Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Race to Develop the Future of E-Learning Communities--Part II

This post is a continuation of Part I which dealt with the need for a renewed vision for E-Learning which was posted to LinkedIn recently. If the drivers to develop global E-Learning communities are no longer the ones that were tied to the Industrial economy mindset, then we are faced with the question:

"What should the new drivers be for such a new vision and does this mean that business no longer has a viable stake in this enterprise?"

To answer these questions, we need to think in terms of a new paradigm that says that the main driver should be the quest for a new level and form of education that is dedicated to the enrichment of the quality of life for all societies regardless of their socioeconomic status. Given the state of the world, we can not afford to be protectionist in our viewpoint and look out for number one. History is filled with the descriptions of assaults on fortresses and more importantly, what drove these assaults. Global needs must be the new drivers for change. Right now, global societies need:
  • Citizens who have been educated with the goal of them becoming effective agents of change within their own region of the world.
  • Citizens who are effective problem solvers when confronted with the complex, real world problems that impact every facet of human life on the planet.
  • Citizens who know how to collaborate with others in the world on a global scale when tasked with a problem.
  • Citizens who are creative, entrepreneurial innovators who can create new knowledge and skillsets to the benefit of all people.
  • Citizens who have the mindset of putting "WE" before "ME" in their dedication to enriching the quality of life for those who they relate to and work with.

If business organizations were to look at the above list would they not concur that the values they see would also be important core values for them to adopt for their own learning cultures within their businesses? The new paradigm changes the relationship of business to education from the previous decades old viewpoint that business defines and dictates what outcomes should be the end results of education to a new viewpoint that is more symbiotic in nature. Businesses need to see that the ROI is far greater in a forged symbiotic relationship with education because this age, an age of knowledge and learning really sees healthy progress in the promotion of systemic life-long learning for all citizens and especially those citizens who will lead and work in the new global businesses of the 21st century. Far from businesses being left out, their role needs transformation to reflect a new relationship that is more in sync with this age.

Building Global E-Learning Communities
Since we are talking about global E-Learning communities, we need to make sure that we lay a solid foundation for implementation. If these communities are completely online, this means that we would have to define what we could use to host these communities. Our choices range between using the Cloud or creating VPN's (Virtual Private Networks). Here is one area where business finds its opportunities because regardless of whether you use the "cloud" or a "VPN", subscription to the service would be required. My choice would be going with a business that can host the creation of VPN's because of what I would suggest is better security. When working in an online environment, security should be a number one priority.

Establishment of Global E--Learning Portals: When we understand that it is the global communities we want to reach then we know that we need to establish global E-Learning portals set to serve 6 defined regions in the world.
What I am about to suggest comes with a number of disclaimers:
  • This is conceptual and its purpose is to get you to become involved in useful conversations as you consider the possibilities. It is not my intent to suggest that these are THE configurations and the only ones to consider. These concepts are the product of my thoughtful engagement with E-Learning.
  • The titling of these portals again are open to revision but I think you will also discern my thinking behind their choice.
  • The composition of the families of countries are again not something that I intend to dictate but I would welcome the thoughts of others as to other pertinent criteria to be considered in the choice of participants in each global E-Learning portal.
Portal #1: The Northern Hemisphere Pacific Portal
Portal #2: The Southern Hemisphere Pacific Portal
Portal #3: The Northern Hemisphere Atlantic Portal
Portal #4: The Southern Hemisphere Atlantic Portal
Portal #5: The Mediterranean & Central EU Portal
Portal #6: The Indian Ocean & Middle East Portal

With respect to the first four portals, the equator is a determining factor. Also, I am not so naive as to not recognize that the selection of which countries belong to what E-Learning portal will require cultural, political, historical,and economical relationships among them to be considered. This requires the great desire to really try to understand the world from each others point of view and be comfortable enough to discuss it to develop strong ties in developing a unified vision for E-Learning.

A typical portal would be akin to a lobby with a number of doors similar in concept to the drawing below.

 To avoid the new malady of "cognitive overload" which I have mixed emotions about, more on the new global E-Learning portals and the importance of a new symbiotic relationship between business and education in the next post....

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