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For All Worldwide, A Holistic View

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Volume I - Chapter Two

Last updated Mar. 18, 2008


Learning networks resemble a virtual town, an open community in which each learner uses the network's resources as needed...Learning networks can help transform the university into a learning organization and extend its reach across space. ---John Seely Brown

The history of technology shows that socio-technological systems, rather than technological systems, will determine the future of higher education… (which) is as difficult to fathom and predict as changes in social and political systems. –Thomas Hughes

 Think big!  --Howard Rheingold  "One must think about the technology that will be available in 10 or 20 years, technology that will be thousands of times more powerful as well as thousands of times cheaper." Duderstadt 2005.

Leadership is crucial. <http://www.ila-net.org/Communities/index.htm>.  

Teaching must stop being a solo sport and become a community-based activity. --Herbert Simon   

How can human society use the Internet and forthcoming powerful technologies--and free online courses--to provide essential education, job retraining  and health care for everyone on the planet?  (3.10) There still are serious technology limitations that will be discussed in another chapter. Meanwhile the crucial issues are political and financial, and  about some sort of administrative structure for setting standards and developing global-scale agreement. . A first question is: how can the Internet be used to begin the process of essential planning, including decisions about possible types of structure and organization  needed to plan and direct the process? Can existing--often overly bureaucratic--educational organizations be networked to do the job? The `International Resource Group' of the National University Telecommunications Network has been asking if existing systems throughout the world need direction, support and encouragement in governing global learning efforts. Or is a new global planning system needed?

First, perhaps we need to think about overcoming the barriers, such as the `social hurricanes' and problems looked at in the last chapter.  It would be easier to replace buildings, as we will discuss in 3.4. So hurricane is not an adequate metaphor. Perhaps we should speak of `cultural termites’ that are undermining the foundations of organizational structures for the preservation, transmission and creation of knowledge. Or perhaps the `storm’—Duderstadt speaks of--might better be described as a flood that is washing away foundations of academia that appeared to be solid.  Educause reported on some first waves of  those `floodwaters,' that `are beginning to transform how people learn, such as educational blogging, mobile learning, `wikis' to provide learning everywhere  and new tools that `delight' and develop creative thinking as they instruct. That will be discussed here in later chapters.'

Some bureaucrats scorn the idea of providing `education for all' until humanity can provide conventional schools and qualified teachers for every neighborhood in the world. One online (DEOS) debate insisted  that "education in any format, in any language or set of languages, delivered by any means, can and will only reach a fraction of the people who have the ability to access it."  A high percentage of earth's six billion people, it was asserted,  have no ability to access technology-based education, and "reaching the have-nots is the really tough part." Another, in reply said that "If you mean a university-quality, individually delivered and mentored education, you are probably right" with today's technology. But he described forthcoming technologies (see 1.3) that can enable "hundreds of thousands of asynchronous learning courses,  in every language of the world" and "see learners forming dynamic consuming communities" as communication capacity becomes available and inexpensive." (See Peru experiment in 3.7.

Brad Jenson suggested a `Voice-of-America style initiative 'Low Earth Orbit satellites' to provide worldwide Internet access across all national boundaries, with low cost wireless interfaces with no connection charge. There might be a learner-centric search engine and directory. Many basic courses might be free, some cheap with thousands of options. "The Internet is already evolving in this direction with blogging, etc. It's beginning to self-organize." David Cavallo of the MIT Media Center (2002) was concerned that "the latent potential of the world population  has been grossly underestimated as a result of prevailing mindsets that limit the design of interventions to improve the evolution of the global learning environment." One suggestion: Education  connecting North America, Russia, China, Korea and Netherlands with Advanced Network Services < http://www.gloriad.org/>  This pioneering project includes high quality video conferences, disaster alerts, cooperation in major research, facilitating distance leaning and interconnecting of students in education at all levels.

Chapters of this volume will ask how `global virtual `intelligent' communities of lifelong and advanced learning' can be created and their quality improved by the use of emerging powerful new technologies. We begin with the thesis that a global virtual education system in cyberspace is now appearing  through the initiative of students, faculty, researchers and planners. A beginning is seen in a vast number of experiments and efforts to develop more effective technologies and electronic modules and packages for distance learning and to bring rich resources into on campus courses and research projects. Unfortunately there is too little coordination and global planning . which raises the question of administration and sources of leadership. Or do we anticipate that things will just grow in an ecological human system? One dream worth exploring might be seen in `Second Life,' <http://secondlife.com> where over nine million people do all kinds of things in a virtual world they help created. Similarly there might be a "universal university" simulated community in which every student on earth might meet and do projects together.

Perhaps those who meet to plan new models for a `global learning system' need to replace tired formal meeting styles with new kinds of online meetings where the quality of planning is technologically improved: See 3.10 and  <www.uia.org/uiadocs/ignorant.htm> and <www.haven.net/haven/faq.htm>. Note for example: <www.tappedin.org> And lets assume a whole systems approach:  Instead of speaking of an information society' or a `knowledge-based society,' Resnik says that our goal should be a `creative society,' the quality of innovation that has been stimulated by Internet and Web. Brown (2001) says that "information is usually considered independent of any particular individual," as it can be looked up in a book or online, and knowledge is associated with a knower, what is known for example by a scientist. One can have a great deal of information and not know how to use it well. 

Before we report some background experience in this chapter, some would propose that we ask what might be learned from the history of `higher'  education. If the future is likely to be best researched in universities, is there something to be learned from (Husen 1994) four higher education models that have been widely copied around the world: the Humboldtian research university (Germany), the British `Oxbridge' tutor model,  the French `grandes ecoles, and the University of Chicago model as developed by Hutchins. Could each suggest ideas for a global virtual model for lifelong learning? Could these  various types of existing meta-universities provide clues for future global planning and governance of a global networking system?. What kind of local, regional, national and global administration is needed for a lifelong global system? For example, who is to govern the technology? We cannot yet predict what it will be, but it might probably involve wireless Internet connections and a network of space satellites dedicated exclusively to education. Also, as cable television expands from hundreds to thousands of channels perhaps hundreds can carry two-way, interactive specialized education to the planet. There may be a network, or networks, of neighborhood electronic learning centers, networks of universities and schools, online electronic textbooks and course modules and much more. (See in 3.8.) So this chapter begins to raise questions about administration, coordination and planning  for virtual lifelong learning, whatever model (chapters 1.6 to 1.10) or combinations of models emerging in distance  learning and online open universities? What can best make education for everyone in the world. What can we learn from existing efforts, including some ideas reported in this chapter? We do not yet know what new designs for planning and administration are needed or who will design them--partly because we do not yet know what powerful new technologies will enable in the next two decades , so we need much more experimentation and research. See: Devlin 2001)  

Can we rebuild—if only in virtual space—new forms of institution and administration that can empower lifelong learning on a global scale, and that does not limit essential transformation of learning? Despite the dangers, which the social hurricanes bring into present education, don't forthcoming powerful technologies also offer solutions and new opportunities? When we speak of administration, planning  and organization we are concerned with far more than technology for a  business office, faculty recruitment and training and other administrative work. Effective technologies are improving the quality of those tasks; but that must be under girded with new insights from cognition studies and so forth. Administration and institutionalization are only some foundations for `learning communities that must empower collective memory, collective intelligence, collective action, collective imagination, collective peer review and collective public service. Academia has not yet restructured its global aspects, to bring essential education to everyone in developing nations also.
 As Rheingold says: Think big!

Where and how can a search begin for needed larger holistic blueprints and architectures for new institutional and therefore also administrative structures (this chapter); and perhaps more important for a teaching/learning structure (volume III here), for a research structure (Volume II here) and for a public service structure , at least in `virtual space?’ Will this require a grand new design for global lifelong education? `Make no small plans, it has been said, `for they have no power to move minds.’ Berners-Lee, who gets credit for the World Wide Web, has said: that the `global village idea' remind us that the world is now a unit of shared responsibility. Maybe as `computer hacking' graduate students initiated many of the enabling technologies, so also hacking students (in the old meaning of the word as experimentation) will help develop the virtual structures for global education?

Here--in the hope that they can stimulate thinking--is a discussion of some ideas and  models from brainstorming for global lifelong learning administration and planning. To the extent that it centers in universities, a network of campuses could create learning communities for the needs and interests of  individual learners built around their talents and hoped for roles in society. This could be a market-oriented model in which many schools and business corporations offer courses in perhaps a more collaborative way, It might be an `ecological model' for a consortium of research universities that would seek to solve humanities major problems, or a research and development model in renewed cooperation with the private sector. (Cole 1884). It might be;a `bottom-up' model that begins with the needs of neighborhood and regions; a leadership development model that builds skills learning around professional development, with the understanding that many more kinds of jobs might be conceived as valued professions.  

Whatever the model, the `global village’ idea is not helpful enough. Instead, we ought to envisage the venue for global lifelong education as a `largely unplanned city’ with all of the problems of urban sprawl, depersonalization, environments not healthy for humans, difficult often unmanageable problems and much more. Could new and larger scale research discover ways to create a grand design for a worldwide, human-centered learning system and new `institutional’ structures for the space age? (3.8) Can planners-- in virtual space--find ways to create varied types of `learning communities’ that are human-centered, not just institutional? In the next chapter—on technology—we will discuss enlarged dimensions of human/machine collaboration for the accomplishment of all of these tasks.

A symposium on the future of higher education was held at Aspen, Colorado in September 2000. Thomas Hughes, author of Rescuing Prometheus, speaking about managing the creation of large technological systems, warned that “those making predictions about the future of higher education are doing so with incomplete knowledge.” (Hughes 2001) The history of how technologies have transformed social systems in the past can suggest “the likely future of technology-enabled learning. The Internet and related technologies may indeed generate a socio-technological revolution “with cascading effects.” Yet it most likely will not be what we expect and need, just as also the results of the second industrial revolution have not been as expected, often because of entrenched forces against needed change, but more often because future predictions were built on assumptions and values from the past...and that do not take adequately into account what changes will come as, for example, cheap cell phones access the Internet with computer power, streaming video and much more not yet imagined but now is the time to plan what needs to be done.

For example, Hughes said, many (unfortunately?) assume that `technology-enabled' learning will take on “corporation management style.” He illustrated the problem by the experience of Daimler, the German engineer who got the idea of automobiles, but who made the mistake of placing his engines “on familiar platforms, bicycles and former horse drawn carriages.” So too, Hughes warned, most current anticipations of future developments in technology based learning are only “slight improvements in existing educational practices. For example, most `distance education' is so far a carry over from traditional classroom teaching.” History would suggest that “radical breakthrough inventions” will bring a sharp break with past practice” but we note that many administrations--especially education bureaucrats--still tend to look for ways to do the same old things (i.e., lectures) with new technologies. Former college president Steve Eskow suggested, rather than the image of the existing university, "for mass education around the world," education planners might better consider starting with "the metaphor of the library" where books have provided self-education for millions of learners who could not attend a `class.'  There can be millions of learners working with online materials and they could be supported, he says, by 'librarians' to form groups for conversation, mutual learning and support. Automated tutors could be supplemented with online tutors, available for a fee..  

