When I was in elementary school, the only method available for looking up an idea, person, or invention was to consult the World Book Encyclopedia in the school’s media center. And we had to share! If you wanted to look up Hadrian’s Wall, for example, you had to wait until the kid researching hamsters had finished.
Now we have Wikipedia. My elementary school self would not have believed it. The entries are so much longer and more detailed. The content seems to update itself instantly. You can move between related entries without having to bury yourself in a mountain of heavy books!
And Wikipedia is the tip of the iceberg in terms of lifelong education outside of the academy. In today’s Pope Center article, Jay Schalin and I explore the many platforms and services available to learn almost anything—from algebra to art—and how new technology is helping to offset some disappointing trends in liberal arts education.