Internet technology as a global connector [chapter]

2019 Digital Learning  
Internet technology as a global connector Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, an emerging new global economy has been created in part by the merger of powerful computing devices with the internet. Growth has accelerated with the fusion of information and communication technologies (ICTs), permanently altering how businesses, individuals, governments, and educational institutions interact. Whether we ignore, oppose, or support it, globalization is having a significant impact on the
more » ... cant impact on the roles and responsibilities of business, education, government, and society. In this chapter, we focus on education as a driver of economic development, highlighting growing interdependencies, and the consequences of globalization for individuals and institutions. What was viewed a generation ago as a controlled and gradual shift in knowledge management processes has increased from a trickle to a torrent of new communication devices, information sources, and internet connections. Generally referred to as globalization, these forces increase the speed at which goods and services -and more recently information, ideas, three-dimensional (3D) replicas, and people -flow across international borders. As a consequence, nearly every institution in modern societies (and many in rapidly developing ones) is flooded with new data sources, and technologies accessible on faster servers with wider internet bandwidths. These borderless mega-trends are reshaping how individuals and institutions engage in commercial, political, professional, and social relationships. The availability of cheaper internet connection devices, such as cellphones that work like mini-computers for distance education in developing countries, opens the door wider for educational applications in populations to whom access was formerly closed (Porter et al., 2016). The terms "digital learning," "e-learning," "virtual learning," and "distance learning" are used interchangeably throughout this book and refer to the same basic concept: "a method of learning in which the learner is physically separated from the teacher and the institution sponsoring the instruction" (Mielke, 1999).
doi:10.4337/9781788979467.00008 fatcat:ivwzrtp3sva2vmkmcthkdc4ue4