Former University President Duderstadt (2000) said that it is the collective responsibility of scholars, intellectuals, and leaders to develop a strategic framework capable of understanding and shaping the impact that extraordinary technologies will have on higher education institutions. We may need, he says, “to reconstruct the paradigm of the university…even to re-invent it.” Did he groan as he suggested that perhaps now just as we have HMO’s (Health Maintenance Organizations) there also may have to be EMO’s (Education Maintenance Organizations) that would contract to supply whatever education is needed across a lifetime? Perhaps it would broker educational services; if it is not too late, if new styles of university can rise to meet the challenges. The terms `market' and `customer' (why not just `learner') do not seem appropriate for education. Why not invent new terms, as medical researchers do, for efforts to create a different program for each unique learner for all age levels?

As the previous chapter listed some hurricane forces driving change, we now must confront some of the barriers to transformation of higher education. One, for example, is the resistance of present staff, of politicians and financial supporters and of parents and alumni who have powerful vested interests in the current systems. In using transformational technologies to cope with the social hurricanes, present administrators and staff often do not understand new possibilities, and are frustrated by the technology glut, the inadequate performance of many existing technologies, the lack of agreed-upon standards, the limitations of government laws and regulations, security issues, the cost in money and uncertainty in a time of declining budget resources from taxes,, and inadequate information on the possibilities of technologies that are going to enable and demand changes in the next few decades. One can find continuing discussion of such problems in online exchanges and the archives of conferences, such as DEOS from Pennsylvania State University, and on commercial sites such as <www.futureu.com>

A principle barrier, and illustration of what Hughes said, may be seen in current efforts to create administrative and institutional structures for `virtual space’ that, as in the historic case of Daimler, also seek to put new engines on the wagon-like platforms inherited from the past. In any case we value the great tradition and must find ways to guard its values. (Levine  1993)


No adequate models for a global learning system--and research system--yet exist, yet some may be worth examining for new ideas. Levine (2000), president of Teacher’s College at Columbia University, suggested that “education providers will become even more numerous and more diverse.” Also, he then foresaw “ “new brand names and a new hierarchy of quality” in three future types of universities: (a) the traditional residential institutions, (b) the new usually commercial virtual universities, and (c ) the combinations of the two, those universities that combine online and resident education. As we move towards a global learning system, however, the more fundamental shift may be in learning style and method as education becomes more lifelong and  individualized (3.3) as “students come from diverse backgrounds and have a widening variety of educational needs. They will, Levine said, be able to choose from “a multitude of knowledge providers for the form of instruction and courses most consistent with how he or she learns.” The shift from `teaching’ to `learning’ will end the assembly line process in which requirements push learners through the same sequence of courses. New learning models as well as new institutional models will be needed.

Human society increasingly needs for all learners--including teachers—to keep learning, growing, and changing. Presumably academia keeps growing, changing. So we can assume that colleges and universities will continue to be the center of a `global learning system can gradually evolve into what they should become.) Theoretically it is the faculty that accomplishes change in universities, but faculties too have been resistant; for example, to proposals for more democracy, if it means that students are to be equal partners in learning and change. Many shudder at the possibility that faculty are going to lose some status and control as learners take charge of their own education, essentially teaching themselves, many of them at a distance. (3.6) In many other areas of society, hierarchical military type top-down governance is sometimes being radically changed. Does  education tradition require that its institutions be static, or could some possibly—in a networking information age—operate on a bottom-up administrative model, perhaps even something like consumer cooperatives? (Turnbull 2001.)

Some possible maps and architectures for lifelong education in virtual space and cyberspace are being proposed--unfortunately most focusing on technology used to adapt existing procedures rather than transformational ones.

(1) One might center initiative for global lifelong education in a consortium of huge `meta-universities’ such as the 200,000-student British Open University. Open University in 2000 sought partnerships with USA universities to offer joint courses and then closed that project down. The emerging African Virtual University is also but one of many. Such institutions are for the most part expanding existing structures, yet may become transformational if they link to neighborhood or other face-to-face local support systems? 

(2) Another scenario calls for negotiated contracts and coordination agreements among the multitude of institutions now conducting current types of electronic distance learning. In this chapter we will describe several such efforts. See CONAHEC. <http://www.conahec.org/conahec/index.jsp>.

(3) A third approach, now dominant, follows a market system approach, with many institutions competing by putting online courses that may be financially profitable or serve present institutional objectives. There are many unilateral experiments. The Tufts University Global Management System brought online--in a digital image library--much of the university’s Medical School Curriculum, “allowing students to study and review a vast amount of course material that in the past was available only in professor’s slide carousels and lecture notes. M.I.T in 2001 started to put its entire curriculum online where it can be available (not for credit) to non-resident learners.

Hughes (2001) saw a gap between the technologists and traditional academia. Many technologists focus first on developing the global  technology system—to explore possibilities and see where they may lead; technology that could serve diverse kinds of needs and institutions in varied and flexible ways. However, others have suggested that much use of information technology is motivated by fear--for example of competition and change--rather than by vision. (See 3.4.1) Some of that fear may rightly result from the greed, favoritism, careless administration and graft in present higher education systems that is documented by former Oklahoma State University president, John R. Campbell (2000), in his book Dry Rot in the Ivory Tower. We do not yet know what is going to be possible with tens of thousands of interconnected supercomputers. Perhaps such problems can automatically be revealed by a system of `checks-and-balances' where software embedded criteria sense possible, security on the net, graft, cheating and other administrative problems.

Those not on the technical side of the divide, the educators who look favorably on the idea of a radically transformed lifelong system, already are coming to terms with the idea of individualized education. For example, Peter Senge of M.I.T.--who has written on the art and practice of learning organizations--asks for personal mastery, mental models, team teaching and a shared vision, has emphasized the need for systems thinking as another step towards the creation of learning organizations. Today learners live in a world that is very different than it was a decade ago, and it is likely to have already re-created itself many times. How often will higher education have also re-created itself? McCain and Jukes (2001) pointed out that “education is increasingly disconnected from the rest of the world.” A transformation system’s architecture might exist in virtual space above the existing educational institutions and their slow moving structures but, alas, with the same old types of administration and institutions? (See 1.2.3, 1.2.4) There are and will be many other scenarios or blueprints, but educators first need a global vision as a basis for deciding what to do together in virtual/cyberspace. And are any of the administrative structures listed below adequate for a global-scale system to accomplish a great vision?


What kind of global system and administration can coordinate and regulate electronic courses and electronic teaching packages offered online via cable, wireless and satellite or digital radio. In any case, forthcoming interactive, participatory distance learning on thousand-channel, interactive Digital TV with streaming video is one of the places where global administrative thinking might change. Who is to set standards and enforce them. especially when nations and universities and other educational institutions disagree? What technology is to be used and how can it be shared? Who is to arbitrate and decide on such matters as degrees, skills certification and exchange of course credits? Also, what kind of administration and funding can a worldwide virtual lifelong education system have if it involves many governments, private colleges, for-profit institutions and the teaching programs of business corporations? Some even dream that all universities will fuse ultimately into one. Other already proposed governance models include: (1) The creation of new organizations—virtual world­wide structures—especially to administer international electronic education; (2) for-profit corporations administering courses in cooperation with educational agencies; (3) Some propose the creation of some sort of UN or international agency to set standards and provide administration for a global education system. In passing, we should look at several deliberate efforts to create a global administrative system. As such efforts are examined, it is tempting to conclude that many if not all of these alternatives will remain part of the “kludge” of networks that may govern global electronic education for decades. Unfortunately, governance may be determined by the control of funding rather than on the basis of principle and adequate goals for global learning (1.2.8) Also, which of the following rather traditional administrative models are really transformational? Would they help create an enlarged global academia or learning communities that are more than an online class?

1.2.3   GOVERNANCE IN THE NTU: ONE EARLY MODEL. <http://www.ntu.edu/index.asp>.

The idea of a totally new global-scale institution--with its own board and staff-- that would draw on the resources of many universities was the National Technological University, founded in 1986. By 1991 it was  a consortium of forty major schools of engineering with the active collaboration of the business corporations that employed them. It was a private, non­profit corporation. its governing Board of Trustees consisting primarily of industrial executives. Its headquarters staff  managed a complex network, both technological and human, that linked forty universities with more than 325 sites It was highly commended as an example of cooperation among government, university, and business corporations, which suggests to many a pattern that the governance of the emerging international university might take. The curriculum, with courses he curriculum was developed by the faculty representatives in each discipline. Much of the work of faculties and committees was  done online. NTU preferred to have its success judged by “the magnitude of its services to students.” Generally NTU could select the best courses from major engineering schools to offer them where needed by engineers. When offered to developing countries many found these advanced courses too difficult for their students. Perhaps it—and the COL below---suggests components for a virtual global administrative structure. NTU  was in 2002 purchased by Sylvan Learning Systems..

1.2.4   COMMONWEALTH OF LEARNING <http://www.col.org/colweb/site>.

The idea of bringing national governments together in a global administrative system can be seen in the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), a cooperative administrative arrangement between—and a sharing of courses among—open university and other distance education programs in countries that belong to what once as called the British Commonwealth. It's goal was to “foster a network—not an institution—to share expertise” (Lundin 1988). It has worked to make it possible for “any learner, anywhere in the Commonwealth [to take] any distance teaching programme from any bona fide college or university in the Common­wealth.” This implied going “beyond the narrow concept of physical movement of students from one country to another into a much wider concept of the mobility of ideas, knowledge, and learning...to free knowledge from national boundaries and ideological confines and to share it through an ambitious exchange of educational resources” (Lundin 1988). The global expansion of communication channels can make this possible. These countries began to create something like a `consumer cooperative' to coordinate existing resources, to strengthen them, and to expand international electronic education through COL auspices. The COL has not limited its programs to higher education only, but it has drawn on the resources and experience of open learning institutions such as the Open Polytechnic (New Zealand) and the Open Learning Agency (Canada). Focusing as it has on human resource development, especially for `Third World nations,' the COL has provided more than a `second chance,’ but often the only chance for many students to obtain high-quality education and training.  It has built upon extensive experience., such as that of those in the South Pacific and West Indies, “which employ satellite-derived telecommunication systems as a fundamental part of their programmes across...oceans.” (Commonwealth of Learning 1990). For example, the University of the South Pacific early provided, via satellite, distance students with quality courses at a third or less of the cost to on-campus students and the success rate is high .On resources: <http://www.colfinder.org/public/index.jsp>.

