In a world where inequality and injustice are rife, the need to empower people through the sharing of resources, knowledge and capacity is imperative for progress. Empowering people to effectively respond to the emerging challenges of globalization, marginalization, conflict, discrimination, poverty and inequality through the accessibility of knowledge, innovation and progress is one of the greatest challenges today. Multimedia-based electronic learning has become a tool used to provide access to education for multiple segments of the population, which otherwise would have little to no access to it. While eLearning is integrated into curricula early in the digital revolution, in many countries, it is just beginning to address the opportunities and challenges web-based learning may bring.
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How can research and knowledge contribute to an innovative way of sharing knowledge, innovation and progress accessible to all, not just to the privileged few?
This is some of the questions the International conference about digitalisation and e-learning will handle. The conference is June 24-26, 2019, in Kampala, Uganda. The conference has keynote speakers from different countries. In addition, the conference invites for the presentation of papers.
Professional development is a crucial component in nearly every modern proposal for educational improvement.
Whilst no one will dispute the value of increased numeracy and literacy skills in principle, relatively little attention has been paid thus far to the global dimension of skills development. International policy has also often failed to take into account the global context in which individual nations develop skills programmes for their citizens.
The concept of ‘global skills’, on the other hand, makes the relationship between globalisation and the skills required to cope with it explicitly, and is a key part of development education. It encompasses a broad and deep conceptualisation of skills, going beyond the numeracy, literacy and technical skills needed for work to include broader social and intercultural skills that both benefit the workplace and enable people to make a positive contribution to society. Key to the development of this broader range of skills is an appreciation of the social, economic and cultural context within which they are developed: a context which ‘recognises the nature of society, its cultural base, its rapidly changing economic forces and the challenges of dealing with the unknown’.
The concept addresses people’s need for skills to understand and critically engage with the impact of globalisation on their own lives and communities, to deal with uncertainty and insecurity, to be able to critically reflect on their own values base and to make a positive contribution to society. Economic development is often considered one of the key drivers in skill development, but in debates regarding ‘global skills’, it is vital to give adequate consideration to social as well as economic needs.
Global skills could therefore be said to encompass the following:
- An ability to communicate and work with people from a range of social and cultural backgrounds
- Critical thinking to question and reflect upon a range of social, economic and cultural influences on the learners’ life
- Openness to a range of voices and perspectives from around the world
- Willingness to engage in society, resolve problems and seek solutions
- Recognition and understanding of the impact of globalisation on people’s lives and the ability to make sense of a rapidly changing world
- Willingness to play an active role in society at local, national and international level.
*the text about “global skills” is from an article by Amy Skinner, Nicole Blum and Douglas Bourn: “Development Education and Education in International Development Policy: Raising Quality through Critical Pedagogy and Global Skills”, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, 2013
The picture on the top is from the conference hall at Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Uganda