A week ago, I gave a lecture at An-Najah National University, in Nablus, Palestine. It was an online session with around 30 PhD candidates in the Programme of Learning & Teaching, at the Faculty of Education. The Dean, my friend Prof. Saida Affouneh is doing a great job with the design and implementation of this pioneer programme in the country. We co-teach a course about advanced readings on the programme topics. The candidates meet up once a week, either face-to-face or online, to reflect on previous readings that will provide some insights to be posted in various fora. It is an intensive course, with weekly tasks and lessons, and two general assignments.
In this context, we had a discussion about globalisation. What else, right?: A Spanish teacher, giving a lecture from Belgium with students in Palestine, from all over the country. We also work with other professor from UK, and we put examples from South-Africa, México, El Salvador, the Balkans, Indonesia and other places. Two hours before I was teaching in Medellín, and the next day in Beijing. No doubt that this possibility to work with multiple groups from diverse cities, all over the world, using online channels and settings, is a privilege. We can learn, work and teach from the best, no matter where they are. It is a global approach that takes advantage of this hyper-connected society. However, we must draw a line between globalisation and internationalisation.
…global learning is not a global user experience, like in any of those vendors, but an experience based on the internationalised and diverse profiles that a worldwide approach can bring in.
Being international, taking a number of countries, cultures and languages to discuss to one another, and work together is a beautiful thing. To address the same topic, brand and speech, no matter the country you are based on, or with little adaptation, makes globalisation a different game. If we take the big firms, global like, Zara, McDonald’s or Nike, they provide the same experience, no matter the location. That global approach provides a number of benefits, of course, for a user experience. However, if that user is a learner in an academic context, the very same approach suffocates the diversity of a multi-sourced group. In doing so, global learning is not a global user experience, like in any of those vendors, but an experience based on the internationalised and diverse profiles that a worldwide approach can bring in.
March 14th, 2020