The Commonwealth of Learning’s 2001-2004 three year plan foresaw new technologies and pedagogies offering solutions for closing the gap between the demand for, and supply of education, thus accomplishing global objectives in literacy, basic education, technical/vocational education, teacher training, and continuing and professional education. The plan outlined four roles for COL: to be a catalyst for collaboration, a resource for training (in distance learning), a capacity builder (for human development), and an information/knowledge provider. The `Commonwealth Educational Media Centre’ for Asia, located in New Delhi, sought `to ensure greater responsiveness to the needs of the Asian region.'  Unfortunately the COL is limited to countries within the commonwealth and has so far lacked the support and funding to undertake a massive effort, for example,  in Africa. Perhaps, though, It can be seen as a step in planning for transformational lifelong global education. However, the COL has so far not been interested in enlarging to include all of the world.


Another effort to enlist national governments, in order to  bring some institutional structure into emerging worldwide electronic education was the `University of the World' (UW) project, incorporated in California. It was an effort to bring together—in every nation—academia, government and business for planning, in ways that might make it possible to overcome some of the intransigent forces of government and education bureaucracies.  The UW began with an endorsement by the U.S. Department of State that was sent to most countries, inviting all governments to establish national councils of the UW that would bring together and give representation to all of the governmental and private agencies in that nation that were or should be involved in an international electronic exchange of educational resources. That seemed a logical approach to global governance and and for planning. The UW was to be a `global umbrella,’ covering the academic activities of the nations, a unique international coalition of scholars and students, and nongovernmental, nonpolitical, nonprofit. It was “designed to employ a total systems approach to facilitate, integrate, and implement a range of educational and research activities using electronic media in various countries” (UW 1991). It proposed an electronic style of administration: “…electronic network connections (would) link University of the World offices in each country with every other national office and the Central Office.” It was hoped that this network would function like a central nervous system to unite and integrate all the components of the UW globally. It planned to “involve various media including telephone, fax, telex, cable, compact disk, videodisc, satellite, computer network, radio, packet radio, video and ultimately two-way interactive video.”  The UW did not succeed, perhaps because it was premature, perhaps also because it was a top-down approach, beginning with governments and official educational agencies of the participating nations. Major governments did not join in providing funding.


Where the University of the World project began `top down,’ a `bottom up’ effort was initiated by Takeshi Utsumi who began with demonstrations of the potential of technology to enlist people who might share his large vision of a global education system to support universal peace. Its strength has been its continuing to experiment with and evaluate the latest technologies  That effort led to an experimental Global University System approach, initiated in August/September 1999 at a conference at the University of Tampere, Finland, that was funded by major international organizations. This project proposed a low cost wide bandwidth system, and new instruments for collaboration. After the conference, designated universities began to take initiative in assigned geographical regions: <http://www.kagawa-jc.ac.jp/~steve_mc/asia-pacific>. 

Where the UW began by soliciting funds and support from governments, and the NTU began with its major support from business corporations, the Global University System (GUS) project of the Systems Analysis and Simulation (GLOSAS) organization has sought to stimulate international electronic collaboration and development by beginning first with demonstrations to show what emerging technologies increasingly make possible. As educators on five continents became involved in these demonstrations of electronic exchange from continent to continent, they saw what could be accomplished and many began to cooperate and participate (Utsumi 1989). GLOSAS facilitated  experimentation with technologies that might be used to offer courses online. GLOSAS has helped with the negotiations and demonstrations necessary to establish some “sister” relationships among schools in different countries. GLOSAS “global classroom” demonstrations, such as the one at the Fifteenth World Conference of the International Council for Distance Education in Venezuela and many other such conferences, have helped GLOSAS discover technological, regulatory, economic, and marketing impediments that need to be removed to enable the emer­gence of a worldwide electronic learning system. GLOSAS has also devoted major research efforts to finding ways to cut costs so that electronic course exchange can be possible for countries with limited financial resources. <http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/Manaus%20Workshop/Tinker%20Foundation/Application%20Form/Tinker_Proposal_Web/Full_Proposal.html>

In the 1970s GLOSAS began the political work, which it still continues, of getting government regulations changed and legal barriers removed. This made it possible for U.S. data communication networks to be extended overseas, first to Japan. This step was essential to make possible course exchange and free electronic access-through computer confer­encing, television, and so forth—from one country to another for educational purposes. The work of GLOSAS therefore rests on a solid foundation of appreciation for such accomplishments. The easing of restrictions, as the European Community followed suit, has made possible a wide variety of electronic educational experiments and programs (Utsumi, Rossman, and Rosen 1989.)

GLOSAS and its Global University System (GUS) project planners in the 2000's assumed that—for the present at least—governance and organizational plans should be kept open and fluid so that all kinds of networking can continue, perhaps for a long time, until an authentic style of networking for global university governance can emerge. Its online constituency has continued to grow, its programs and plans have started to interest major donors, and a global board of prominent people from many countries was giving leadership to the creating of a global infrastructure. It has sought to increase understanding of different cultural conditions, values and needs; to emphasize sustainability and equality; to link enthusiasts with decision-makers and funding sources; to identify existing pilot projects; and to discuss international standards for courses and accreditation. Its vision and goals are transformational but it still lacks much official support from education institutions. Time will tell what its continuing influence will be, what will bubble up from a confusing  global sea. (See Utsumi 2003. )

In 2004 GLOSAS developed a `textbook,' available on line, in print and on CD in which  major figures in global education, UNESCO the United Nations, etc.,  discuss and support the GLOSAS Global University idea. See the draft texts involving international education leaders, at: <http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/Global_University/Global%20University%20System/UNESCO_Chair_Book/Bk_outline-D13.html>
GLOSAS goals are there stated to be:
Improving the global learning and wellness environment for people in the global knowledge society, where the global responsibility is shared by all; and

  • sharing and exchanging knowledge among the sectors of education-related research, industry and trade;
    giving priority to actions improving learning and healthcare world-wide; provide learners of all ages access to global e-learning across national and cultural boundaries;
  • fostering youngsters around the world in a creative competition for relevance and excellence through affordable and accessible broadband Internet; 
  • supporting systems which complement the traditional institutions of learning and healthcare by using conventional methods together with advanced electronic media; 
  • improving learning and health of the disadvantaged by increasing their access through the utilization of new technologies, basing its long-term orientations on societal aims and needs and reinforcing the role of service to the whole society. 

Rather than seeking to operate individually" since there are many legal and red tape barriers to overcome, associations of Universities, of Open Universities, of Distance Education programs begin to come together, but creating some transformational administrative structure is not likely to happen until there is a global will and a plan and funding. So this paragraph awaits developments and information. In many parts of the world, various associations of universities and agencies were in the last decade of the 20th century engaged in projects and planning; for example, the World Association for Distance Education (WADE), the Latin American Network for the Development of Distance Education (REDLAED); the Regional Program on Educational Development (PREDE) of the Organization of American States; the Centro Regional para la Educacion Superior en America Latina el Caribe (CRESALC) of UNESCO; the World Association for the Use of Satellites in Education (WAUSE); the Community of Mediterranean Universities;  the presidents of open universities, the Foundation for International Tele-education (an effort to create a global clear­inghouse); the International Federation for Computer-Based Education in Banking; the American Symposium on Research in Distance Educa­tion; and the InterAmerican Organization for Higher Education (IOHE) in Canada, involving approximately 325 schools. This list, which could be extended for many pages, suggests the wide variety of types of associations, but as yet which have really transformational plans or proposals for an effective global association of existing  educational institutions that might initiate transformation? <www.aacu-edu.org

The African Virtual University's ongoing study of electronic connections between African higher education and research universities can be found at: <http://www.atics.info/html/about/about.html>. Links on various joint efforts can be found at <http://www.atics.info/html/about/links.htm> A conference in Ethiopia on global university connections in Africa, with explantions elsewhere: <http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/Global_University/Global%20University%20System/2004-10,%20Addis%20Ababa,%20Ethiopia/Estab-GUS-Eth-v8.htm>. Papers presented at a conference in Ethiopia on using ICT in Africa: <http://www.ictes2004-gstit.edu.et/Sessionsdaythree.html#ic>. On the British Open University open content see: <http://oci.open.ac.uk/>.


The trends in existing academic distance education programs offered from country to country suggest that there is going to be more and more commercialization, and perhaps less `business-indpendent research.' So will business corporations provide models for a global lifelong learning system? The term `alternative technology' is frequently used for simple, low-cost projects that are affordable for developing countries. Can there similarly be “low-cost alternative administration” in a global networking system? The experience of multinational corporations may also strongly influence how administrative issues will be solved, since electronic higher education involves universities in a system of world trade. International corporations must function in the midst of the same complexities that face the worldwide university such as:
--time differences over large geographic areas;"
--the problem of language, soon perhaps being solved by computer trans­lation systems;
--setting priorities in a situation in which cultures and national interests and needs greatly vary;
--the problem of strategic planning, as, for example, in deciding what courses and learning opportunities to make available, when, where, and to whom;
--the problem of degree credit, course development, and other arrange­ments with cooperating (and non cooperating) institutions;
--the problems of technology and telecommunication standards and regulations; and questions of quality of courses and software, educational standards, diploma mills, policies.

Business corporations already are major components of the international academia. Electronic training programs for employees-- such as IBM's in-company satellite education system--have constituted one of the largest segments of higher ed­ucation, not counting the corporation purchase of instruction from universities. Many international corporations have set up their own `universities.’ Private corporation education networks were already in the last century being operated by such companies as General Motors, J. C. Penney, Ford, Wal-Mart, and Federal Express (see Pelton 1900). It is even truer now, as was already reported by Brock (1990), that many such corporate systems are far ahead of public education institutions in technological sophistication of the instruction and in its quantity.. One technician--at a meeting of delegates from China, Russia, and many developing nations-- asked: “If we can exchange significant courses online, through computer networks and teleconferencing, why can’t all the meetings and administrative work be done that way also? How long must we wait before important education conferences can be made available to all who wish, via the Internet?” And where is the experimentation with the administration of consortia, etc., online? Large numbers of people in many countries could participate in committee planning and coordination and in global lifelong education business and administrative meetings, and at affordable costs. Then perhaps projects and responsibilities could be divided among many educational institutions and agencies. At a meeting of the Foundation for Instructional Tele­education, it was suggested that international agencies might each assume one area of work, much as each participating university in every country might provide a course or two. In the United States some of the most promising future possibilities for providing education for everyone have been and are being developed by PBS, the public television system.   


 On a World Bank initiative see: <http://www.learningtimes.net/ifc.shtml>. For a major 2006 UNESCO initiative see <http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/ev.php-URL_ID=47268&URL_DO=DO_PRINTPAGE&URL_SECTION=201.html>.

Cost savings? There must be funding for the planning, for the research, for the bringing together of many technologies and learning materials. Foreman (2004) has reported the frustration of advocates of video games in learning by the "prohibitive costs of available technologies' and suggests that there may have to be a multibillion dollar collaboration of "government, industry and academe." It will take time to develop technologies and programs that can be standardized for the mass production that can provide what is needed at low cost. Harley et al (2004) have reported cost savings by changing the use of existing funds (3.4).

