Our research interests in this strand regard both the impact of global spaces and times on education and the role of education in global spaces and times. How can education harness the opportunities global networks offer for distributed collaborative and transformative learning? How can we assure that learning in global contexts does not passively reinforce current economic, political and cultural hegemonic forces? How do we foster creative and collaborative, critical and contingent learning?
MOOCs and the Open Access movement have garnered interest and support for their potential to make content available on a large, or massive scale. What risks being forgotten, however, is the social dimension of learning, the shared construction of knowledge and exchange of perspectives, and the potential technology has in education to bring people together – though not yet on a truly global scale.
Virtual Exchange, which we would define as “technology-enabled, sustained, people-to-people education programs” is one way of exploiting global communication networks to foster greater understanding and awareness of multiple perspectives and critical approaches to learning. Members of the Next Generation Global Studies group are currently involved in two virtual exchange projects: