An Interview with Ann Harvey: Symposium on Global Education

Nov 21, 2013 by

Michael F. Shaughnessy –

  1. Dr. Harvey, I understand that you just had an “International Symposium on Global Education.” First of all, what do you mean by “global education”?

Everyone has become connected through the internet. I have online students in reading classes who teach in China and Qatar. They describe the cultural sensitivities they face when teaching reading. For instance, the Chinese students are not likely to predict what will be in a passage. They have to be sure they are correct before they will answer. We need to consider education in a larger sense than we have before.

  1. When and where was the conference held?

The conference was held at Western New Mexico University on Nov. 2, 2013.

3) Who were some of the keynote speakers?

  1. Dr. Olga Ramirez Calle, who received her doctorate from J. W. Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, spoke on Ethics and the Internet. Her publications include: Ramírez Calle, O. 2012 E-Book The Grounds of Inference by the international electronic publisher Lulu. www.lulu.com .(See http://lulupresscenter.com/ ) ISBN. 978-1-4717-7531-4 (Also as paper book in www.lulu.com )

Dr. Ramirez’s presentation was titled: Ethics and the Internet. Cyberspace, with its wide range of spontaneously emerging virtual territories, has evolved faster than our normative capacities to order it. It is challenging old regimented structures with fresh possibilities for being thought anew. This phenomenon extends to spheres of politics where philosophies and institutions lag behind rapidly growing globalized needs, which threaten to burst the narrow channels designed for more limited spheres. New regimentations are needed, and these require not simply attempts to restrict the new possibilities to our old systems of laws but to adapt and take advantage of the potentials gained. Her proposal focused on the impact of virtual communication in political affairs and the use of virtual tools to help educate the ethical and political capacities of world citizens.

  1. Dr. Diana Trevouledes, St. Louis University, Madrid. Her publications include: Trevouledes, D. & Grieger, I. (2012-in progress). Success and Sanity on the College Campus: A Guide for Parents (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, MD).

Dr. Trevouledes’ topic was Cyber Bullying which has long been on the agenda and in the awareness of the general public with regard to middle school and high school students.  More recently, a number of high profile incidents that resulted in negative consequences for college students, has made campus professionals aware that these topics are very relevant for a college student population as well.

Cyber-bullying is correlated with increased episodes of depression and anxiety, increased suicidal behavior, decreased learning outcomes, and school performance.

Recent research findings confirm the need for prevention efforts that address both forms of bullying and their relation to school performance and mental health.

4.) I understand you presented on “40 Things to Expect in the Next 40 Years”……Can we maybe talk in this interview about the TOP TEN things to expect in the next TEN YEARS?

We talked about the changing demographics. By 2050, 20 percent of the population will be over 65. Baby boomers will retire in place. Whites will no longer be the majority with 40 percent of children under five being Hispanic. The Midwest will become a producer of biomass which will be used for fuel. This will fuel the economy of the flyover region. A larger number of people will work from home because of internet connections. Suburbia will become greenurbia with more attention to the environment; more trees, more efficient appliances. Reading will be done with pixels rather than print and will be more physical, just like Tom Cruise in the movie Minority Report, who moved from page to page for more specific information. Data streaming into sophisticated charts will make chart reading a whole new literacy with symbols other than letters. Eyeglasses will supply essential information about any object that you pick up that has a transistorized data base. All of this information which can be easily queried will make propaganda less effective. My sociologist friend says that this is way too optimistic, but I see a bright future for the US.

5) Many people are having difficulty with the continual change and stress- has anyone at the conference addressed these issues?

Dr. Trevouledes addressed the issue of mental health, particularly on college campuses. She suggested that we add cyber bullying to the reasons for connecting with the counseling services.

6) How CAN the average person prepare for the future? What do they need to be doing (other than learning stress management and multi-tasking)?

Since they will live 4.6 years longer, they probably need to take care of their health when they are young and increase the quality of life when they are older. Since screens will always be on and we will never stop staring at them, most people will have to make a concentrated effort to exercise.

The long commuting practices will change, so that will be less stressful. People will move to less crowded, more affordable regions, so that will be less stressful also. The median age will move from the early twenties to the mid-fifties, so the workers will have more elderly people to support. The average person can expect higher social security taxes.

The average person should probably consider investing in manufacturing, energy, and agriculture because these will be growth markets. The balance of economic, social, and environmental systems is important for the future quality of life. We should consider sensible conservation of resources and direct talent to pragmatic outcomes which offer solutions to problems we haven’t yet encountered. An example is growing algae in the ocean which would replace CO2 on a massive scale and reduce global warming. We might want to consider the consequences of our actions on the 7th generation as the Navajo do.

7) Would you be willing to do a series of follow-up interviews about the other presentations in the near future?

You bet!

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