Activity 3- Specific Issue Exploration – Accessibility to Technology in Globalized Educational Environment

The specific issue I am interested in for critical inquiry is the problem with accessibility to digital learning platforms in the globalized learning environment. The reason why I focus on this factor is that the difficulty of accessibility to digital educational platforms has become an important conundrum for both students and schools; it doesn’t undermine the learning efficacy but also impact schools’ recruitment of international students.

It is imperative to recognize that in the globalized trend, international students have become an important source of incomes for many schools in western countries. Particularly, students from China have witnessed a stable growth for the past decades and will continue to be a catalyst behind the trend given the fact that the number of high-income households (whose earnings are more than USD40,000 per year and therefore able to afford overseas education) is expected to increase by an average of 16.4% a year between 2021‑2030, which means  a potentially fierce competition to attract Chinese students in the following decade; based on  this prediction, schools will need to tailor their courses to fit student needs (EIU’s Country Analysis service., 2020).

Sadly, the COVID 19 has prevent the majority of Chinese students going abroad, and most of new students have to embark on their university career in digital learning platforms in 2020. That begs a challenge: many platforms, tools or apps are blocked by local firewall set by the government in mainland China, and what is beyond the conundrum is consideration of the social political impacts during the course design and the selection of learning tools. The overriding problem here is: digital tools are initially used to jump start community building and facilitate educational efficacy; however, the issue needs to be considered from a critical perspective with reference to cultural and political milieu of the countries where the technology is expected to be used – this is where my personal learning plan aims to elaborate on, hoping the study can be contributive to the critical inquiry of the our team on technology relevance to the community building.

References

EIU’s Country Analysis service. (2020). How will the coronavirus affect outbound Chinese students? https://www.eiu.com/n/how-will-the-coronavirus-affect-outbound-chinese-students/