In the long run, some are suggesting, the cost of long distance wireless connections to a global electronic education system need be--in the long run--no more expensive than a local call. With Wi-Fi  and beyond (Jardin 2003) it may really be affordable to the poor. Such forthcoming technologies can probably make very low charges for education possible, but whatever administrative structures emerge--such as an international consortium structure or a `world government of educational institutions,’ would require major funding that so far has not been found. Money for a global education system must be seen in the context of funding problems of existing higher education institutions. Also, however, new alternatives must be explored. On funding possibilities see Verry (2001) on economics of lifelong funding and Haddad (2002). Twigg (2003) pointed out that new technologies are not resulting in large savings  "and technology becomes part of the problem of rising costs rather than the solution" because educational institutions have  `bolted' new technologies onto existing programs" without improving the quality of student learning or without reducing the costs of instruction.

A Global Endowment? Some propose a major endowment effort, an international campaign to raise billions of dollars from corporations, government agencies, wills, private gifts, and foundations. The emerging invisible electronic lifelong learning system has no wealthy alumni, yet donors often endow schools they did not attend and some wealthy donors might be intrigued by the idea of an endowment to aid in the provision  of essential learning asnd health care to developing nations.

A UN Funding Agency? Some continue to hope that the governments of the world will fund the administrative structures for global electronic learning as a major UN agency, perhaps related to UNESCO, with a budget from all nations that is at least adequate for a coordinating umbrella, providing for essential meetings and publications, especially catalogs and directories. The Commonwealth of Learning, officially involving many governments, may be a step in that direction. Perhaps funds could come from a `green tax’ on pollution? In 2004 the president of France proposed `a world tax' for essential projects in the developing world.

A Cooperative Funding Agency? It has been suggested that something like a “Global Community Chest” might seek to coordinate fund-raising by developing a plan to share jointly raised funds on an agreed percentage basis. Funds might even be secured through an in­ternational telethon that would seek to interconnect as many of the world s higher education institutions as possible. TV that inspires mil­lions to contribute for hungry children might also inspire millions to contribute funds to aid educationally underprivileged people.

Tuition Sharing? When students are able to pay tuition for their on-line courses a percentage might go to the worldwide system that would be revenue-generating and self-sustaining. A formula, as in Thailand, has been devised for tuition fees from students to “ensure that the program will pay for itself” and not be dependent on government funding. Extra funds would be needed for scholarships.

Vouchers to Individuals.  Some American states have been experimenting with vouchers to give tuition money directly to students so they can choose--and thereby support--the school or university they choose. Many global virtual educations programs already in 2002 were funded by tuition paid by those taking courses. For those in developing countries this could be a significant kind of foreign aid. Sweden (Verry 2001) has experimented with a pilot program for `Individual Learning Accounts'  and the British Labor Board  has proposed a Child Trust Fund that would open a savings account for every child at birth.'

Funds—or loaned staff and services--from institutions. Most universities, even the well endowed, do not have large amounts of money that can be contributed to international budgets. Indeed, as this is written, many American universities have had to cut their information services budgets and many also are struggling to keep up mounting technology costs, significant parts of which are for international distance education. However, once overhead or “umbrella” administrative structures exist and are funded, many universities can pay for lectures and courses they need in order that learners resident on their campuses can take needed courses that otherwise would not be available. . Many colleges can share fees for on-line courses that learners are willing to pay for. Despite their limited budgets, universities can contribute lectures, courses, publicity, and some administrative and technological services. Many institutions could each assume a small share of a global program, as they have done in NTU. Many electronic learning projects can be carried out with contributed services. Furthermore, Edward Yarrish (1991) pointed out that virtual programs can ultimately bring significant savings. Compared to on-campus buildings that are expensive to build and main­tain, the “electronic classroom via modem…can be used 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. He pointed out further that computers and electronics are an area of world economy where productivity significantly increases, in contrast to other higher education, which continues to increase in cost each year “with little change in the product.” Joseph Pelton (1990) early reminded us that in the United States public school electronic-based tele-education was already in the 1980's “a multi-billion dollar enterprise.”

Nelson (et al. 2002)--of the Citizen's Scholarship Foundation--proposed ways in which existing funds can be much better used, in partnership with the neediest students and if universities would better coordinate and plan the use of existing scholarship funds.

Huge Sums Needed? Funding of the global lifelong education system, however it may be emerging, cannot be separated from the budget problems of existing educational institutions. As seen in volume Two, future research may be even more expensive; and American universities have already lost much of their independence because they are dependent on hundreds of millions of research dollars that come with strings attached.  Some current studies show that on-campus tuition costs will continue to increase and legislatures will probably not fund conventional universities as well as in the past at a time when very expensive technology is going to be more and more essential.. Parents and others who are financially pressed will urge legislatures to provide more grants and loans to individuals to use where they wish. Learners therefore will seek affordable alternatives. Enrolment gains, and thus tuition income, may therefore take place in online and community colleges. Universities are therefore unlikely to be able to provide substantial support for a global system, except on a course- by- course basis.

Funds From Cooperating Business Partners. At the turn of the 21st century, although often not expected, a major source of funding for lifelong education programs has come from corporations that pay tuition for employees. Perhaps some of them, with a proper plan and negotiations, would contribute free satellite and communications time, especially during hours of the day and week when their facilities are underused. Consortia of schools can better negotiate for special rates from common carriers. Hardware and software equipment could be obtained at much better prices if jointly purchased for mass use Whoever administers international education budgets with tight fiscal restraints will find it hard to set priorities. Should funds first of all go to the developing world? What share of budget should be allocated to students and faculty themselves to spend on “appropriate technology” such as computers? Should such a consortium spend large sums putting its own satellite into orbit and developing an infrastructure system or should it rent (and in the Third World, borrow) infrastructure developed by business and for other purposes? At the turn of the century is appears that there can be significant `piggy-backing” on health care initiatives.

There is debate on whether money can be attained by economies, such as offering certain major courses to a million learners. In any case, funds are wasted if there is no agreement on the content of courses. Education money is mismanaged and not well used when there are “no clearly stated objectives, no philosophy for managing a multi-billion dollar business.. . no accountability for academic achievement;...no standard cost-accounting system.” (Perot 1989).

A Global Service Trust Fund proposal was discussed at a meeting held at the Pan American Health Organization headquarters in December, 2000, because technology for health as well as education is part of the proposal. A revised version of the plan--which is still under development--was also presented at the founding conference of the Clarke Institute for Tele-communications and information at INTELSAT headquarters. It is “an emulation of the Universal Service Fund of the US Federal Communications Commission.” Its advocates hope that the G7 countries will provide billions of dollars in coming years to support global wide trans-cultural initiatives, “with a priority given to academic freedom, to support transnational collaboration on research and “to make possible full use of the highest quality of global electronic distance learning and tele-health/tele-medicine for all global citizens.” See Utsumi 2003).

Grossman (2001) reported on the proposal for a multibillion dollar Digital Opportunity Investment Trust that would serve as a venture capital fund, an initiative like the previous GI Bill and Morrill Land Grant Act in the USA. It is likely, however, that significant funding for a global operation can only be secured with the development first of an exciting global plan that moves beyond the usual administrative and institutional preservation questions. Also, where is the motivation and support for transformation of higher education? Reporting on discussions about some sort of global fund at the 2003 World Summit in Geneva, Cerf (2004) wondered how such a fund might be administered.

In a time when foundations are cutting back their financial support of colleges and universities, and when many government are having to reduce funs,  Mary Marcy (2003)--reporting that the financial crunch may be just beginning-- asks what can be done. She calls for "a comprehensive vision beyond the objectives of individual colleges" and for new ideas that are more than `pockets of innovation.'  Funding of education for all, including the developing world, must involve much standardization for economy in technologies. For example, Norris et al. (2003) propose "low-cost knowledge management tools for all persons" and "low-cost "approaches to knowledge object creation, re-purposing and reuse." Put simply, they say, "the cost of digital content/context needs" must "drop by an order of magnitude" and it is difficult even to discuss how and what, until there is a global learning planning system." Note Wikiversity: <http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Wikiversity:Main_Page>.


In later sections we will say more about a global learning strategy, which takes into account the interrelationships of education with humanity’s crises and serious problems. (2.1.1) Also we must ask: what are the crises and sub-problems within education itself? Where can they best be addressed in the context of the need for a global research design, with long-range transformational goals and including action research for getting difficult things accomplished? What tools can be used, such as global-scale modeling? Can we here contribute to what can be done with links to data bases (on what is known and what needs to be done) and to organizations, peer-reviewed publications and researchers in each sub-area, to co-laboratories, action/ information networks and `Observatories’ to record and publicize progress?

No one yet knows, of course, what the institutional/organizational shape of global virtual  education will be and it is premature to recommend administrative models. Ralph Killman (1989), director of the program in corporate culture at the University of Pittsburgh, suggested that “the 21st century will be full of organizational surprises.” The traditional forms of organiza­tion, such as army or bureaucratic-type hierarchical authority applied to universities, are no longer working very well. One result is an inability to keep up with changes and a failure “to develop a global perspective.” What we see, Killman said, is the emergence of “the network” as the twenty-first century form of institution. No existing educational institutions and no corporation or government agency is alone likely to dominate and determine the future shape of international virtual education. Many assume that its style of organization and governance will emerge gradually. Harlan Cleveland (1991), however, argued that an international capacity to act requires “a strong but collective executive, able to per­form policy analysis, negotiate consensus on norms and standards, and blow the whistle when policies aren’t carried out.”

In addition to virtual governance structures there are the “shadow governments” of the academic disciplines. It is likely that they will continue horizontal, increasingly powerful through global organizational relationships on the Internet; for example as instruments of peer review of global curricula. Yet, around 1980 “the world changed…as a result of the computer and telecommunication revolutions and the explosion of information.” (Duderstadt 2000.) The old style of organizing in divisions, in self-contained departments, and specializations was highly successful at one stage of development but is no longer functional. Education now exists in a global context as “the world has become more accessible and change has become more rapid.” Educational institutions, as well as business corporations, have reshuffled and improvised. There have been exper­iments with joint projects and consortia. Similarly, industry has sought to build bridges to research institutions, to government agencies in their own and other countries, and to community groups.

We might illustrate, for example, by noting the pressure to separate Archeology into a more independent discipline versus pressure to merge engineering and science, or to point to the merging of math and biology. Few would question the need for Archeology--as a profession and important field of study--to be equal with and involved in transdisciplinary research with other such disciplines in academia. However, as we look at the emerging information technology age and its possibilities, is not a holistic approach to the past both possible and needed? To detailed satellite photos of every area of the planet, there can be added layers of data from history, ethnology, biological anthropology, sociology, geology, linguistics, art, classics, and other and new disciplines yet to come, to provide a much more comprehensive picture of the past and what present-day society can learn from it in both practical and academic areas.

