Is climate change an “elephant in the glassware” of international education?

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The Chronicle of Higher Education publishes an interesting article on the impact of academic air travel on global warming.

Millions of people around the world, many of them young people, have mobilized in recent weeks to raise awareness about climate change.

At the same time, university institutions receive and send millions of international students to study abroad.

A clear contradiction emerges

Experiencing other countries and cultures is fundamental to international education, but air transport is one of the main factors contributing to global warming.

“It’s the huge elephant in the room,” says Ailsa Lamont, from Australia’s international education sector, who founded the Climate Action Network for International Education, or CANIE (http://www.can-ie.org/), a group that seeks to raise awareness of the environmental impact of international education – and to find solutions to mitigate it.
Lamont proposes some actions to make international educators more environmentally friendly:

  • Be a smarter traveler. Lamont believes in the value of cultural exchange, so it does not believe that students and educators should stop traveling. But they can be more intentional, by grouping visits or meeting with partners at conferences.
  • Compensation: New Zealand’s Massey University buys carbon credits to offset staff travel emissions, while overseas study provider API matches the students’ $15 offset contribution. Middlebury offers $500 scholarships to students traveling abroad for sustainability or research projects. The University of Gothenburg, Sweden, charges a fee for staff members’ air travel and uses the funds to support projects that reduce the institution’s environmental impact.
  • Use technology. Technology is not a substitute, but it helps to hold meetings at a distance by limiting travel. Online courses also help link students with classrooms abroad.
  • Increase visibility. Universities can open a broad debate on sustainability. CANIE (http://www.can-ie.org/) hopes to put climate change on the agenda of international education conferences through roundtables, poster fairs and meetings.

Read the article at http://bit.ly/2oK7ugE (requires free registration).

The Chronicle of Higher Education is a newspaper and website that features news, information and papers for faculty and student affairs professionals at colleges and universities.

Innovating Pedagogy 2019

This report explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment to guide educators and policy-makers.

A full-text PDF version of this report is available to download from:
https://iet.open.ac.uk/file/innovating-pedagogy-2019.pdf

This seventh report proposes ten innovations, many of which are currently implemented but have not yet had a profound influence on education. To produce the report, a group of academics from The Open University collaborated with researchers from Norway’s Centre for the Science of Learning & Technology.

From a long list of new educational terms, theories and practices, this short list of ten innovations has the potential to bring about major changes in educational practice.

What We Learned From Reading 1,000 Articles On Lifelong Learning

A very interesting article about Lifelong Learning.

The 20 conclusions:

  1. There is a growing interest in continuous and lifelong learning
  2. People are naturally curious and lifelong learners
  3. Younger people have a particularly strong focus on lifelong learning
  4. The knowledge economy drives continuous learning
  5. Change means continuous learning
  6. Change also means unlearning
  7. Organisations aim to recruit lifelong learners
  8. Organisations need to support the continuous learners they recruit
  9. CEOs must address lifelong learning
  10. Continuous learning platforms are the future
  11. Continuous learning will disrupt current learning approaches
  12. The future is open, continuous and embedded
  13. Shifting responsibilities for learning
  14. Learners have the key responsibility
  15. Continuous learning means doing not just reading or studying
  16. Continuous learning is essential for career success
  17. Job security is being employable
  18. Lifelong learning is about more than career success
  19. Continuous learning needs to be a habit
  20. Algorithms are also continuous learners

Read the complete post on https://blog.anderspink.com/2018/05/what-we-learned-from-reading-1000-articles-on-lifelong-learning/

What we’re learning from online education

Excellent conference by Daphne Koller (although 2012, a highly topical issue), from Coursera at www.TED.com that describes the advantages of online education (with subtitles in different languages).

We can identify the following sections of the video:

  • Accessibility of education worldwide
    (for instance, the cost of higher education tuition has been increasing at almost twice the rate, for a total of 559 percent since 1985. This makes education unaffordable for many people).
  • Modularity
    You can break up the material, for example, into these short, modular units of eight to 12 minutes, each of which represents a coherent concept. Students can traverse this material in different ways, depending on their background, their skills or their interests.
  • Retrieval practice
    As well as other forms of practice in many ways. For example, even our videos are not just videos. Every few minutes, the video pauses and the students get asked a question.
  • How do you grade the work of 100,000 students?
    The answer is, you need to use technology to do it for you. We can now grade a range of interesting types of homework, like multiple choice and short answer questions, we can also grade math, mathematical expressions as well as mathematical derivations. We can grade models, whether it’s financial models in a business class or physical models in a science or engineering class and we can grade some pretty sophisticated programming assignments.
    Now, we cannot yet grade the range of work that one needs for all courses. Specifically, what’s lacking is the kind of critical thinking work that is so essential in such disciplines as the humanities, the social sciences, business and others.
  • Global community
    of students collaborating with each other, e. g. with a forum of questions and answers, where some students raised their doubts and others answered them.
  • Personalization
    is made possible by the large amount of information collected.
  • Are universities obsolete?
    Mark Twain said,”College is a place where a professor’s lecture notes go straight to the students’ lecture notes, without passing through the brains of either”.
    I think it wasn’t the universities that I was criticizing, but the face-to-face classes. Plutarch said,”The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.” Perhaps we should spend less time filling the minds of students and more time igniting their creativity, imagination and problem-solving skills from genuine interaction with them.

What effect would it have on providing quality education to everyone in the world, free of charge?

  1. Education would be established as a fundamental right. Anyone in the world with the capacity and motivation, could develop the skills they need to autonomously improve their quality of life, that of their family and community.
  2. Enable lifelong learning. We would be able to learn something new every time we wanted, whether it’s just to expand our minds or it’s to change our lives.
  3. Enable a wave of innovation, because amazing talent can be found anywhere. Maybe the next Albert Einstein or the next Steve Jobs is living somewhere in a remote village in Africa. And if we could offer that person an education, they would be able to come up with the next big idea and make the world a better place for all of us.