Friday, February 08, 2008

Teachers in the future could live anywhere in the world

I just read an article from the Startribune online (free registration) - "Tutoring assistance is just a click - and a world - away" A story about a company in India that is making headway into the US in the "after school tutoring market" Mode of delivery: virtual. Their prices: cheaper than their North American counterparts and with the time change - the evening in North America is the morning in India with the beginning of a new workday. Parents interviewed in the article did not seem to care where the tutors were physically located - they wanted results and have seen this with their childrens marks go up.

A lot of money and time is spent around the world on education standards, teacher training, teacher certification and curriculum development....what impact will this trend of global online tutoring have on mainstream education?

In Canada alone, a teacher moving from one province to another has to have their certification processed and approved by the individual provinces, as each are distinctly different.

But should this be an issue?

Many companies now use call centres from around the world. You could be ordering a pizza and be calling a call centre half way around the world.

In the digital context, do global boundaries matter as much anymore? In the 21st century economy, our students will need to know how to look beyond physical borders to build and engage in business.

Should this be modelled in the school communities? There are already many schools around the world that deliver part or whole programs online. The reduced costs of video conferencing and other online collaborative tools such as Adobe Connect, NetMeeting, etc... have made it possible for schools to purchase and use these tools in their school community. The majority of 21st century students are familiar with online communities and engagement.....fewer educators are. There seems to be confusion on how this new communication stream should/could be incorporated into the curriculum.

Should education communities be proactive instead of reactive and start to look at developing new global education models?

What will be the benefits for the teaching and learning communities if the teaching community also includes virtual staff from around the world?

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