Meanwhile, electronic overseas learning is still too often seen as belonging to extension and continuing education divisions, is not yet a priority for many  central academic structures. So its governance may be moving into the hands of forces outside the academic centers of higher learning. Instead of a global system directed by one “hub” administration, there probably will continue to be a network of “hubs,” some in government, some in business, some in education that is already undergoing a transformation. It is not the technology that transforms education; rather, the technology—and perhaps the shock effect of its potential opens the minds of educators and many others to various new possibilities, ending some of the lethargy and resistance that have preserved so much obsolescence in education.

Planning groups have asked how the hub/network style might apply to a system for course exchange in which people are electronically connected. At the hub, Killman said, “the traditional division of labor will be replaced by a contemporary division of knowledge organized according to new categories.” The hub will be responsible for organizing resources, setting goals, establishing priorities and programs, and keeping the network together. What style of global lifelong education governance can do that? Will structures for global administration depend on the shape global higher education takes? In Inayatullah (2000) several possible types of higher education were foreseen: the megauniversity; the virtual university with transferable credits in a global web much like airline cooperation (1.07); the niche university (1.06); lifelong learning with face-to-face workshops; and the elite brand name university for those who can afford it.

Can we anticipate ways in which new technologies--such as simulation of possibilities--can help global learning institutions cope with and even make constructive response to the `social hurricanes’ now coming forward to transform them? The next chapter proposes human/machine cooperation as the way to use the next wave of technology in the transformation of higher education. Indeed of all education as humanity out of desperation undertakes the task of educating everyone in the world. (Cole  1994). If there is little satisfaction with global administration in ways this chapter has proposed, then we should look at other possibilities. The President Emeritus  of MIT (Vest 2006) foresees a  `global meta-university' as he discussed the experient in putting all of MIT's courses online, free to anyone on the planet. as part of an emerging open software movement/" <http://ocw.mit.edu>.Vest describes it as  a transcendent, accessible, empowering, dynamic community constructed framework of open materials and platforms on on which much of higher education worldwide can be constructed or enhanced  An important phase of the meta-university is a massive online library and a next phase will be online science labs. They are possible now that a high percentage of science research uses computers that can be interconnected..

Return to Chapter 1.1 | Go to Chapter 1.3

Bibliographical Notes

Baldwin, Lionel. 1991. “Higher Education Partnerships in Engineering and Science.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.  March.

Brown, John Seely. 2001. "Learning in a Digital Age." 2001 Educause Forum on The Internet and the University.

Cavallo, D. in The Book of Problems. <http://www.learndev.org.>.

Cerf. Vinton. 2004. :Musing on the Internet." Educause, May-June.

CME 1998. "Reinventing Public Broadcasting for the Digital Age." Washington DC: Center for Media Education.

Creighton, Jeanne and Phil Buchanan. 2001. “Toward the E-campus.” Educause, Mar./Apr

Cleveland, Harlan. 1991. “Rethinking International Governance.” Futurist, May-June.

Cole, Jonathan R. et al. 1994. The Research University in a Time of Discontent. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 

Commonwealth of Learning. “Quality Through Distance.” Comlearn, September.

Devlin, Maureen and J. W. Myerson. (eds.)  2001. Forum Futures: Exploring the Future of Higher Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 

Duderstadt, James. 2000. A University for the 21st Century. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Duderstadt, James et al. 2005. "Envisioning a Transformed University." Issues in Science and Technology, fall.

Foreman, Joe. 2004. "Videogame Studies and the Emerging Instructional Revolution." Innovate, Sept./Oct. 2004

Gertner, Jon. 2008. "For Good Measure." New York Times magaMarch 9.zine,

Grossman, Lawrence and N. Minow.. 2001. A Digital Gift to the Nation. New York: Century Foundation Press.

Harley et al. 2004. "Rethinking Space and Time." Innovate, Sept./Oct.

Haddad, Wadi and A. Draxler. 2002. Technology in Education. Geneva: UNESCO. Free on line: <http://www.aed.org/publications/TechnologiesForEducation/TechEd.pdf>.  

Hughes, Thomas. 2001. “Through A Glass Darkly: Anticipating the Future of Technology-Enabled Education.” Educause. July-August.

Husen,  T. (ed) 1994. The Role of the University: A Global Perspective. Tokyo: UN University.

Inayatullah, S. (Ed.) 2000. The Transformation of the University: Global Perspectives. Westport CT, Greenwood.

Jardin, Xeni. 2003. "Beyond Wi-Fi" and other articles in the May supplement to Wired magazine.

Killman, Ralph. 1999. “Tomorrow’s Companies Won’t Have Walls.” New York Times. 18 June.

Levine, A .E. 2000. “The Future of Colleges.” Chronicle of Higher Education,” Oct. 27.

Lenn,  M. P. 2001. "The Right Way to Export Higher Education." Chronicle of Higher Education, Mar. 1.

Levine, A. E. (ed) Higher Learning in America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press,  1993.

Marchy, Mary. 2003. "Why Foundations Have Cut Back in Higher Education." Chronicle of Higher Education, July 25. 

Nelson, William et al. 2--2. "A Partnership Approach Could Improve Student Aid." Chronicle of Higher Education, July 19.

Norris et a. 2003. "A Revolution in Knowledge Sharing." Educause, Sept./Oct.l

Pelton, Joseph et al. 1987. Satellites International. London: Macmillan.

Turnbull, Shann. 2001. “ Design Criteria For a Global Brain.” Unpublished, presented at the Global Brain Workshop, Vrije Universiteit, Brussels, July 5.

McCain, Ted and Ian Jukes. 2001. Windows on the Future: Education in an Age of Technology. Sage Publications.

Perot, Ross. 1989. “Educating Our Children.” Educom Review, Spring.

Twigg., Carol. 2003. "New Models for Online Learning." Educause, Sept./Oct.

UNESCO: http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/ev.php-URL_ID=47268&URL_DO=DO_PRINTPAGE&URL_SECTION=201.html>.

Utsumi, Takeshi. 1989. “A Global Vision That Can Change the World.” Presented at the annual meeting of the University of the World at the University of Michigan. <http://library.fortlewis.edu/~instruct/glosas/takbook/bookcont.htm

Utsumi, T and Tapio Varis. 2003. "Creating Global e-Learning and e-Health Through the Global University System." 3rd e-Health Regional Planning Conference, Dubai International Exhibition Center, Jan. 2003.

**Utsumi, T, Varis, Tapio and William Klemm. (Eds.) 2003. Global Peace Through the Global University System. Tapere, Finland. Research Center for Vocational Education. (Essays by political and education leaders.)

UW. 1991. University of the World Newsletter. April.

 Varis, T. (n.d.) New literacies and e-learning competencies.  Retrieved May 7, 2003, from http://www.elearningeuropa.info/doc.php?lng=1&id=595&doclng=1>

Vest,, Charles M. 2006. "Open Contwnt and the Emerging Global Meta-University." Educause, May/June.

Verry, Donald. 2001. Economics and Finance of Lifelong Learning. Paris, France: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, December.

Yarrish. Edward. 1991.”The Fully Electronic University.” Ohio State University, unpublished.

第二章 全球终身学习的新体系: 虚拟空间(教室)



——布朗 John Seely Brown


——休斯 Thomas Hughes


——雷恩古尔德(Howard Rheingold



也许,我们应该首先考虑如何克服各种障碍,比如在上一章里所提到的社会风暴和社会问题。正如我们在3.4里所讨论的一样,房屋重建是件轻而易举的事。因此,用“风暴”一词打比方不恰当。也许我们应该把它比作“文化白蚁”,原因是它们破坏了建筑的根基,而这些机构是传承文化和创新知识所必需的。也许将它描述为洪水更好,它冲垮了看似稳固的高等教育的基石。《教育事业》九、十月份的期刊曾这样报道:这洪水的第一波将改变人们的学习方式,比如教育网络化、动态学习, 利用WIKIS 为各地提供学习的机会并激励人们在教育中使用新的方法来进行创新思维。这些将在以后的章节中进行论述。

在人类给世界各地提供传统学校和合格教师之前,有些教育官僚一直对“让所有人接受教育”这一理念嗤之以鼻。在远程教育网络论坛 (DEOS) 的网上讨论区,有人坚持认为,“教育(无论以何种形式、何种语言或语种,以及以何种方式传授)都只会让那些有机会接触到的少部分人受益”。他们还说,全球60亿人中的绝大多数人都没有机会接受以高科技为基础的教育;科技教育要普及到边远地区是件非常棘手的事。对此有人回复到,从目前的科技水平来看,“要想普及在大学进行单独授课和指导类型的教育, 恐怕很困难”。但他同时认为,日新月异的科技手段(1.3)“使世界上任何语言形式的成千上万门学习课程可以异步进行”;随着通信费用的降低,还能使“不同层次和不同地区的学习者互相看到对方”。

建森(Brad Jenson)建议使用“美国之音式”的学习方式,将课程通过低空卫星跨越国界向全球提供网络接入,低成本无线连接并且免收接入费;网上还有以学习者为中心的搜索引擎和目录。“有些课程是免费的,有些课程很便宜并且有数千种可选科目。互联网也正通过博客系统朝这个方向发展,并能自动优化。”麻省理工学院传媒中心的卡瓦罗(David Cavallo 2002)担心地说,“由于受普遍流行的思维定势限制,世界上绝大多数人都没有意识到自己的思维局限限制了全球学习环境的完善,从而过份低估了世界人口的增长潜力”。到2005年为止,一个重要的项目是GLORIAD 开发的环绕北半球的利用宽带和网络进行的科学和教育节目,该节目通过先进的网络服务科学和教育节目,该节目联接北美、俄罗斯、中国、韩国和新西兰< http://www.gloriad.org/。这个前沿项目包括高质量的录像会议、灾难预警、主要研究中的合作、推动远程学习和将各层次的学生联接起来。


有些人试图为“全球学习系统”设计新的模式,他们或许可以用新式的网上学习来代替过去令人厌烦的正统学习方式;这种在线学习的设计质量可以从技术角度得到提高,参见3.10和以下网址:<www.uia.org/uiadocs/ignorant.htm>, <www.haven.net/haven/faq.htm>。也可从以下网址查找范例<www.tappedin.org> 设计系统方法的设想 <www.worldtrans.org/whole.html>。雷斯尼克(Resnik) 认为,我们的目标是建立一个“有创新意识的社会”,而不是空谈“信息社会”或“知识社会”;这种创新源于互联网。布朗(2001)曾说过,“信息是独立于个人之外的”,可以从书本或网络获取;而知识和理解知识却与个体有关,科学家就是很好的例子。我们可以了解很多信息而不知道如何使用它们。

