(From The Korea Times) -- Three decades after a successful pro-democracy movement, Korea is witnessing new types of democratization—this time not of the government, but of learning, knowledge, journalism, organizations and the economy.
The democratization of learning is progressing rapidly, jeopardizing the once-thriving private learning institutions in posh southern Seoul. The proliferation of mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablets and e-readers as learning tools is revolutionizing how we learn; these days, e-learning, e-libraries, e-coaching, reverse mentoring (where younger staff teach senior executives about the latest in technology, social media and other workplace trends), on-demand mentoring, mobile learning, mass mentoring and micro-feedback have become common avenues for learning.
Under this new democratized learning (i.e., Learning 3.0), social-media are valuable tools that enable students to get real-time advice, practice through online simulations, and gather information using application software, or as is more commonly known, “apps.”
This social media-driven learning marginalizes the previous computer-based learning (i.e., Learning 2.0) and the traditional classroom learning (i.e., Learning 1.0), according to Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd, authors of The 2020 Work Place: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today.
A consequence of the democratization of learning is the democratization of knowledge. In Korea, collaborative web-based encyclopedias such as Wikipedia, and search portals such as Naver, Google and Daum, play a crucial role in democratizing knowledge. For example, Wikipedia attracts several million users worldwide by publishing free content in multiple languages.
In this era of democratized knowledge, learning is no longer limited to the privileged but rather is open to everyone interested in personal enrichment. Through social media networks and applications, people from all walks of life can participate in life-long learning classes and programs.
Those who are not only technology savvy but also proficient in several languages have an added advantage, as they have access to a wider array of information resources.
Social media are also gradually democratizing journalism. Readers are no longer passive recipients of information but rather also creators of information. Using social media networks and devices, they now create and distribute information in the form of photos, videos, blog posts and vlog (video blog) posts. In this sense, journalism has become a two-way conversation in an increasingly interactive and global community.
This “bottom-up” journalism sharply contrasts the traditional “top-down” journalism; it is interactive, transparent, open-minded and collaborative. This new type of journalism originates from the concept of the wisdom of the crowd, which advocates that a group can more efficiently and effectively create and distribute information than any one individual. In this regard, journalism becomes “networked journalism” and is no longer monopolized by traditional media.