Publish at April 03 2017 Updated January 19 2023

Self-training and digital

Always the freedom to learn

Digital technology increases opportunities to develop a learning culture. Self-learning occurs whenever an individual takes the initiative to learn on their own. This phenomenon refers to the Epinal image of the self-made self-taught individual through long hours spent learning in lonely and obscure times. One can almost imagine the individual hunched over a work table and reading thick books by candlelight.

But, digital technology seems to be brightening this perspective. It is now possible to learn anywhere and everywhere aided by a screen, software, and numerous resources. As a EducSol feature shows, it is possible to learn alone with a screen. This is observable in many areas of activity and suggests that school will become just another place to learn.

  • Health and its maintenance provide many opportunities to learn, the self-diagnosis (taking one's blood pressure, monitoring one's weight, diet, sugar levels etc...), self-care and self-medication or self-monitoring with its mobile apps are rising with the help of powerful resources and equipment. Virtual patient communities are organizing to monitor treatment progress for example for chronic diseases. This movement facilitated by online resources is part of a "digital therapeutic education."

  • Everyday life is tutored, to each daily act corresponds a video tutorial (try it to see). For a country like France it's more than 180,000,000 views that are counted each month, with nearly 73% of French people who would be adept at "Do it yourself."

    Professional youtubers are earning their views by creating tips and posting them online. Tutorials have reportedly even become more powerful than an advertising poster in demonstrating the quality of products.

  • Self-protection and life-saving actions engage self-training, which firefighters encourage especially with digital means. The LifeSaver app allows for real learning in handling stressful situations with short response times that produce a sense of urgency. Many serious games work on this immersive dimension to develop reflexes to hold in case of discomfort or danger. The site opens up many avenues for training and sharing with others.

  • Body maintenance and sports self-coaching is becoming more prevalent at the office or even in training rooms in front of a video monitor that guides your sessions (Low Cost Gym). The digital coaches can also be modeled in cell phone apps that you can take anywhere.

  • The first services to penetrate our worlds were automated teller machines then after financial services, product purchase is accompanied by machines, artificial intelligence, smart cash registers or even robots at the point of sale.

  • Service production is increasingly the responsibility of the user (think of the redesign of spaces of La Poste in France within which machines process your parcel or check deposit operations) with an increasingly advanced logic of servuction or the user's part is becoming more and more important compared to the seller's, or even web servuction, when at one of your online clicks, an automated or manual service is engaged.

These examples of self-study are often rudimentary and are sometimes limited to a first level of providing information or performing accompanied tasks. But, in the course of these activitiess the individual learns. This is informal learning.

Of course, digital technology still holds many possibilities when training engineers think about the ergonomics of software and build real self-guided training devices. This is the case with language methods, a wide variety of MOOCs, the development of uses of artificial intelligence for learning, or devices associated with public cultural institutions where the audio guide becomes a true learning interface. The body even becomes a peripheral, a gestural interface from which activities are triggered and allow the visit to be accomplished. The body must learn to position itself well, new visitor skills to interface are emerging.

While "do it yourself" is alive and well in many registers of our lives as just recalled, "learn it yourself" is gaining prominence at a time when traditional trainers are being overwhelmed by a mass of information and technology that might be overwhelming them.

It's all happening in the way of chemical agents disseminated in our food, in our environment and in the materials around us that taken in isolation remain imperceptible and are within health standards but put together constitute endocrine disruptors of our biological system.

Freedom to learn is seeping in everywhere without institutions perceiving that a threshold of freedom and autonomy is being crossed and upsetting the balance of social systems.

Illustration: Comfreak - Pixabay


Can we train ourselves? Digital learning and self-study? -

Digital to help therapeutic patient education. - eSanté.gouv,fr - Asip Santé - Le Mag n°12. 2014

Health: the digital revolution at the service of the patient - Huffingtonpost. 2014

Social-cultural role of virtual patient communities in chronic disease monitoring: towards a new model of therapeutic education? - Géraldine GOULINET-FITE - Adjectives - Paris Descartes

The wave of tutorials on the net - Justine Renault - Shamana

Improving performance with mobile digital coaching: the example of embedded voice coaching - Jean-Claude Tarby, José Rouillard - Laboratoire Trigone, Institut CUEEP - Université Lille 1

Do you know about low-cost gyms? L'express - Styles

Testing Lifesaver, the British app for learning life-saving techniques - Frédéric Séguret - Secourisme.Net

Point of sale robot, gadget or real commercial innovation? - Alain Clapaud - L'Atelier

Formal and informal learning what are we talking about? - Mathilde Bourdat - Cegos

What self-training through self-education? Revue Française de pédagogie Georges Le Meur. 1993. Vol 102.

20 years of digital in museums: between monstration and erasure. - Daniel Schmitt and Muriel Meyer-Chemenska - The OCIM letter. N°162. 2015

Staging bodies and gestural interfaces in a video game exhibition. - Marion Coville - Tracés #28. 2015

Succeeding in the marriage of artificial intelligence and continuing education. Denis Cristol. Thot Cursus

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