在了解本章的背景知识之前有人可能会问,我们能从教育的发展史中学到什么呢?如果大学对教育的未来作了充分的研究,那么,我们能从那些世界广泛沿用的四年制高等教育模式中得出什么结论呢(Husen)?这些模式有:德国的洪堡式 (Humboldtian) 研究型大学,英国牛津剑桥的导师制度,法国的大学模式和哈钦(Hutchins) 开创的芝加哥大学教育模式。其中每一例是否都可以为终身学习建议一种全球的虚拟模式?现在的超大规模的大学教育能否为将来网络系统的设计和管理提供经验或教训?请参考<www.ihep.com/Pubs/PDF/Quality.pdf> 此外,用于终身学习的全球网络系统需要当地、地区、国家和全球如何进行管理?例如,谁来负责技术问题?我们现在无法预测科技未来的发展,它可能涉及到无线网络联接和教育专用的卫星网络。正如有线电视频道成百上千地增加一样,或许其中有上百种能给我们带来双向的交互式的专门化的教育方式。未来可能有诸如此类的网络:相邻地区的电子学习中心,大学和中小学的互联网,网络电子书籍和课程模块等等(见3.8)。因此,本章一开始就提出了用于终身学习的虚拟网络的管理、协作、设计和模式问题(见1.61.10);此外还讨论了不同模式的结合,这些模式可供世界上所有人进行远程学习。我们又能从本章提及的众多想法中得到什么启示呢?我们尚不清楚需要什么样的设计和管理方案,或者谁来将这些方案付诸实施;部分原因是,我们还不知道未来20年里有什么样的高科技可以使用。因此,我们要做大量的实验和研究(见Devlin 2001)。


从何处着手研究并建立新的组织和管理机构所需的更大规模的整合的蓝图和体系呢(本章讨论)?或许更重要的是 (至少在虚拟空间), 如何创建新的教学体系(第三部讨论)和由此而来的管理体制、研究体系(第二部)和公共服务体系呢?这需要为全球的终身教育进行全新的截然不同的设计吗?曾经有人说“要做就做大的计划”,因为小的计划不能改变人们的观念。开创了万维网的伯纳斯-(Berners-Lee)说,“地球村的想法”使我们意识到当今的世界需要大家共同承担责任 兴许,就像作为“计算机黑客”的研究生们发现很多有用的新技术一样,这些“黑客”学生(此单词的旧意思为“实验”)也会为了全球教育而帮助开发虚拟系统。

在此希望这些学生能激励人们的思考和讨论, 为全球终身学习系统设计和规划管理方案,通过集思广益挖掘出一些好的想法和模式,比如:以大学为中心,通过校园之间的互联网为个体学习者的不同需要和兴趣提供学习社区,创造良好的条件使这些学习者能够发挥自己的天赋与才智并在社会中干一番事业;以市场为中心的尝试许多学校和公司合作办学的模式;研究型大学联合体采取和一些私人团体在研究和发展方面进行崭新的合作的一种“生态模式”, 旨在解决人类主要的问题 (Cole 1884);以相邻地区的需求为出发点的“自下而上”的模式;构建领导力发展模式为职业发展提供技能,争取达到行行出状元,各类工作都有价值。


2000年九月,一个关于未来高等教育的研讨会在科罗拉多的艾斯本(Aspen)顺利召开。《拯救普罗米休斯》的作者休斯(Thomas Hughes)在谈到如何管理大规模科技系统创新时提醒到,大部分对高等教育未来进行预测和制定规划的人对发展中的知识知之甚少Hughes 2001)。过去科技发展改变社会制度的历史表明了科学技术对教育的未来趋势可能的产生的巨大影响。互联网及其相关技术可能带来社会技术革命,这些变革极有可能是我们所期望和需要,正如第二次工业革命的结果出人意料一样。原因在于,根深蒂固的思想与变革需求之间存在矛盾;而更主要的原因是,我们忽视了对未来的预测是基于过去的设想和价值观之上的,而没有充分考虑到未来会发生怎样的变化。例如,过去根本无法想象——便宜的手机能起电脑的作用接入互联网和接通移动视频等。现在,确实到了我们应该做进一步规划的时候了

休斯(Hughes)举例说,不幸的是很多人认为科技辅助下的学习会以企业管理的形式出现。他用德国工程师戴勒姆的经历来解释了这个问题。戴勒姆虽然想出了汽车的点子,但他犯了个错误:将发动机安装到大家熟悉的平台、自行车和以前的马车上。因此,休斯又警告说,目前大多数人认为,基于科技的教学发展未来只会在现有的教育措施上取得微小的进步。例如,迄今为止的“网络教育”大多数是传统的教室教学的延伸。历史表明,根本的突破性创新将对过去的实践带来剧变。 但我们注意到,很多管理者(尤其是教育官僚)仍用新技术去寻求解决旧问题的方法(例如,还沿袭讲课形式)。前任大学校长艾斯考(Steve Eskow)建议,为了全世界的大众教育,教育策划者与其沿用现有的大学模式,还不如考虑引伸图书馆这一比喻,这个图书馆能给那些不能上“课”的百万学习者提供自学的书籍。现在可能有数百万人通过网络资料学习,由在线 “图书管理员” 通过互联网提供帮助,组织小组讨论,互相学习和提供咨询。 在线的辅导教师可以补充自动授课老师,并免费提供服务。

前任大学校长杜德斯塔兹(Duderstadt 2000)曾说过,形成一种战略性结构是所有学者、知识分子和领导的共同责任,这种战略结构能控制和促成高科技对高等教育体系的影响。他认为,我们或许应该对大学模式进行重建,甚至是重新设计;他还建议,我们也许应建立类似健康保养协会一样的教育维护协会,这个协会应该给人的一生提供教育所需。如果这样,也许会出现提供教育服务的经纪人。如果这为时已晚的话,是否会有新型的大学出现来迎接这种挑战?“市场”和“顾客”这种称呼看起来不适用于教育(为什么不用“学习者”?)。为什么不能像医学研究者不断创新那样为所有年龄层次的每个独特的学习者创造因人而异的学习项目呢?

正如第一章所说,一些社会暴风的力量在促进变革。我们现在必须正视那些阻碍高等教育改变的绊脚石。例如,阻力来自于现在的教职员工、政客、资金赞助商、学生家长和校友,而这些家长和校友在目前的体系中拥有巨大的利益。如果使用变通手段来应付那些社会暴风,那么现在的管理者和教职员工觉得可能性比较小。他们也对此感到沮丧:科技手段样式繁多,许多现有技术没有得到充分发挥,缺乏统一的标准,政府的法律条款和安全制度存在不足,资金投入问题和来自税收且逐渐减少的预算资源的不稳定性,以及未来数十年里会引起社会变化的科技能力的信息不准确。对这些问题可以在线继续讨论和查阅会议文献,例如,宾夕法尼亚州州立大学的远程教育网络论坛 (DEOS) 和诸如<www.futureu.com> 的商业网址。

从为“虚拟空间”创建管理和制度体系做出的努力中可以看出存在的主要问题,以及对休斯所 提出的警示: 人们还是向戴姆勒历史案例中所表示的那样, 重复着 将新的引擎装载到过去像马车一样的平台上的错误。当然,我们并不是说不应该应重视过去的优良传统并设法充分利用其价值。



时至今日,还没有恰当的模式可以用于全球学习系统,但开发新理念是必要的。哥伦比亚大学教师教育学院的校长列文 (Levine 2000) 认为,教育参与者将越来越多并且形式多样。他预言未来的大学有三种可能:(a)传统的寄宿学校;(b)新型的商业虚拟学校;(c)这两者的结合,即网络教育和寄宿教育相结合的大学。虽然我们正在向建设全球学习系统的目标靠近,但教育的终身化和个性化(3.3)需要学习方式和方法的根本的改变,这是因为学生有不同的背景和更为多样化的教育需求。列文说,只有这样,学生才能从众多的知识资源中选择与自己学习方式和需求相一致的教学形式和课程。从“教”到“学”的转变会结束过去不同需求的学习者按同一步骤上课(不能因材施教)的现象。创建新的学习模式和制度模式已势在必行。请参见<http://www.metanexus.net>



(1)              学生的主动性也许会成为全球终身教育研究的中心内容,尤其是在“未来超级大学”协会里,例如有200,000学生的英国开放大学(函授大学;电视大学)和其美国分支——美国开放大学(函授大学;电视大学);这所英国开放大学在2000年寻求与美国大学联合办学和开课,而后就倒闭了。正在发展中的非洲虚拟大学也是众多此类大学的一个代表。在很大程度上,这些大学实际上是现有教育结构的扩展,但如果他们与相邻地区的或其它面对面的、给当地提供资助的系统联合起来,他们也许会发生改变。要对开放大学进行研究请参考:<http://www.aed.org/publications/TechnologiesForEducation/TechEdChapters/13.pdf>

(2)              另一个问题是众多教育组织之间应该通过协商达成合作协议,共同对目前各种类型的电子远程教育的有效管理进行研究。本章将讨论他们为此所付出的努力,见CONAHEC <http://www.wiche.edu/annualreport/conahec.htm

(3)              第三种方法是目前占主导地位的市场运作体系,许多教育机构参与竞争,提供网上课程。这些课程要么在经济上有利可图,要么能实现其组织目标。这方面有很多机构进行了单方面实验。塔夫斯大学(Tufts)的大学全球管理系统将许多医学院的课程通过数码图像的方式在网络上向学生开放,使学生能在线学习和复习大量的课程资料,而这些资料以前只能从教授的幻灯片或讲稿中才能得到。从2001年开始,麻省理工学院就将几乎所有课程上载到互联网上不住校也不必修学分的学习者通过这些资源进行学习。

休斯(Hughes)在2001年指出,科技人员和传统的学术人员之间有些差距。很多科技人员首先集中在开发全球科技系统上,探讨其可行性和预测其未来的发展。实际上,科技可以以灵活多样的形式满足不同的需求和各种类型的教育体系。然而有人认为,对信息科技的使用大都是因为担心害怕而不是出于远见,比如害怕竞争和变革(见3.4.1)。有些恐惧正是源于目前高等教育系统中的贪婪、偏袒、粗心大意的管理和渎职,这在前任俄克拉荷马州立大学校长坎姆普贝尔(John R. Campbell)的《干枯的象牙塔》一书中有所纪录。目前,我们尚不清楚数万台互联计算机未来的发展方向。也许,这些问题会由一个叫“检测和平衡”的系统自动显示出来,系统里的软件按照一定标准来管理网络安全,渎职、欺骗和其它管理问题。

那些不懂技术的教育者,那些看出构建终身学习体系学要某些根本性变革的学者赞成.个性化教育的想法。麻省理工学院的圣吉(Peter Senge)就是其中一位,曾著书谈论学习型组织的艺术和实践。他注重学习者的个人超越、智力模式、团队工作和共同的展望。他强调整体思维创建学习型组织所需的另一重要环节。现在的学习者所进行学习的世界与十年前迥然不同,在此十年间很多学习条件可能都重塑了很多次。 高等教育需要多久重塑自己一次呢?麦克凯恩和优克斯(McCain and Jukes)在2001年指出,教育正在逐渐远离除自己之外的世界。一种改革的系统和框架可能已经存在于虚拟空间,这种系统和框架应该在现有的教育体系和发展缓慢的教育机构之上,不幸的是,如果它仍采用过时的管理和制度模式(见1., 优怎么能起到应有的作用呢?虽然有些模式和蓝图可供参考,但教育者应该首先具有全球眼光,以此为基础才能决定在虚拟(数码)空间里需要怎样合作。对全球规模的学习系统而言,下面列出的管理模式中有能实现这一远大理想的模式吗?


