Hello Education Community. I am new to the blog community and look forward to sharing with you my reflections on travels and work with Education customers from around the globe. It is an is an extraordinary time for education globally. I am eager to share with you experiences in which I have viewed educators, students, and policy makers changing the way they currently address educational needs. I encourage you to come on this journey with me, where I believe we can make a change in education and meet the global demand for learning and talent. Let’s transform together our education systems and institutions to meet the urgent and challenging expectations of our learners in the new millennium.
My first blog is a reflection from my participation and attendance at Going Global 2012. Going Global is a series of international educational conferences hosted by the British Council. It offers an open forum for policy makers and practitioners from around the world to discuss issues facing the international education community. Since its inception in 2004, Going Global has grown from a bi-annual event in the UK to an annual event that alternates between the UK and a different international location. Each year it attracts over 1,000 delegates from across the further and higher education sectors and a variety of other industries with perspectives on international education
Going Global 2012 was both very interesting and very well organized. It was a genuinely global event with around 1,400 delegates from all over the world. It provided an excellent forum for the exchange of ideas as well as for the strengthening of existing professional relationships and the establishment of new ones. Topics ranged from ‘The role of the university in the 21st century’ to ‘Developing skills for prosperity in the Arab Spring countries’.
I served as panelist during the session on ‘Bridging the divide: visions of education futures through technology’ with Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor of the Open University, Catherine Ngugi Project Director, Open Educational Resources Africa, and Dr Umar Saif, Associate Professor, Computer Science, Lahore University of Management Sciences. The session, which was well attended, explored ways in which technology is being used to enrich education not just for learners in more prosperous countries but also for those in less advantaged regions and countries. Martin Bean spoke very eloquently of the ‘amazing megaphones of education’ that are now available and of the Open University’s mission to provide ‘on-ramps to education’ and ‘gentler, more open spaces’ for new kinds of learners. Catherine Ngugi described very clearly the problems in Africa of limited IC infrastructure and costly bandwidth and went on to outline the steps taken to provide OER to students in Africa as part of the drive to transform education opportunities. Dr Umar Saif talked very interestingly about a project in Pakistan to help overcome the problems of poverty and lack of internet access by harnessing mobile telephone technology to provide students with educational materials.
Finally, I described Cisco’s vision for Higher Education in the 21st century, emphasizing the need for a holistic approach to education transformation leveraged through technology – an approach that has the potential to significantly enhance the welfare of individuals, their families, and their communities. In all, Going Global 2012 was an outstanding success. I was delighted to learn that Going Global 2013 will be held in Dubai, my own home base, on March 11, 2013, and I very much look forward to another highly stimulating event.
Until next time…Connect. Collaborate. Innovate.