3 Ways eLearning Can Promote A Global Community

3 Ways eLearning Can Promote A Global Community
Summary: Electronic learning is revolutionizing education as we know it, but it can also be used to fight poverty and overcome cultural and linguistic barriers as we move towards a global community.

How eLearning Can Promote A Global Community

Individuals and countries all over the world are more connected than ever. The internet has given us the ability to build “electronic relationships” with people and companies that we’ve never met before. We are seeing more and more internet companies rise and enter the global market (Amazon from America, Spotify from Sweden, Alibaba from China, and Rakuten from Japan, to name a few), and with the expansion of the global market we’ve seen an enormous growth in the eLearning industry.

According to a recent report, 78% of associations purportedly utilize a Learning Management System, and by 2020 the eLearning market is anticipated to be worth $37.6 billion. As technological and economic developments bring an unprecedented clash of cultures, electronic learning will play a pivotal role in helping to promote not only a global market, but a global community. Here are 3 important ways that eLearning should be used to prepare the world for that global community.

1. Improving Education Opportunities Worldwide

The benefits that we’re seeing from eLearning can be extended to all countries despite differences in socioeconomics or governmental systems. eLearning can be used to allow the impoverished to inexpensively gain access to a quality education and to enable career advancements that otherwise would not have been possible.

65.6 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide at the end of 2016 as a result of war and natural disasters. Many of these refugees end up in foreign countries, in desperate conditions, and with no knowledge of the local language.

eLearning could very well be a part of the long-term solution to helping many of these victims. Some groups have already responded to various refugee crises by using eLearning to help refugees get back onto their feet, educate themselves, and begin their journey toward financial independence.

Why should a rich country help a developing country to get knowledge through eLearning?” says English teacher Adilson Pinto. “Well, and this is of course a personal opinion: Universal imbalance can only be a bad thing. Education is not a race nor a competition. Education is something very, very good; it promotes harmony among humanity, international and personal financial prosperity.

2. Overcoming Cultural Barriers

The ultimate purpose of eLearning is to educate, and cultural awareness is an essential part of that education. In a time of escalating political tensions, eLearning tools can promote cultural diversity, compassion and understanding.

As educators and managers, be selective in the eLearning tools that you use. Ask yourself: How does this tool help overcome cultural misconceptions? How does it help form accurate perceptions of the world outside your borders? How does it help my classroom tap into the collective knowledge of the global community?

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s BLOSSOMS program is a good example of this. The program allows experts from all over the world to work closely with the MIT BLOSSOMS Team to create culturally rich STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) content - for high school teachers and students, which educators can then access for free.

One of the main goals of BLOSSOMS that the founders identified is to “develop in students a cultural awareness, sensitivity, and appreciation across all cultures of our planet. To let them see and experience learning from content experts who may look and speak differently from them.”

Cultural enrichment and breaking of stereotypes are among its impacts”, explains MIT Professor Richard Larson. “They learn introductory computer programming from a traditionally dressed female Pakistani student, who develops five algorithms while making a mango shake in a kitchen! They learn about math factorials from a Malaysian family going on a holiday trip. They learn a new application of the Pythagorean Theorem while assisting a juice seller in the streets of Amman, Jordan.

3. Overcoming Language Barriers

Multilingualism will play a significant role in developing a global community. Unfortunately students can struggle to learn a language in traditional classroom settings because they are completely isolated from the culture of the language. Learning can feel unnatural and retention is low. Immersion programs, despite their success, can be expensive and difficult to reproduce.

With eLearning, however, we can bring immersion experiences directly to mobile devices—connecting people and cultures that would otherwise never meet. eLearning tools can help overcome language barriers for the struggling student, the reallocated worker, or the impoverished refugee.

A good example of this is an app developed by a global education technology company called Wordoor Technology. Pop On is a social language learning tool that allows you to instantly connect with native speakers from all over the world. It takes advantage of “just in time learning” so that language learners can have lessons at their own convenience rather than having to adhere to a set classroom schedule.

The app has an on-demand workforce that allows anyone to sign up to be a “ChatPal”. A ChatPal can help you learn the language and give you a virtual “immersion” experience into their native culture. For those who are starting from ground zero, Pop On has an AI translator that instantly removes language barriers.

Final Word

The ultimate goal of eLearning is to educate, and that is a worthy goal. But in the process, let’s use these eLearning tools to provide an education that fosters cultural understanding and global awareness. How we choose to use electronic learning can certainly touch the lives of millions of students individually. Yet it could also very well positively affect the entire world in many ways—both large and small—as individuals and nations better themselves through a greater understanding of the world around them.