Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Internationalisation in Higher Education

Yesterday Professor Glynis Cousin from the University of Wolverhampton, in the UK, led discussions around the internationalisation of higher education with staff from our university.
According to Professor Cousins, internationalisation is more about providing opportunities for overseas students to interact with Australian students, so that both groups develop cross cultural understanding and gain knowledge/experience that will advantage them after they graduate from the institution. Professor Cousins suggested that internationalisation is often thought of in terms of making the curriculum more internationally relevant, but this is not what her research suggest that international students actually want.
"International students want to learn and socialise with local students" Professor Cousins insisted. She indicated that including teamwork that included a diverse mix of international and domestic students was perhaps the most effective way of ensuring a sharing of skills, expertise and cultural understanding.

So where would you begin to achieve a high level of internationalisation in higher education in Australia? If Professor Cousins is correct, two immediate changes are required:
  1. Stop quarantining international students in learning situations where there are few, if any Australian students.
  2. Begin with your course/unit assessment and design problem-based assessment that requires at least some teamwork and where the context is global and student teams are allocated to include high levels of cultural diversity.
Internationalisation in education is desirable, both from a commercial marketing perspective and in producing students who are more globally and culturally aware. Graduating students who have had direct experience working and learning in a global community offers much, and has the potential to enhance the reputation and standing of the university.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

True 21st Century Schools

In this Blog I've shared many ideas and expressed opinions about P/K to 12 schooling today and how the vast majority of our education leaders just don't get it. This leadership begins with government and filters down to school level. Old Taylorist paradigms no longer suitable for 21st century learners who need a vastly different skill set and who have a dramatically different cultural perspective from 40 years ago. The literature has been around for sometime now but the inertia of educational leadership to respond is staggering, and we are adversely impacting the futures of large numbers of young people for whom school is an un-engaging prison of despair.
The following video is an example of the alternative; and it is achievable in Australia, the UK and in the US:

eSchool News has published an article that talks about this school in more detail.It is well worth the read.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Using ipods in school

Pod/Vodcasts have been around now for some years and despite this attraction and hype, the time it takes educators to design and develop acceptable quality media has been an obstacle to full exploitation of the technology.

Grace Poli is a media specialist at Jose Marti Middle School in Union City, N.J. and in the latest edition of the eschool news online magazine her approach to using ipods in her school is discussed.

You will notice that Grace exploits existing media rather than creating many pod/vodcasts herself. Her students, however are.
The article demonstrates how being aware of popular youth culture and being technologically proficient transform school students' learning experiences.

Well worth the read.