Global Distance Education Initiative Term Paper

distance learning affect global education?

A persistent and huge global clamor for learning is being perceived which is not possible to be fulfilled by the conventional organizations of higher education. There is a yawning gap due to strong economic factors and technological change. An enhanced fraction of jobs necessitates sophisticated education and sustained quick variation will facilitate life-long learning necessary for both employers and employees. (Distance Learning in America: How Institutions and Corporations are Stimulating Growth) Moreover, online education does not indicate less learning. It is quite apparent that some learners being imparted with online education are seen to perform even better in examinations in comparison to their on-ground classroom contemporaries. (Distance Education: Will Global Learning Get Online?)

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Distance education has quite successfully educated the people that are geographically separated and whose time constraints prevent their enrolment in regular classes. Distance education also extends an ideal solution for professionals who are desirous of concentrating their expertise through instruction from higher education institutions. It facilitates them to maximize the training output at the same time minimizing the cost and time associated with ongoing education. (Global Distance Education Initiative: Principles and Practices of International Distance Education) the online educational institutions encourage global education by such methods that include international class discourses and concerns of curriculum in their programs. These are quite admired by the students. (the effect of distance learning on tertiary education in the pacific region: A discussion article) Distance education is relying commonly upon the printed materials since the inception of the idea of correspondence studies. Holmberg opined that the most significant mode of distance education till now is the printed word. Emergence of the new technologies like the computer and WWW.hassignificantly enhanced the alternatives in distance education. (Global Distance Education Initiative: Principles and Practices of International Distance Education)

Judicious acquisition of information by the children and adults globally through the paradigms of online and other distance education models and that too with their own skills and abilities is no more a theoretical dream but an apparent reality within our perceptions. 3 the current revolution in instructional technology provides students with the access to quality educational resources in foreign nations. (Global Distance Education Initiative: Principles and Practices of International Distance Education) However, there are a number of risks involved in the successful development of access to global distance education and hazards if it is not successful, as well as new threats may occur that will be created if global access is successful. These catastrophes incorporate knowledge exclusion, oppressive autocrats, cultural infringements, and reduction in the quality of education. (Distance Education: Will Global Learning Get Online?)

Students have their own learning patterns and learn more efficiently when the mode of teaching reconciles with their learning style. Moreover, the learning styles of the students to a great extent are influenced by the context in which they transpire. These appropriate differences seems to be more enhanced with the students in different countries, since each country has its unique cultural patterns inclusive of language, behavior, beliefs, principles and the type of school systems. There are quite significant variations as perceived by Elliot, Scott, Jensen and McDonough in respect of the communication principles and observations of verbal behavior among cultural groups. To illustrate, in their analysis of intercultural communications among Koreans and Americans, they identified that the Western cultures are inclined to value highly verbal people more than the Eastern cultures. The Korean individuals engaged in interaction within the American culture, identified to be less verbal, are prospectively considered to be at a social disadvantage. In such a way most spoken Korean individuals, those are perceived pessimistically within their national culture are prone to be perceived more positively when operating within the American culture. This has several inferences in respect of distance education associating the American teachers and Korean students. Thus for students to reap the maximum benefit from the distance education more particularly over the cultural obstacles, these elements are to be taken into account prior to designing of the courses. (Global Distance Education Initiative: Principles and Practices of International Distance Education)

To supplement, only one in 20% of people worldwide are online and most of those about 60% reside in North America having only five percent of global population. Only 14 million telephone lines exist in the whole of Africa which is quite lesser than that exists in Manhattan or Tokyo. It is not possible in case of a particular agency or nation to meet the huge costs of extending universal Internet access. However, most of the organizations, companies, and individuals are engaged in devising the methods to bridge the gap one connection at a time through targeted and cost-effective efforts. Devoid of electricity and phone lines, the attempt of Bernard Krisher, a 69-year-old former Newsweek Journalist to extend the scope of online education facilities to one of the poorest villages in Cambodia is quite appreciable. Moreover, in 1996, the Network for Democracy unleashed the National Telecottage Program in Hungary being implemented under a $400,000 grant from USAID. The program could formulate 14 tele-cottages over the rural regions of Hungary extending equitable opportunity for all till the end of 1997. In Ukraine only less than five percent of the total population has Internet Access and the average monthly income is quite lesser than the $50. However, the Golden Telecom Business Solutions found it worthwhile to invest more than $20 million to spend on its fiber optic cable network and data services to each of the 26 regions throughout the country. (Distance Education: Will Global Learning Get Online?)

Since it is a fact that knowledge is power, some authoritarian administration are quite bound to feel risky by an educated and empowered public. As per the human rights organization the Freedom House, at least 20 countries, like Myanmar, Cuba, North Korea and Iraq mostly confine the accessibility of their citizens to the Internet. The Chinese government has been passionately violent in criticizing the online access and media liberties. However, distance education essentially is not required to be online so as to be efficient. The compact discs compatible to computers are capable of containing large amounts of data such as entire encyclopedias and course materials. (Distance Education: Will Global Learning Get Online?)

To conclude, in order to make sure the availability of the prospects of distance education to extend beyond the economic limits, it is essential to compile, mobilize and organize the international donor efforts: government safeguard through international agencies like the United Nations, the Group of 8, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank, the World Bank, the British Know-How Fund; the private individuals and projects such as the United Way International, the Soros Foundation, CS Mott foundation, Bill Gates, Steve Case, Michael Saylor; university and foundation scholarships; as well as the telecommunication industry investment in infrastructure development. The economics of global distance education is quite justifiable in terms of long-term vision and social perspective.


Forster, Peter. The effect of distance learning on tertiary education in the pacific region: A discussion article. Retrieved at Accessed on 24 December, 2004

Lee, Inkyung; Do, Joonho. Global Distance Education Initiative: Principles and Practices of International Distance Education. Occasional Paper 97-01. Institute for Public Policy and Social Research Michigan State University. October 1997. Retrieved at Accessed on 24 December, 2004

Strehle, Glenn P. Distance Learning in America: How Institutions and Corporations are Stimulating Growth. September 26, 2000. Retrieved at Accessed on 24 December, 2004

Van Hook, Steven R. Distance Education: Will Global Learning Get Online? Jones International University. August 26, 2000. Retrieved at Accessed on 24 December, 2004

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