Friday, April 1, 2011

The Critical Teaching and Learning Issues Worldwide

"I am gratified to see that new technologies such as collaboration and video are globally increasing in importance in education, as they can open the door to a world of opportunities for students, regardless of socio-economic status or geographical location." - Renee Patton

A global survey recently commissioned by Cisco and conducted by Clarus Research Group indicates that more than three-quarters of educational administrators and officials around the world  believe educational technology can change how students learn and how teachers teach. The countries surveyed were Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom; poll respondents were evenly divided between higher education and K-12. 

Learning Issues
  • 86% noted the need for programs and curriculum that develop skills in team- and project- based learning, with an emphasis on modern communications technologies.
  • 85% of these educators saw technology playing a "large role" in how students learn, and were hopeful that student engagement and participation could be increased by using technology in education.
  • 83% of  respondents cited the need to prepare students to compete in a global economy, including the need for effective and productive use of technology.
 Technology Issues
  • The top concerns of these educators were protection from Internet abuse, improved collaboration technologies, stronger cybersecurity measures, and administrative efficiencies that can be achieved through technology.
  • Embedding video and multimedia resources in the learning process were seen by most of the respondents as a near-term goal.
  • 65% of the higher education officials see online international programs as a realistic opportunity to enlarge their virtual student body within the next five years.
Regional Perspectives
  • Respondents from the Asia-Pacific region placed highest priority on communications with students and investment in the research infrastructure.
  • European educators were mainly concerned about funding, online security, and increasing their international presence.
  • Latin America rated highest on overall aspirations for education. 
Today's educational climate stresses globalization and technology, as my friend Yong Zhao explains in his new book, Catching Up or Leading the Way. You can learn more about these issues by watching the archive of Yong's recent Webinar here.

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