Learning Deeply, Not Shallowly

Something I’ve been thinking about is the implication of our information overload society.

What will learning look like in the future?

Will skills replace knowledge as the mark of an accomplished, interesting person?

Will “prodigy”-like behavior become more common, since more people have access to unlimited resources via the internet?

How will schools change so that they have something to offer beyond a big library and knowledge that is hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of years old?


At the moment, the most relevant conclusion I can draw given the current quality of open information and amount is that in order to take advantage of these resources, we as lifelong learners needs to go deep, not wide. Or perhaps, more specifically, become T-shaped knowledge workers. Delve deep into a small number (1-3) topics, get very good at them. All the while take advantage of the vast array of information being generated and organized all the time on the internet to have a varied, balanced perspective.

Personally, I have been going wide but not deep, since up until recently I couldn’t think of which areas I wanted to focus on. Blog posts and Wikipedia entires, Quora questions and friends’ Facebook links– all of this fed to my development of a preliminary knowledge base in topics like cooking, feminism, and comedy. The same things have contributed to my knowledge of technology, education, design, and conceptual computer science & mathematics, but now it’s time to whittle that list down and dive deep!


Hey! I'm a 19-year-old student at Tufts University where I am majoring in Math. I'm from Upstate New York and was the only Hindu in my small-town public school. I love artichokes and eyeliner and lifehacking. I have a ton of interests, but most of them fall under the umbrellas of Education/Learning, Media/Entertainment, Mathematics, Design, or Technology. I have been inseparable from my laptop(s) since I was a xanga-layout-making, neopoint-hoarding 12-year-old.

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Posted in Education Revolution

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