1.2.2 全球管理和策划体系

由于未来的网上电子课程和电子教案主要通过电缆、无线联接、卫星或无线电接收设备传输,那么,需要怎样的全球管理系统来负责和控制这些课程和教案呢?尽管如此,逐渐涌现的、共享的交互式网络教育主要依靠上千个频道和带有流动视频的交互式电子电视来实现,这就要求改变传统的全球管理思维。因此,尤其是当许多国家、大学和其它教育机构都反对时,谁来制定这些标准并付诸实施呢?需要什么样的科技并如何共享呢?谁来评价并进行学历颁发、技能认定和课程学分管理?而且,如果涉及到许多的国家政府、私立大学、盈利机构和商业合作的教育计划,全球虚拟的终身学习系统该如何实现管理和资金支持呢?有人甚至认为,所有的大学最终会融为一体 <http://www.metanexus.net>。有人提议诸如以下的管理模式:(1)在虚拟世界创建新的管理机构,尤其是管理国际电子网络教育;(2)商业化盈利公司与教育中介机构合作管理课程;(3)有人建议建立像联合国一样的国际组织来为全球教育系统制定标准和进行管理。对这些建议仔细考虑可以得出这样的结论:这些参考建议中,虽不全是,但也大部分仍是互联网的凝聚 它们会在数十年里控制和管理全球的电子网络教育。不幸的是,这些管理都是由资金掌控所决定的,而不是由全球教育的法则和目标所决定的1.2.8)。此外,下面传统的管理模式中哪一种是真正意义上的变革呢?他们会协助建立一个比网络教室更大规模的全球性学术环境或学习社区吗?


1.2.3 对国家科技大学的管理 <http://www.ntu.edu/index.asp>.

有人的想法是创建全新的教学机构:有自己的管理者和员工,这样能充分利用各所大学的教学资源。 国立科技大学(National Technological University)成立于1986年;到1991年时,它已成为拥有40工程学院的学术机构,并且和商业社团积极合作。它是一个私立的非赢利组织,其理事会主要由各合作单位的执行管理者构成。它总部的员工负责从技术和人力资源方面管理复杂的网络系统,这个网络将40所大学与325个网址联系起来。这是政府、大学和商业机构互相合作的典范,受到高度评价,它充分证明:对不断涌现的国际性大学进行管理是可行的,其课程管理主要由各学科的学院代表完成,教职员工和委员会的许多工作都在网上进行。NTU通过它给学生提供的大量服务来评价其成功与否。 通常来说,工程技术人员需要什么,NTU就从主要的工程学院选择最好的课程提供给学生。但是,对发展中国家的学生来说,这些高级课程又太难了。也许下面要介绍的学习共同体项目会给全球虚拟管理体系提供一些有用的建议。希尔万学习系统(Sylvan Learning Systems)在2002年收购了纽约大学NYU


1.2.4 学习共同体 <http://www.col.org/virtualed/index.htm>

学习共同体 COL)是一个管理机构,它负责以前的英联邦国家的开放大学与其它远程教育机构之间的课程共享。COL提出了在全球管理体系中各国政府互相合作的想法,其目标是创建一个网络而不是一个机构来共享一些专门技术(Lundin 1988)。它努力使英联邦国家任何地区的学习者都能获取来自联邦正规学院或大学的网络教学课程。这就意味着突破了狭隘的学习观念,即学生从一所大学到另一所大学的体力活动,而更广义的观念是:想法、知识和学习方式的灵活性。因此,知识将突破国界和思维限制,通过大胆的教育资源交换与他人共享(Lundin 1988),沟通全球性扩展的渠道。这些国家开始创建类似消费合作社一样的团体来促进现有资源的优化,通过COL的资助推广国际性的电子网络教育。COL并不将它的项目仅限于高等教育,而是充分利用开放的学习机构(如:新西兰的开放理工学院和加拿大的开放学习署)的资源和经验。COL注重人力资源尤其是第三世界国家的开发,为此它提供了第二次机会,但对第三世界国家的许多学习者来说却是唯一接受高效教育和培训的机会。它积累了丰富的经验,比如,在南太平洋和西印度群岛地区,它的跨跃海洋提供教育资源的根本措施是采用了卫星通信系统。(Commonwealth of Learning 1990)。例如,南太平洋大学在初期通过卫星给远方的学生提供高质量的课程,其费用是住校生的三分之一或更低,从而大大提高了其办学成功率。

COL在三年(2001-2004)计划里预言,新的科技和教育为缩短教育的供求差距提供了解决方案,从而有望实现全球的教育目标:文化教育、基础教育、技能或职业教育、师资培训、继续教育和专业教育。这个计划勾画出了COL的四种角色:合作的促进者,培训的资料来源(专指远程学习),人才的培养者(发展人力资源)和信息或知识的提供者。英联邦的亚洲教育传媒中心位于新德里,该中心的宗旨是满足亚洲地区的需求 <http://www.col.org/consultancies/02virtualu.htm> 。不幸的是,COL的工作仅限于亚洲的英联邦学习共同体国家。到目前为止,由于缺乏资金支持,它还不能提供给非洲等地区提供大规模的帮助。但这也许是全球终身教育改革其中的一步 <www.comnet.mt/itgate.htm>。不过,COL对在全世界所有国家提供教育服务并不感兴趣。


1.2.5 自上而下的雏形:“世界大学”工程

为了将一些教育制度结构融入到新兴的全球电子网络教育体系中,另外一个争取各国政府支持的就是在加利福尼亚开启的“世界大学”(UW)工程。它旨在努力把各国学术界、政府和商业策划联合起来,以此来抵制某些政府和教育官僚的反对。“世界大学”首先通过美国政府草拟了一份条例,并发给大部分国家,号召各国政府成立“世界大学”国家委员会;这个委员会将把联合和管理本国所有的政府和私人的教育机构,而这些机构过去参与了(或应该参与)教育资源以电子形式的国际性交换。这对全球管理和策划来说似乎合情合理。“世界大学”就像一把“全球性的大伞”,囊括了所有国家的学术活动;它也是唯一的国际性的学者和学生的联合体,是非政府的、非政治和非赢利的组织。它采用一整套系统方法使不同国家的、以电子媒介形式的、大量的教育和研究活动易于开展和执行并合为一体。(UW 1991)。它提议了一种电子形式的管理模式:电子互联网能将“世界大学”在各国的分部和总部联为一个整体;并期望它像中枢神经系统一样在全球范围内团结和联合“世界大学”的所有成员。它还打算使用多种媒介,例如:电话、传真、电缆、CD、影碟、通信卫星、计算机网络、无线电广播、小型收音机、视频和终端的双向交互式录像。“世界大学”工程失败了,也许它还不成熟,也许是因为它是一个自上而下的方式,开始时只有参与国的政府和官方的教育机构。而参加这个工程的主要政府没有提供资金援助。


1.2.6 全球大学系统分析和模拟系统

在“世界大学”工程开始“自上而下”的模式时,尤苏米(Takeshi Utsumi)提出了“自下而上”的模式。他向人们展示了科技的潜力,这些人就全球教育系统与尤粗密持有相同的观点,并支持世界和平。他们高度重视科技的最新动态,不断用科技进行实验;他们通过努力找到了实验性的“全球大学系统” (GLOSAS) 方法。这个方法最初是1999年八、九月在芬兰坦佩雷大学的一次会议上提出来的,并得到几家国际机构的资助。这个工程提出了一种低成本的利用宽带系统进行合作的新方法。会后,几所指定的大学开始在所指派的地域主动进行研究 <http://www.kagawa-jc.ac.jp/~steve_mc/asia-pacific>

前面提到的世界大学向政府寻求资金援助,NTU的主要资助来源是商业机构, GLOSAS机构一直在鼓励通过国际电子网络加强合作与发展, 实验证明:新兴的科技可以为教育做越来越多的事情。由于五大洲的教育者参加了各洲之间的电子信息交换实验,他们清楚地了解了科技的巨大潜力,很多都愿意参加这个工程进行研究与合作 (Utsumi 1989)GLOSAS对那些可能用到网络课程中的技术进行实验。它还不断协商和演示,这有助于在不同国家的学校之间建立协作关系。GLOSAS还在许多会议上进行全球教室演示,如:在委内瑞拉举行的国际网络教育第十五次世界大会和许多诸如此类的大会上所做地报告和演示。这些演示和随之而进行地讨论有助于GLOSAS发现技术的、管理的、经济的和市场的不足,而这些障碍在创建全球电子学习系统过程中应该被清除。GLOSAS还努力研究并寻找降低成本的方法。只有降低成本,那些缺少资金的国家才能参与电子课程的交换<http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/Manaus%20Workshop/Tinker%20Foundation/Application%20Form/Tinker_Proposal_Web/Full_Proposal.html>

从二十世纪七十年代至今,GLOSAS一直在做相关的政府工作:修正政府规章制度,清除法律障碍。这才使美国数据通信网络得以扩展到海外,首先到达的是日本。这一步非常关键,它使尽可能多的网络课程可以通过电子会议,电视进行免费交换,使教育的作用从一个国家辐射到另一个国家。因此,GLOSAS的工作取得了人们的信任和赞赏。欧洲共同市场放宽了各种限制使多样化的电子教育实验和项目成为可能 (Utsumi, Rossman, and Rosen 1989)

GLOSAS和其分支“全球大学系统 GUS)”工程的策划者们在2000年提出设想:至少在目前该组织管理和规划应处于开放和灵活状态,只有这样,所有的网络系统才能持续发展较长一段时间,直到出现一种可用于全球大学管理的可信度更高的网络系统。网上的支持者也在不断增加,它的项目和计划吸引了许多资助者。来自世界许多国家的优秀专家组成的全球委员会也对创建全球性的基础设施进行指导。它努力使有不同文化背景、不同价值观和不同需求的人之间增进了解,强调持久与公平,联系热心支持者和决策者、资金来源,检查目前的试验项目,研讨用于网络课程和鉴定的国际标准。虽然它具有变革性的观点和目标,但仍缺乏来自教育机构的支持。时间将证明它对教育未来的发展的影响力(见Utsumi 2003)。



²        在与教育相关的领域、产业和贸易中共享和交换知识和信息;对那些改善世界学习和保健的行为优先处理;突破国家和文化界限让不同年龄的人实现网上学习;

²        通过切实可行的宽带互联网,培养世界青年在良性竞争中成为创新精神的,务实的优秀人才;

²        通过传统方式和高级电子媒体相结合,支持那些能实现传统学习和促进健康的体系;

