General Knowledge in the internet age

General Knowledge in the Internet Age

Newsletter Sep 26, 2022

Do you remember your childhood – a time when encyclopedias were considered a legitimate, expensive birthday gift? A trip to the planetarium was an induction to the galaxy. Your learning came from scarce resources such as documentaries, books or field trips.

General Knowledge in the internet ageToday, we may have the exactly opposite problem, i.e., information overload. Social Media, OTT Platforms, plethora of TV channels – all are continuously passing information that may or may not be accurate or relevant.

The question then arises, how much and what should children actually know? Also, given the direct access to Google, do we really need to know anything beyond working knowledge?

Read More: Memorization in the times of Google

General Knowledge forms a very strong base for individual personality development and confidence. The ability to have a conversation about myriad topics or to be able to connect events and situations lead to a stronger, well-rounded individual. It enables children to form an opinion, navigate a situation, speak confidently and have much faster response times to any incident.

With the vast amount of information that is available, parents also face the question – How much should children know? It is important to filter out distasteful information like celebrity gossip, violence, sexual innuendos etc. As parents, we need to help children understand that everything shown on social media is not true and probably back it with examples to prove the same. Children should be encouraged to develop a sense of good information and unnecessary information from a young age.

Screen time also does not always have to be alone time. Take this opportunity to co-view, co-play and co-engage with your child. It encourages social interactions, bonding and learning experiences.

Read for a few fun tips to keep your child’s GK on point in the internet age:

1. Use Google to your advantage

When social media is streaming stories about celebrities, corporate honchos or even the queen’s demise – encourage your child to Google about these and learn more. Why were these personalities famous? What about them ensured they made headlines? Make your child write the 5 good things and 5 not-so-good things they learned from the information available on the internet and social media!

2. Language of Sports

Whether you play a sport or not, it is one topic that transcends global boundaries. Encourage children to track a sport – even give extra screen time or TV time to make it a positive experience. Take it one step ahead and allow them to play an online game modelled on the given sport.

3. The lure of OTT Platforms & YouTube

Leverage these to learn not only GK through well-made documentaries but also to brush up language skills. Encourage shows in English – which is the most used language for education and trade across the world. Content has significantly improved, enabling a deep blend of information and entertainment. For example, if the school is teaching your daughter world history, but you have together watched the colour documentary on World War II on OTT, she will immediately be able to connect the dots and add value!

4. Play games, puzzles and quizzes

Children love visual demonstrations. Use Google Maps to demonstrate the placement of a country, why are they different, what is their culture? Pick up puzzles and quizzes that help connect the dots in the real world. For example, in school they may have learned about the equator and climate in countries around the equator. If the child is quizzed on a chosen country, he should be able to correlate the climate with the dress code, food habits etc.

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General Knowledge is more about a well-rounded world view than about book knowledge. It allows us to leverage all that we learn through formal education and apply it to the real world. This becomes a strong base for us to evaluate and navigate situations or even exams!

The world is swiftly becoming a smaller place with instant access through better technology. It is imperative for us to augment technology & information to learn real world skills!

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
– Benjamin Franklin



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