One of the key benefits of a global and networked society is the ease with which information can be disseminated and discussed. Indeed, we are all privy to information that once would have been difficult or costly to access. It’s why it is important that we, as a society, learn how to effectively interact online and engage in significant discussion.
Here is an example;
The Business Council of Australia has sent a submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Bill 2014.
The Business Council believes the comparative advantage for Australia must be to train, attract and retain the best and brightest people in the world. That means we need a higher education sector that delivers skilled graduates, world-class research that leads to innovation, and a strong export industry.
For a few years it was bandied about that Australia was ‘the clever country’. That notion then seemed to fade into the woodwork. As someone who is convinced that education is one of the most profound ways to positively change lives and create better futures, here’s hoping that the weight of the Business Council can help avoid the political horse trading mentioned and see education funded at the level that can see a return to ‘the clever country’.
This is where being a sophisticated online community can be invaluable. We can get discussion going, solicit feedback from people that we would have difficulty reaching physically and canvass views from a wide variety of people.
So, perhaps a crucial new area in education is to teach how to interact effectively online, the rules and etiquette, how to think critically, and engage/respond to others effectively.
[This connects me to a separate post about why it is essential that we teach everyone how to think critically. That I believe is more important than much of the content mandated in curricula.]