We don’t have to highlight the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive disruptive influence on education. It has forced students to be self-starting, self-motivated and creative. The changes in education mechanisms have consequentially forced changes that reach beyond learning. They influence our way of living just to be able to accommodate the home schooling programs. Today, we struggle with a shift from ‘normal’ wishing for things to get back to the way they were.
Nevertheless, it might be time that we step back to have a quiet look at what has developed as a result of sudden disruption and chaos. Can we remove the emotionally driven reluctance to change and come to grips with what has evolved from this desperate need to accommodate home schooling? Online education has quickly become maximised; systems developed and honed to accommodate the new demand; and ultimately a very efficient logistics for conveyance of education has been forced into acceptance. The realisation that these new logistics are necessary has set in motion a continued evolution of technologies that will continue to make things even better.
Online distance schooling has been a thing for some time but it’s often viewed as less credible and less effective than face-to-face in-class learning. For some children and even adults the class environment is a necessary way to stay motivated and present in the curriculum. However, for those who are self-motivated the home-schooling program is ideal. Yes, we do need social stimuli to stay healthy and socially competent but this can be accomplished in other ways.
Although most education programs for our kids have begun the transition back to the classroom some schools or alternative learning institutions have adopted the online education system as the future. This may not be a bad thing. Many post-secondary education programs are ultimately left for the student to navigate and prepare for anyways. This is especially the case for advanced post-graduate degrees. We have to ask ourselves: How soon in a child’s education should we inspire self-directed or self-driven education that is, of course, driven by clear standardised guidelines and targets. Could your child benefit from ‘learning how to research and learn’ earlier in life then, say, a postgraduate program. I have to say enthusiastically, YES.
Our kids are capable of learning a heck of lot more than we think they can. I’ve seen with my own eyes the easy assimilation of complex subjects that most of us think our kids shouldn’t be able to grasp but with some time effort and repetitiveness they breakthrough. EVERYTHING is possible in and with the fertile mind… as long as we adults don’t taint it with imposed limitations. Our children are very capable if we point them in the right direction, fuel them with confidence and empower them with the right tools. Some get it right away. Others need a few rounds of soft repeats. Eventually it sinks in.
This leads me to my objective with this subject matter. How fertile is your adult mind? I’m telling you it’s fertile and capable of feats you might think are only for the young. A false limitation you might be imposing on yourself is the barrier. Your brain is capable of a lot more than you think and this potential can only be extracted if the mind is challenged; challenged by learning; by education. The brain is extremely plastic at all ages and stages of life. Keeping the mind in curious learning mode keeps it healthy and youthful; keeps it agile and sharp. This takes us back full circle to the initial dialogue that speaks to the changes in the education and learning mechanisms and how online home learning has become a focus for innovation.
The systems are in place at all levels of learning for you as an adult to engage in education you may have wanted to complete in your youth. You can engage and successfully complete anything you put your mind to if you decide you want it bad enough. So maybe you just need to find the right impetus and bring a perspective that has meaning. Then do it. Do it because it is the fundamental exercise that keeps your brain youthful. YES… it’s exercise to the brain the way physical exercise is to your skeletal cardiac and other peripheral muscles and systems. If you want to stay youthful, pushing the brain out of automation grooves and into new tasks and new challenges will do it.
Find the purpose that drives you. Keeping the brain active and in learning mode shapes the brain into a healthy form and can help keep at bay the chemistry that leads to anxiety, depression and self-loathing. If COVID has taken its toll on you mentally and emotionally, an important way you can help yourself is to challenge your brain with a light course, certificate achievement, diploma or even a degree. Mike changes that force you out of your comfort zone. This stimulates growth at every level. This work pulls your brain out of the ruts you’ve become tired of; and have made you tired.
Oltre Biomedical will be engaging in research on a few of our patented technologies designed to support cognition, mentation and learning. Can this help you? At this point all we have is anecdotes that serve us well and set the stage for coming clinical trials to validate their use to support study stamina, improved recall and information retention and basic cognitive energy and performance. We may be applying these strategies for treatment of dementia as well. However, we will navigate this course once our first trials set the path for the next steps. These naturally derived compounds, different from those in the COVID-19 treatment trial, are subsequently engineered and then patented and ready for clinical trial as well. However, long before we finalise claims for cognitive performance with these tools, you must take advantage of the new online learning systems that have been developed and honed because of COVID-19 to now help improve and preserve your brain at any age or stage of life.
Brain health or mental health translates into body health and invigorated living. Mental illness even persisting anxiety can otherwise shape the brain and thought patterns and establish emotional states – emotional chemistry - that imbeds itself in your body to thwart immunity and inbuilt recovery programs. If you are questioning the term ‘imbed’ then let’s talk about how you ‘feel’ emotion. In order to feel emotion, alterations in chemistry and physiology have to take place. Challenging your brain with learning … learning new things… even reading this article … pulls you out of the automation mode; out of complacency and shapes the brain to a form that is more capable of resisting stress and life diversity. Get with the program and shape your brain to override diversity. Just like we exercise physically to maintain health and vitality the brain needs to be challenged and stimulated in order to stay youthful. A strong rejuvenated mind can make perspective shifts on matters that might at first seem dire and hopeless; and have the despair disappear completely with the mere mindset change. However, it takes a fit youthful confident mind to make that happen!