October 9, 2011

Wisdom from the past, knowledge of the present, guidance for the future- The world is flat

In the video, Friedman introduces the ten forces that let to globalization and flattened the world.
1.Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and windows operating system 3.0 shipped six months later.
2.Netscape IPO gave us the Internet browser, a set of transmission protocols and triggered the dot com boom, making internet open and accessible to everyone.
3.Workflow software , which means applications can talk to applications, no matter what machine they were operating on and no matter what software they were running.
4.Outsourcing. When people can be connected anywhere, companies can move their departments to anywhere where can operate it in the most efficient and effective way.
5.Offshorting. Manufacturing’s version of outsourcing.
6.Open sourcing. A whole new form of collaboration.
7.Supply chaining. The network of retailers, distributors, transporters, storage facilities and suppliers that participate in the sale, delivery and production of particular products all over the world.
8.Insourcing. Some companies take over other companies’ internal logistics operation.
9.In-forming. Allowing people to collaborate with data all by self.
10. “The Steroids”. It means wireless, which allows people collaborate with anyone from anywhere with any device.
According to Friedman, globalization 1.0 was about countries globalizing. Globalization 2.0 was built around companies globalizing, and we entered globalization 3.0 in 2000, which was built around individuals. Our world became flat at the same time. Ten forces have broken down geographical restrictions and enhanced global connection and interaction. Globalization 3.0 provides people more conveniences as well as more challenges. When the time world was round, opportunity of success is privilege to certain people. When we entered into flattening world, the privilege was gone. Everyone around the world has opportunity to plug and play in this flattening world. That means, all our next generation have to compete with all around the world genius to get decent jobs in the future, from countries to countries, cities to cities, schools to schools. I think the definition of success in the future is not that how much people have learned, but how people can learn effectively and efficiently.  We probably do not want give education 1.0 or 2.0 to our kids when we are living in globalization 3.0.  As educators, it’s our duty to tell students how to use the easily accessible resources and make connection and collaboration globally in the world of globalization 3.0. With use of technology in Education, educators are able to make students’ learning relevance to real life, motivating them engage in what they are learning and helping students learn in ways that are customized to their type of intelligence.
Ok, I have to acknowledge that the above idea is too idealistic to be achieved in China.

Then, I’d like to show you China’s education reality.

This is China’s education system. All Chinese know that how cruel the Gao Kao is. There is a conflict between large population and limited educational resources. In order to have one bite of the cake, every student is desperate to join in the fierce competition. Althogh it seems crazy that all students' education purpose is for GaoKao, Chinese education system clearly has its benefit. It is the most effective methodology to allocate limited educational resources to the most excellent students that are identified by standard test scores. However, everyone is different. There is no one-size-fit-all in education.

I think Globalization 3.0 opens another door to those students who fail their National College Entrance Examination and those who want to pursue their own interests. In other words, flat world allows them to be different from others. When we can find alternative educational resources, GaoKao will no longer be the only way to determine a student’s success or failure. Students are able to learn high quality skill and knowledge from professionals in areas of expertise all around the world through internet. Friedman says, “when the world goes flat, we are connecting all the knowledge pools in the world together.” To many students, it’s better for them to enhance their special intelligence and strength rather than accept general education at the first beginning. As educators, the school policy implementors, we may not be able to change education system at the moment, but at least we can show students the alternative, which is better than nothing. When more students are able to engage in their own interests with  use of new technologies, more traditional educational resources can be saved to those children who don’t even have access to internet. Only after every student has opportunity to accept high quality higher education , can the customized education be taken into agenda.

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