Posted by : Unknown Monday, 15 September 2014

Modern 21st century students have an advantage over their parents from the 1980s. Unlike our folks, we have access to much more advanced forms of technology such as the internet, personal computers, smartphones and digital communication.

Unfortunately, most of us, especially our parents, are left to wonder about the effects of technology to our generation. Internet addiction, for example, could be the effect of unmanaged internet use. Instead of discussing about the negatives, why don’t we list down the positives?


Phone Homework

As of 2014, almost every teenager has an indispensable resource called a phone. These gadgets are equipped with cameras that can be used for retaining memories through photos. The texts on a page of a textbook can also be considered as memories once they are read, absorbed, and understood.

The question is, which is better? To take 3 photos of the 3 pages for your biology homework, or to bring home a 400 page-Biology textbook?  
The answer is obvious. A smartphone can do wonders if used appropriately. As for notes, I’ll enlighten you on that one later.

Google the word

The average student mainly uses Google to find out if a workforce strike will affect school, or for Wikipedia links. Meanwhile, on the wider spectrum, we use Google for references in grammar and words.
Think about a word that outweighs ‘sad’ yet retains the meaning of sadness. Forlorn, dismal, morose, and the confusing ‘melancholy’ are just a small fraction of the synonyms I’ve found. This is actually very useful advice, implement this to your English homework routine if it’s not yet a habit of yours.
So you’re probably wondering about bringing a laptop to class? No! As your vocabulary and writing style (more on this later) evolves, you will rely less on technology, but being a bookworm does not mean you have to abandon it. So if you’re with a teacher who abhors all forms of technology from the 21st century, explain the benefit of smartphone dictionaries/thesauruses for the long run.

All around charmer

So you’re too smart and you think that having a supermodel body is not necessary. Or you think that Aphrodite can’t be seen as intelligent, as she is too beautiful for smarts. Well, lucky for you, the fair compromise would be to listen to lectures while exercising.
But I don’t have Japanese-sensei with me whenever I go for a jog - of course! In most circumstances you won’t, but you do have, again, a smartphone! Whenever you think that you can listen to music while exercising, consider listening to a tutorial, lecture, lesson, etc. An example could be just listening to French lessons while running on the treadmill.
The advantage here is just way too good to be true, but the method is feasible. Healthy, cultured, charming~. You could soon be like Leonardo Da Vinci, a polymath, after some time from double benefits. Two rewards in one time. Thank you, to whoever makes lectures and the like!

I can listen, why subtitles?

HD TV, HD video, subtitles and CC/DS. Well, you may not like this one because subtitles are distractive. However, the mild distraction does have an unconscious advantage. Watching a Korean drama with English/Korean subtitles won’t make you fluent in Korean or English.
Subtitles at best, could be a supplement to language learning. Also, it can provide tacit knowledge in natural-sounding native communication.
Simply watch films with subtitles, even if you already have a good grasp with the English language. ESL people eventually become, or already are, great at English, but they could have a quaint accent if they speak. But why not just observe native speakers at a park or school? Because, technology will, for this generation, just be a supplement to our education, but extensive hands-on experience with a supplement is the key for the language barrier.

Note taking is outdated

But asking questions and discussions are not. This is especially true if you’re currently in high school. In a class of 30, it is most likely that everyone will have different intellectual abilities. You could be in the “upper” group, while the teacher caters to those from the average. You lose, unless if you study ahead.
Take a copy of the teacher’s notes for reference. Study from a different source, perhaps a book or a study on the internet. Retain useful information and integrate what you’ve learned from school and from the different source together. Expanding your knowledge on a single topic can snowball into deep, complete understanding, and sometimes even uncommon information.

Tactical Reading

The strategy is to read, relate and retain knowledge from books to support experienced knowledge. However, the twist is to take 4 different categories of books from your local library. Young adult fiction, non-fiction studies, objective non-fiction, and a genre which piques your interests.
Young adult fiction is self-explanatory; typical books that fall under this genre include Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Mortal Instruments and a whole lot more.
Non-fiction could look dry and intimidating with their “big” words, but they involve a plethora of theoretical and practical knowledge. Although textbook-type books often come to mind when thinking about non-fiction, it is a lot bigger genre than that. Non-fiction also includes biographies and autobiographies of prominent figures. Try reading the biographies or, if you’re lucky, the autobiographies of the people that inspire you!
Lastly, get something else, consider it the dessert of your 4 course [book] dinner. Anything that will make you a more interesting person, as well as increasing your overall insight about anything you’re curious to know about. Could be languages, modern technology, musical instruments, movies, anything at all that will have you something to talk about while in school or at a dinner party.


Specialize in One Topic

Earlier I mentioned that you should expound on some studies. Unfortunately, specializing is taking it to a whole different level.
Have you heard proverbs about every person having some kind of talent?
That is true, each person has innate abilities just being inhibited for reason I am not known of. Until they have cultivated their abilities, they will remain a “loser.” So if you know enough about yourself, I’d recommend you to refine your most prominent talent.
This could be musical, academic, physical, social, technological, lingual and even creative success. This is also how child prodigies are made, they specialize in one field.

Polymath, a dead term

In basic definition, a polymath is a person who covers a wide range of expertise. Or simply, someone who is multi-talented enough in many fields. A modern polymath could be someone who can cook like a chef, write like an author, paint like an artist, understand like a psychologist while keeping a healthy social, intellectual and physical composure.
Wouldn’t you love it if you were an engineer who has an attractively healthy body, artistic talent, broad knowledge including languages, and social tact? I would, and you would too if you were given the option to choose over a polymath engineer or an average, regressing, waning middle-aged guy.
Luckily, you probably have access to a smartphone, the internet and a computer which make being a polymath a lot easier.
So for the sake of simplicity, you, young student, should integrate technology to your education the “right” way. Unlike most of your colleagues and classmates, you can actually begin investing time on yourself for your polymath standards. Just remember to use technology and improve at the same rate it does. You don’t want to be like your friend’s grandmother who has not caught up with modern technology. I would like to remind you to supplement your life with technology, and culture yourself for modern, evolving society because everyone wants to have good future, but we want to have the best futures.


- Angelo


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