How are filmmakers from developing countries helping students learn about strife and poverty across the globe? How can a student in India earn a Masters degree in America without ever setting foot on campus? The answer to these questions is the same: Technology. Technological capabilities are improving at a break-neck pace. At the same time, the demand for personal cultural awareness, advanced degrees and lower costs are more prevalent than ever. International education now means much more than studying abroad. In today’s society, new technological capabilities are allowing more people to develop skills at a lower cost.
Let’s begin with some examples of how education and technology have been brought together in creative ways. The first example comes from a website called Curriki. This site is driven by a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide free curricula and instructional materials to students of any age, kindergarten through 12th grade. All of this information is freely accessible by anyone who has an internet connection. One of the most compelling features of this site is its “Connect” function. This allows teachers to share best practices, provide feedback and upload curriculum across the world.
The second example of how technology has influenced international education is a solution provided by a satellite internet company called Hughesnet. Hughesnet is an internet service provider which utilizes a satellite system to enable users the capability to get internet reception anywhere in the world. Building upon this platform, Hughesnet took part in a project called the Amazonas. This project combines video conferencing and remote internet connectivity to enable distance learning solutions to over 20,000 students throughout the country of Brazil!
All in all, technology has changed the way people obtain and digest new information across the world. Without recent innovations, one might argue that the quality and access to information would not be anywhere near where it is today.