²        通过增加新技术的使用,改善残疾人的学习和健康状况;长期的发展方向是基于社会目标和满足社会需求,强调服务对全社会的作用。


1.2.7 大学联合会



1.2.8 可选择性管理模式



——语言不通的问题, 这可以用机器翻译系统得以解决;





商业机构已经成为国际教育的重要组成部分。比如,IBM拥有公司自己的卫星教育系统,专门为本公司员工提供电子网络培训课程;即使把各商业机构从大学购买地教育服务排除在外,象IBM这样的项目也是高等教育最重要的组成部分之一。许多国际性机构也建立了自己的“大学”。在上个世纪,有些公司已经拥有私人教育网络系统,比如,通用汽车、J. C. Penney、福特、沃玛特和联邦快递公司(见Pelton1900)。正如布洛克 (Brock) 1990年所报道的一样,从教育的科技含量和数量来看,许多合作体系已经远远超过公共教育机构, 现在这已经毋庸质疑了。曾经在一次国际会议上,有来自中国、俄罗斯和许多发展中国家的代表,其中一位代表就提出这样的问题:如果我们能通过互联网和电视(电话)会议交换重要的网络课程,为什么所有这些会议和管理工作还要用以前的方法完成呢?我们还要等多久才能实现通过互联网举行重要的教育会议呢?对大学联盟的管理所做的网络实验进展如何?世界上许多国家的人都能以适当的费用参与策划和合作,参加全球终身教育的商业和管理会议。教育的项目和责任应由各教育机构共同承担。在一次电视(电话)远程教育基金会的会议上有人建议,尽管不同国家每所参加项目的大学都要提供一两门课程,但所有国际教育机构自己都应该承担某个方面的工作。美国的公共电视系统一直在给所有人提供教育服务,其发展前景十分乐观。


1.2.9 虚拟全球教学的经费问题

对世界银行所采取的努力, <http://www.learningtimes.net/ifc.shtml>

节约成本? 全球网络教育的所有工作都需要资金投入:策划、研究、综合多种科学技术和学习材料等。富尔曼 (Foreman) 2004年时说过,有些人想通过昂贵的现存科技倡导视频学习游戏而失败;他还认为,全球网络教育需要政府、商业机构和学术机构之间多达数十、甚至数百亿美元的合作。科技和项目需要实行标准化,以实现低成本满足进行批量生产的需求,这还尚需时日。哈德雷 (Harley) 等人也在2004年提出,可以通过改变现有资金的使用方式来节约成本。

从长远来看,通过无线远程系统连接到全球电子教育网络的费用比在当地打一个市话还便宜。利用 Wi-Fi 和更方便的系统 (Jardin 2003) 对贫穷的人来说可能会支付得起。新兴的科技手段可以尽可能地降低教育费用。但无论采用什么样的管理形式——以国际联盟的方式或者组建教育机构的世界管理组织——都需要主要的财政资助,但到目前为止还没有找到必要的资助。从现在高等教育机构的资金问题来看,资金对建立全球教育系统来说是必不可少的。因此, 还要寻求其它途径来解决资金问题。关于如何取得资助请参见韦瑞(Verry 2001)关于终身资助的经济论述,也可参考以下网址:海德(Haddad 2002) <http://www.aed.org/publications/TechnologiesForEducation/TechEdChapters/04.pdf> 。但特伟格(Twigg) 2003年就指出,采用新技术不一定会大量节省资金,相反还可能增加成本。这是因为一些教育机构将新兴科技“绑”到现有的教育课程中(打着使用先进技术进行教学的旗号),而实质上没有提高教学质量,也没有降低教育成本。




实行学费分期支付可行吗?学费分担? 当学生有能力支付学费时,一分一厘都会存入全球的网络系统中并能独立运行。泰国设计了一套模式来管理学生学费,系统能自动运行而不依靠政府资助。但发放奖学金需要额外的资金。

由政府将助学券发给个人。美国的有些州做试验,直接将学费通过助学券发给学生,这样有助于他们选择自己的学校或大学。2002年许多全球性的虚拟网络教育课程就是通过选课者所交有助学券取得资助;对于那些发展中国家的网络教育而言,这是一种重要的外援途径。瑞典曾用试验课程做实验(Verry 2001),成立“个人学习帐户”;英国劳动委员会建议成立“儿童信托基金”,为每个儿童在出生时就开设支持终身学习的帐户。

    从其它机构获取资金、租借职员和服务项目。许多大学,即使是获得大量捐赠的大学,也不一定有大笔资金用于国际预算。事实上,据报道很多美国大学不得不削减他们的信息服务预算;许多大学也在拼命力图维持其日益增加的科技成本,这些投入的很大部分是用于国际网络教育。然而,一旦日常开支和管理费用体系存在并得到资助,很多大学都支付得起他们所需讲座和课程的费用。因此,住校学生就能选择他们需要的,在其它情况下不能选取的课程。很多大学也可以利用那些来自学习者为网络课程所支付的费用。尽管预算的资金有限,但那些大学还是支付得起讲座、课程、广告和一些管理和技术服务的费用。正如国家技术大学(NTU)一样,很多教育机构完全能承担全球网络教育的一小部分任务。许多电子网络学习计划都可能通过其他人的服务来实现。此外,亚雷士(Edward Yarrish)在1991年时指出,虚拟的网络课程可以最终节约大量资金。现实生活中校园建筑的修建和维护费用昂贵,与此相比,通过调制解调器连接的电子虚拟教室可以每年365天,每周7天以及每天24小时不间断使用,而且所需费用较低。他还进一步指出,计算机科学和电子学能给世界经济增长起到巨大的促进作用。相比较而言,其它高等教育的成本持续增加,而产出甚少。佩尔屯(Joseph Pelton)早在1990年就提醒我们,在美国的公立学校里,以电子为基础的远程教育在二十世纪八十年代就已是多达数十亿美元的产业。




200012月,在潘氏美国健康组织(Pan American Health Organization)总部举行的会议上讨论了关于全球服务信托基金的提议,部分提议是关于用于健康和教育的科学技术。在国际通信卫星机构总部的克拉克远程信息和通讯学院成立大会上还讨论了一个修改议案,此议案目前仍在修订中。它是模拟美国联邦通信委员会的通用服务基金。此议案倡议7国集团的国家(G7)明年应提供数十亿美元,支持全球广泛的跨文化交际,学术自由获得优先考虑;支持跨国的合作研究;为了全世界人民的利益,尽可能充分地利用高质量的全球电子网络学习系统和远程医疗系统,见(Utsumi 2003)。

有人建议成立数十亿美元的数码机会投资信托公司(Digital Opportunity Investment Trust),该机构以风险资本运营,其初衷就像美国二战后复员军人教育计划和1862年赠地大学方案一样运作。格罗斯曼(Grossman)在2001年报道过此事。然而,用于全球运作的主要资助只有在以下条件下才可能得到保证:发展一项令人振奋的全球计划,以此消除传统的管理和制度方面的保守观念。改革高等教育的动机和动力何在?在日内瓦举行的2003年世界峰会上,塞尔夫(Cerf 2004)在做关于世界基金的报告时质疑:这些基金该如何管理?

有时,基金会要削减对大学的财政资助,政府要降低对大学的投入。玛希(Mary Marcy)在2003年做报告时说这样的财政危机才刚刚开始,那我们能做些什么呢?她号召我们应该具有全盘考虑的远见,而不是只顾个别大学的发展;她还号召教育创新是全方位、全社会的,而不是小范围的更新。教育资助要面向全世界所有的学习者,也包括发展中国家,还要涉及科技条件下的经济标准化。例如,诺利斯(Norris)等人在2003年时就提议,适合所有人的知识管理工具的成本要低,还要降低知识创新、知识目的重塑和知识再利用手段的成本。简单地说,必须“大幅度降低数字信息(知识)服务的成本”。在全球学习计划系统出现之前,很难说清楚如何降低成本以及哪些成本应该降低。


1.2.10 全球学习战略


当然,目前尚不清楚未来全球虚拟教育体系的组织模式;现在推荐某些管理模式也为时过早。吉尔曼(Ralph Killman) 是匹兹堡大学领导组织文化项目的负责人。他在1989年时说过,教育机构在21世纪的发展将会日新月异。传统的机构模式——大学里采用的等级森严的官僚管理模式——将不能正常运转了,其结果必然不能适应时代的发展。吉尔曼说,我们所经历的是互联网这个21世纪主流趋势的突飞猛进,需要的是全球发展的眼光。现在的教育机构、公司或政府机关再也不能单独主宰和决定国际虚拟教育体系发展的未来。许多人设想,这种教育的机构和管理模式会自然地出现。然而,克勒富兰德(Harlan Cleveland)在1991年反驳说,一个国际机构需要强大的集体意识,能在进行政策分析、统一标准和政策执行时起指挥作用。

除了有虚拟的管理机构以外,还应有学术规范的潜在制约。全球各机构之间的横向关系可能由于互联网而变得越来越紧密,例如,可以提供作为同行审阅全球课程的工具。然而,1980年前后,世界因为计算机和通信革命,以及知识爆炸而发生了翻天覆地的变化(Duderstadt 2000.)。曾几何时,各部门、各独立运营机构和各专门机构的旧式组织形式取得了巨大成功;但现在这种关门运行的组织模式已经过时了。如今,教育正处在这样的国际环境中——世界变得越来越小,变化越来越快。教育机构商业公司都进行了改组和开始进行协作,并与一些合作项目和协会(联盟)进行合作实验。同样地,这些新兴组织机构也与国内国际的一些研究机构、政府机关和一些社会共同体建立了广泛的联系。



策划者们曾有这样的问题:网络教育的课程交换需要什么样的网络模式?学习者在这个过程中以电子形式联系在一起。吉尔曼(Killman)说,在这个互联网中,知识信息是按照新的类别构成的;一种现代的知识分类将代替传统的劳动力分类。这个网络中心的任务是:组合资源、设定目标、确立优先权和项目,保持网络的整体性。全球终身教育的管理采用什么形式呢?全球管理的构造取决于全球高等教育的形式吗?伊那亚图拉 Inayatullah 2000)预测了未来高等教育的几种模式:超级大学;虚拟大学,可以像航天项目中的合作一样在全球网络中交换学分(1.07);小型特色大学(1.06);可面对面的、终身学习的学校和精英大学(部分人会付得起)。

我们能否预测,诸如对可能性的模拟和仿真这样的新技术能帮助全球的教育机构对付“社会风暴”并做出有建设意义的分析和回应,使教育发生相应地变革吗?下一章将讨论人机合作,利用新一代的科技来变革高等教育。事实上,人类教育正在近乎绝望地承担起让世界上所有人受教育的责任。(Cole  1994)。如果您对本章所提议的全球教育管理方式不满意,我们将寻找其它办法。






The Future of Higher (Lifelong) Education: For All Worldwide: A Holistic View
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July 12, 2006 -- Copyright © 2002-2005 Parker Rossman