Please login first
Education and the Global Brain
1  University of Economics in Prague, Department of System Analysis



Technical progress goes so quickly onwards, that we’ve been asking for many years, whether isn’t it necessary to transform educational system to survive in our constantly changing world. It is an evolutionary change that has taken unprecedented turnaround. The original species homo-sapiens has evolved into homo mobilus. We are mobile beings, every individual (including children) own a mobile phone. It is the result of scientific progress in the miniaturization of computer components. The scientific progress has somewhat escaped away from the obsolete teaching methods. In schools today we are teaching more or less according to standard procedures and principles of teaching, even though the changes take place and individual schools try to adapt to the demand for students from the market side. There is still a big gap between the science and education procedures. The science goes by leaps and bounds and education is still based on learning to know not to think.

But it is not only caused by technical progress but also by change in the concept of the media. Today's world of social networking creates a wide net of relationships and information channels that cannot be controlled and hardly can be understood. We could say that there begins to dominate some sort of Global brain. When individual put into context the information you submit in the media and a large number of individuals determine whether the information is relevant or not. From the classic media consumption is becoming a place for discussion and thinking about the issues.

Education yes or no

The question is if we are able to made children learn things, which they can very quickly find on Internet. Whether to show them how to reflect reality or just obey and teach them how to ask. The most important thing which give us education is the ability to think about things, taking into account their causal relationships and all related consequences. We have to go through the whole chain of information, which are required to get full understanding.

We are really close to revolution where the necessity to know ‘Why’ will be replaced by the necessity to know ‘Where To Find The Answer’. There must be some regulation of what we are looking for and why. The main threat is the manipulation of the Internet as medium. If we are not critically thinking about answers, we remain passive consumers of information as they are. On the one hand, it is a great power to find whatever data we want to find. On the other hand, there must be a person on the opposite side somewhere, to give us that piece of information. This kind of information is relative. If we are thinking about consequences, what would happen if some day, 200 years in the future, someone decides to delete all information about the Archimedes law? And the second question is: Will it still be needed? What if we change our education procedures and there will be no one to understand that law, or even anybody capable of applying it?

We are a part of virtual reality, which seems to us real. Upon closer examination we find, that our communication is displaced to a virtual environment. The most important decisions are usually brokered through e-mails. We are able to communicate from almost everywhere, we can arrange meetings, send greeting cards, talk with people etc. and all we need is our smart phone. If you ask small children why is learning unnecessary – the smart phone will be their answer. The child is able to find all information on smart phone, there is no need to have the right knowledge. People are able to learn very quickly what they need to know and skip what is unnecessary.

The highest income have people who works whole days at the computer, they create materials, which are also virtual. For example, a consultants give advices by presentation, by creating models, by interviewing top managers, etc. And yet all those values are imaginary, we can send them by e-mail, we can print them, but if someone will find them after 100 years, they’ll have no remaining informational value. It is closely related to our quickly changing environment, where only the difference make difference. We are not able to take one model which is very good working for one organization and put it to use in another environment. It will probably be completely different. People in organization differ and the processes and goods and services are also different. Therefore, the acclaimed work is virtual, it has no longer meaning like for example the Pythagorean Theorem.


The media have significant influence on the virtual world we live in. They show us what to do, what to learn, what to think, how to act and react, etc. For us there’s only one important task. We have to think about it and it will be the main paradigm shift in our educational system. To help people decide what is important and what we can easily find by media.

Keywords: education reform, global brain, social networks, media