Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Global Virtual Education: A Challenge to Google, Apple, Microsoft & Cisco :Part I

In an earlier post I suggested that global online education is in need of a revolution on many fronts. Students need to be able to be part of something greater than themselves and it is in the best interests of all global societies that students see that they are valuable and have a relevant role in the formation of the future. If we have any hope for the future development of global societies, it will rest on how well we inspire our students to aspire to a goal greater than themselves. The alternative is to continue to have students use social media in which they lose themselves in daily self-absorption and never really become stakeholders in the formation of a viable and exciting future.

This brings me to make this challenge. I would like to throw down the gauntlet before Google, Apple, Microsoft, Cisco and other technology giants to have a greater vision of what virtual education could be if they could truly commit to a greater vision. I know what these companies will say. They will say that we already do a great deal for education. Google will say that we have created Google Apps for Education, Apple & Microsoft will say that they have provided their hardware and software to education institutions at great reductions and Cisco will say that they have provided the networking technology to connect education institutions with the rest of the world. This is all very true! The questions that need to be asked are:
  1. What is there guiding vision with regards to their products and services?
  2. What are their motives in dealing with education sector?
  3. Do they subscribe to the "industrial model" of education or do they subscribe to a model that is more fitting for the 21st century and beyond? In other words, do they see students as consumers or as creators of new knowledge and skills?
  4. Are they willing to step up and offer something radical that will inspire students to see themselves as architects of the future?
The question that you might be wondering about is why would we expect the technology sector to take on a greater role in virtual education. I would suggest to you that if the technology sector focuses on self-serving goals then our students who subscribe to the technology will never see beyond the present. The technology sector has woven its products into the very fabric of life for us and our students and if our students are to become inspired explorers, creators and devoted to a better future for society, the technology sector needs to have a greater vision of the future of education.

So, what are some of the things that these great technology leaders could be doing to inspire students to greater achievements?

More in the next post

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