Business, Pre K-12, Military
As the information age continues to grow and countries around the world begin to join the masses, our connections continue to get tighter. Businesses reach beyond borders to find the best prices, the best facilities and the best opportunities for workers. No longer is it necessary for a business that serves globally to be located in the country in which they were founded. If another country can serve as a better host for the business, it is just a matter of time before the company seeks out the opportunity. Because of this, businesses no longer can plan simple IDT solutions to keep their employees up to date on supply and demand and work force performance. Companies have to be willing to expand their training ability to meet the needs of all the employees for the most successful results.
In education (pre-k-12), the typical classroom no longer exists. Students enter the school doors with many different backgrounds, originations, learning challenges and socio-economic status's. Because of that, teachers are needing training in a larger variety of scenarios that may vary from year to year. Learning doesn't always happen just-in-time, but more often as a knee-jerk reaction to their falling behind. With instructional design types covering systems, products and classrooms, the teacher has a vast amount of learning to cover all of her needed learning areas. These areas are changing rapidly as well, and figuring out how to meld the three for the greatest learning is critical for the students success. One of the best lines in the book said, "Only with much wider recognition of the need for ecological systemic change among policymakers, school district leaders, funders, and researchers will it be possible to communities to succeed in transforming their school systems to meet their needs in the information age" (pg. 181). This statement really puts it all into perspective when considering the amazing challenges we face as global learners.
In military, learning cannot be the same for everyone, because like in education and in industry, the learners are from all over the world. They have language barriers, learning challenges, and cultural hurdles. Preparing IDT for the masses means that the designer needs to be aware of cultural differences, language differences and even time differences for when presentations are taking place. Each can have a huge effect on the success of the learner and the military operation.
In all three areas discussed, culture is now one of the biggest instructional design issues that comes into play. Additionally, funding for each of these has become a central focus because of global market depression. Without the funds to train, often times, the learner is left to figure things out on their own and they aren't always successful in their ventures.
Part B. Chapters in Section VI discuss global trends and issues in IDT. As the world’s population grows exponentially, we face unprecedented challenges that have implications for learning. How and can we prepare our youth to address the problems of living in a world with 9 billion people when the earth’s resources cannot sustain that many? Does our current education system, curriculum, and instructional practices help learners foster the complex problem-solving skills necessary to tackle these issues? Are there methods and practices used in European and Asian countries that we should use here in the US? Why or why not?
I guess if we knew the answer to that question, we would not still be discussing it today. As the population on the earth continues to increase, it is evident that education is the most critical piece to human survival. With a current global population of over 7.5 Billion people, sustainability resources are becoming more and more stretched. According to the OECD, the number of educated individuals around the world are continually growing yearly.
As we continue to grow, it is critical that we as educators focus on several things for future success. Our children will need to solve complex problems at a much more critical level than we were ever faced with in the current generation. For that reason, educators need to challenge students in such a meaningful way that they begin to gain confidence in their own decision making and in their own skill set that they too can pass that down and help develop the generation after them. By creating opportunities for struggle and challenging learning, we are giving the learners a chance to see growth in themselves in a more obvious way. Teaching the "JOY" in learning allows them to not focus on the failures but to realize the greatest successes come from the deepest darkest places. You can ask any man who has become a success story and most often, you will find that they just would not give into failure. You can't give this gift to a student, it must be earned through trials and errors.
Countries such as Europe and Asia have certainly instituted opportunities for changes in our educational system. In Europe, problem based learning is something that many schools teach regularly. The students are challenged and have to work together to try and come up with a solution. In Asia, many students become specialized in their training early on and can focus on their area of learning and not be forced to learn a broad variety of information that likely will not help them succeed in the job they are working towards. The down side to this method is that variety leads to creativity and unique learning experiences. I feel that focusing on a specific concept can steal untapped potential. I watched a show the other day about the US's newest tennis player rising to stardom. He fled his own country for fear of persecution. When his parents arrived in America, his dad answered a newspaper ad to work as a grounds keeper in a tennis country club. This exposure led his young son to have an interest in Tennis, a sport unheard of in his native country. This boy is now on track to be the world's greatest tennis player someday. Without a variety of experiences, we would not have this child in this situation. For reasons like this, I am not a fan of Asia's "tracked" learning system.