Keeping pace with net savvy students

The character of education is changing rapidly. The demand for education has substantially increased because of the successful expansion of education across the world. The whole world is inter connected with a very thin but strong line of education. But if we flip the pages of our history we will trace the beginning of Globalization of education in the travel of students abroad since the middle of the twentieth century. Some scholars have also opined that the early travellers like Fa Hien who came to India and stayed for nearly six years, during the rule of Chandra Gupta II and the visit of Hsuan Tsang during the rule of Harshvardhan to research and write on the life and preaching of Gautama –the Buddha as the earliest instances of globalization of education. The great Indian civilization had already initiated the process of globalization of education much before the concept got currency in the rest of the world.

Developments in the educational sector can be seen the way people gain access and spread information, work habits, methods of socializing, and many more. The transformation of the devices that we use from gigantic supercomputers to tablets are tangible signs of change. This is brought about by the evolution of how people think towards the globalization of education. Learners of today’s world are educated with the intention of becoming productive citizens in a democratic society in terms of what is required in the global context. As a result, these learners possess certain characteristics that are part of the new millennium.

It is only apt that as educators, our methods of shaping the minds of the future generation should also be able to adapt to these changes as well.

The global students need to have a broad, deep and a vast understanding of the world. Students these days know that they live in the world where there is diversity and a lot of issues to address such as health concerns, environment protection, economic growth and many more. They try to play an important role to play in taking care of the environment and help lessen the contribution of society to its destruction. They also tend to be more financially literate and can make economically sound decisions. The endless canvas of world education has provided a chance to the students to think critically and creatively. They do not limit themselves to becoming one-trick ponies only. They often think outside the box, not only sticking to a single approach to attacking a dilemma. Two heads are better than one. The students of today realize the power of a unified group and learn how to deal with different personalities in an effective and courteous manner.

Technology has made globalization of education possible for us to gain access to a diverse and abundant amount of information. Students can harness this, evaluate which ones are accurate and have significance, and use it to address a certain issues. It is now a two-way process where both the students and the teachers across the world learn from each other side by side. A lot of resources are available to help achieve this goal. We will have multicultural awareness and appreciation. As we can see that the present generation is more aware of a variety cultures, countries and ways of life than any generation before them. They are open to change. Today’s learners download their own songs and apps from iTunes… and then they create their own stuff and upload it to share with others. Increasingly aware of the world around them.

The connectivity across the world has an exuberant effect on the students’ innovation skills because these students do not repeat other people’s ideas, but instead use their own common sense and introduce new interesting perspectives to the world. The global students also have civic literacy (are informed about government organisations), global awareness, financial literacy, healthy literacy, environmental literacy, visual literacy, cooperative association, critical thinking and problem solving skills and show creativity and innovation. It is already determined that self-directed learning is a characteristic of this modern world. The inter-continental communication has allowed collaboration between teachers & students of different countries. Creating digital resources, presentations, and projects together with other educators and students will make classroom activities resemble the real world. Collaboration should go beyond sharing documents via e-mail or creating PowerPoint presentations. Many great ideas never go beyond a conversation or paper copy, which is a great loss! Collaboration globally can change our entire experience! We can grow professionally and expand our knowledge as there is a great conversation happening every day on a larger platform of this world. The strings of connections have taught us how to appropriately use social media, how to produce and publish valuable content, and how to create sharable resources. Another very popular content that is going viral on the screen of this world education is TED talks and the students love it! They love using Facebook for class discussions and announcements. They appreciate novelty -- not the new tools, but the new, more productive and interesting ways of using them and connecting the intellectual dots scattered all over the world.

As the 21st century students are technologically literate, it would be necessary for the fraternity of teachers to incorporate current technologies into the lessons they teach. The present day students are woven out of different culture, country and background that together connect to a larger order of the world. Therein lies the challenge for us, the teachers, to look at the content knowledge through the lenses of our learners' tools.

Shimmi Sharma contributed this article.

She works at Sunbeam School, Lahartara, Varanasi.  She may be contacted at  shimmisharma@yahoo.co.in

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