Information Age Education Blog
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Quality of Life: Working Toward a Better Future
The Winter Solstice has just passed, and the days are getting longer on the Oregon coast where I live. I wish the best for all of my readers during the coming years. Rather than just saying, “I wish you a Happy New Year,” I am instead broadening this wish so that it applies to a much larger audience and a longer time period. I wish an improving Quality of Life (QoL) to all creatures on earth for which such a wish might be appropriate.
I think about QoL in a rather broad manner. Thus, I am concerned with:
- My personal QoL. How do I measure or keep track of my own QoL, and what can I do to improve it? People vary considerably in what they personally feel contributes to having a good QoL.
- QoL of the people on earth. I believe that living under a very restrictive dictatorship and/or in extreme poverty decreases a person’s QoL. I also believe that lack of access to a good education decreases one’s QoL. Global warming is a major concern. Wars and terrorism are major concerns. What can I do to help alleviate such QoL-decreasing conditions?
- Biological sustainability and QoL of all living creatures on earth. What can I do to maintain and/or improve the overall level of sustainability of earth’s creatures?
This list can be expanded. For example, think about ancient artifacts such as cave wall paintings produced tens of thousand of years ago, and pyramids and statues from ancient Egypt, other antiquities across the globe. These increased the QoL of the ancient people who created them and increase our own QoL as we study and admire them today.
In each of the above areas and other areas that might occur to you, we each have our own views of their relative importance and ways of measuring them. Thus, you might be more concerned by the homeless and hungry school age children in your community than you are about children being exposed to Ebola or TB in some far away location—or, vice versa. You might view a Smart Phone as contributing greatly to your QoL or regard it as the bane of your existence. You might be moved by the QoL of a person standing on a corner asking for donations, and making a donation increases your QoL.
Our various forms of media and my personal communications systems bring information about such QoL-related situations to me. The very act of receiving the “good, happy” information increases my QoL while “bad, unhappy” information decreases my QoL. I find it quite depressing to read or view “sensationalist” media that seem to take pleasure in recounting all of the bad things going on.
QoL and Education
Information Age Education is committed to helping to improve informal and formal education at all levels and throughout the world. For me, education and QoL are closely related.
For example, I view every person as both a lifelong learner and a lifelong teacher. I view each interaction you have with another person as a teaching/learning transaction. Each such transaction has the possibility of positively or negatively affecting QoL of the participants.
And, as an aside, think about the transactions you have with computer-driven interactive voice systems when you really want to talk to a human being in order to resolve a problem or answer a question. My QoL has certainly been diminished by automated answering and calling systems!
Through IAE, I am able to share my knowledge, skills, and insights with a large number of people. Doing so improves my own QoL, and I hope it contributes to the QoL of my readers.
Here are two questions to ponder:
- How often do you explicitly communicate with others (your children, students, friends, and so on) about QoL? What types of things do you specifically help them understand about this important concept and about how to monitor their personal QoL?
- How do the students you know view their school day hours in terms of their overall QoL? For example, is school mainly a “drag” on their QoL, or is a positive aspect of their QoL? What aspects of a typical school day are more positive, and what aspects are more negative to these students?
IAE’s Past Year
As you know, all of IAE’s materials are available free on the Web. It is exciting to announce that 2014 has been a banner year. The IAE Blog is averaging over 4,900 hits per day this year. Within the IAE-pedia, the top five content pages have now each exceeded a hundred thousand page views since this Wiki was established seven years ago. The IAE Newsletter is doing well, and the four recent books that are based on the newsletters have now had a total of over 33,000 downloads.
What You Can Do
I feel a little embarrassed to say this, but part of my QoL is based on how well IAE is doing. So, you can help improve education in our world and my QoL by publicizing IAE’s free materials. If you want to share your progress in this endeavor, feel free to make use of the Comments feature available at the end of this blog entry.
Readings from IAE Publications
Moursund, D. (2014). What the future is bringing us. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 12/24/2014 from http://iae-pedia.org/What_the_Future_is_Bringing_Us.
Moursund, D. (11/14/2014). What makes a great teacher? IAE Blog. Retrieved 12/22/2014 from http://i-a-e.org/iae-blog/entry/what-makes-a-great-teacher.html.
Moursund, D. (8/6/2014). Making school more relevant to students. IAE Blog. Retrieved 12/22/2014 from http://i-a-e.org/iae-blog/entry/making-school-more-relevant-to-students.html.
Moursund, D. (5/1/2014). Hungry children: America’s shame. IAE Blog. Retrieved 12/22/2014 from http://i-a-e.org/iae-blog/entry/hungry-children-america-s-shame.html.
Moursund, D. (9/9/2013). Thinking and acting globally. IAE Blog. Retrieved 12/22/2014 from http://i-a-e.org/iae-blog/entry/thinking-and-acting-globally.html.
Moursund, D. (4/5/2013). 40th anniversary of the cell phone. IAE Blog. Retrieved 12/22/2014 from http://i-a-e.org/iae-blog/entry/40th-anniversary-of-the-cell-phone.html.