenal about the concept; however, in this day and age this site is on the cutting edge of a very important factor of what it takes to produce the autonomous learner.
While previewing the site from my cellphone, I thought about my little sister who's currently in high school. During final exams, she called me late one night and said she needed help with Geometry. I chuckled out of embarrassment; being an educator and a college grad, I know she believes that I should have the knowledge to answer almost any question. In this instance, I was clueless. Geometry was one of my worse subjects in high school, so other than a long hour of Googling to try to help her- I had nothing else to offer. This brought me back to the overshadowing question that we often ask ourselves in education, "How do we truly help kids outside of our walls when they need us?"
I thought about the households of those who are economically disadvantaged- the exact label that I was growing-up. How many of their parents are educated beyond high school? Can afford a tutor? Have a computer in their home? Or, can even afford or find a way to get their kids home from after school tutorials? These are problems that exist in abundance in education. Moreover, even in the most affluent or educated of homes, there still exist a high probability that no one within the home will be able to address questions concerning various levels and subject areas in education. So, why is Brainly.com effective?
Even in economically disadvantaged homes, kids most likely have access to a cellphone. Even if they have a cellphone that is turned off, they are able to use the web as long as they can find a wifi server; this is the exact situation my little sister faced through middle and early high school. With this website, students have an opportunity to give and receive help from thousands of students across the world, and it's easy to access and use from any electronic device. With high competition in college admissions, scholarships, and preparation for jobs we've yet to see- the right or wrong answer and knowledge can make all the difference in a GPA, SAT/ACT, AP, or STAAR score. Furthermore, for that student that may not be college bound, but is trade bound and simply needs to know a material property for their welding class- Brainly.com is a meaningful outlet.
The overarching question: How does asking, receiving, and giving answes to questions help kids learn? The cycle of learning is not complex but the process usually is. We best learn through inquiry and the response to that inquiry. When inquiry comes from self, it produces more ownership towards the response; thus, increasing the value of maintaining that knowledge. For example, most of us experienced our first job in the food or retail industry at the lower level. Someone had to teach us how to do the work. Once we learned the "how" we performed the task. However, when we became ambitious or inquisitive and began to inquire about other positions, we had to ask questions in order to learn. This same cycle is how we've always learned, but the process becomes more complex as learning is deepened by levels and expectations.
Homework has become somewhat of an anomaly in education. It's easier for kids to rely on cheating when there's no one there to answer their questions. Most kids will attempt to do their homework, but will become frustrated and give-up when they reach a roadblock of understanding. Brainly.com allows students the opportunity to engage in questioning, understanding, and delivery of knowledge. It's not fail-proof, in the sense that it's going to produce Einstein's, but it absolutely helps households of students level out on an even playing field when it comes to receiving that additional help that's often needed.
We should all live to enlighten ourselves through self- discovery of knowledge. The world is a power of brain networks that we just have to access. There's a lot of power in contributing knowledge and obtaining it. Even the very best teachers will tell you that even they continue to learn by teaching, because they have exposure to continual practice and feedback. Brainly.com is an opportunity to explore individuality in how you learn; there's great empowerment in that.