Web 2.0 and Emerging Learning Technologies/Global Education

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Global and International Education and Interaction[edit | edit source]


The advancement of science and technology has made all parts of the world much more interconnected and mutual interdependent. It is truly a global village. Global economic and social trends will have impacts on the educational development. Thus, global and International education is necessary to open the door for better mutual understanding and appreciation of rich diversities.

In an increasingly knowledge-based economy, almost one in every four dollars made by Americans is tied to world trade; a good education fostering global thinking is more important than ever before. What people earn depends on what people learn. Global education can teach students to understand these changes and enable people to become more competitive internationally. (Tye and Tye, 1992) This means that it is important to understand the interconnectedness of world and develop a world outlook.

The Definition and Aim of Global Education

Global education is a diverse and highly decentralized movement. This movement is a cumulative response to a variety of events on the world stage. All of the activities are manifestations of ways where events outside our national borders affect the daily live (Alger and Harf, 1986).

Global education encompasses the strategies, policies and plans that prepare young people and adults for living together in an interdependent world. It is based on the principles of co-operation, non-violence, respect for human rights and cultural diversity, democracy and tolerance. It is characterized by pedagogical approaches based on human rights and a concern for social justice which encouraged to make links between local, regional and worldwide issues and to address inequality (Osler, 2002).

The aim of global education is to build a global culture of peace through the promotion of values, attitudes and behavior which enable the realization of democracy, development and human rights (Osler, 2002).

Global Education and Wiki

It is the generation now for the development of open source software, such as music sharing, YouTube, blog and the Wikipedia. Open source software is a form of intellectual engagement that the users are no longer readers, or audiences, – they have the ability to become active producers of the content. It is also a significant paradigm shift for the higher education.

Wikis are Web sites on which multiple users can easily create, modify, and delete content, and enjoy collaborative writing. Multiple users are from different countries. The creators of Wikipedia created an online encyclopedia that can be updated by almost anyone. Since 2001, this Web site now has more than five million entries in over 200 languages created collaboratively by people from all over the world. It is just like a global community which includes different thoughts, information and knowledge from all over the world. It results in a different way of global education which can develop a culturally diverse learning community, deepen discussions on controversial issues, and increase educational equity. (feedback by Cheng-hong Liao: Wiki is a revolutionary change in the diffusion of knowledge, it not only can increase the speed of information dissemination, but also beyond the limit of language, wiki will be very useful in education, business, political, economy and some other areas.)

How Wiki can be used to respond to the opportunities of global education

There is an example to support that Wiki has the power to help enable global education. The followings are the description of this website named World Almanac of Educational Technologies (WAET). WAET is a Wiki-based interactive educational book which was developed by a group of students who studied in the department of instructional technology, The University of Georgia.

The World Almanac of Educational Technologies (WAET) is an evolving web resource designed to explore the concepts, conditions and uses of technological tools within global education initiatives. By examining the different meanings and applications of technology around the world, WAET seeks a greater understanding of how appropriate technology can impact teaching and learning in its many perspectives. The chapters herein attempt to describe national and local situations richly, including at least one case study illustrating students, teachers, or schools for each country.”(Amiel , T., 2006).

These editors are from different countries including Brazil, Canada, China, South Korea, Turkey, Italy, USA etc. They described the educational structure and policy of their own country. It is found that for almost every country, the quality of education is directly related to the quality of life. It is an obvious example of wikibook which facilitates knowledge sharing and collaboration experience across different cultures. It indirectly contributed to the opportunity of global education as well.

The use of wiki is at its beginning stage. Educators and researchers in advance should be aware of some challenges of wikis. Misunderstanding for the sake of cultural difference or lacking related cultural background knowledge is one of the big issues. Culture and communication are inseparable because culture not only dictates who talks to whom, about what, and how the communication proceeds, it also helps to determine how people encode messages, the meanings they have for messages, and the conditions and circumstances under which various messages may or may not be sent, noticed, or interpreted. Culture is the foundation of communication. (Porter and Samovar, 1998).


Amiel , T. (2006). Wiki-based interactive educational books. Retrieved August 21, 2007, from http://www.waet.uga.edu/

Alger, C. F., & Harf, J. E. (1986). Global education: Why? For whom? About what? In R. E. Freeman, Promising practices in global education: A handbook with case studies. New York: National Council of Foreign Language and International Studies, 1–13.

Osler, A. (2002) Citizenship and the challenge of global education. Stoke onTrent : Trentham Books.

Porter, R. E. & Samovar, L. A. (1998). Cultural influences on emotional expression: Implications for intercultural communication. In: P. A. Andersen & L. K. Guerrero. (Eds.), Handbook of communication and emotion: Research, theory, applications, and context. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 449-462.

Tye, B.B. and Tye, K.A., (1992). Global education, A study of school change, State University of New York Press, Albany, NY.