With so many technological devices at our fingertips, the world has become a much smaller place; people of all different cultures can come in contact with each other at any time of day or night, regardless of timezone or location.
Given the diversity of interactions that occur in today’s globalized society, it is essential for people to develop an attitude of tolerance for, and appreciation of cultures, religions, and perspectives that differ from their own.
In an article on TheGuardian.com, Patrick Blessinger and Olga Kovbasyuk suggest that higher ed institutions should play a role in preparing the next generation of adults to be upstanding global citizens.
Colleges – and online colleges in particular – should focus on finding ways to promote intercultural communication.
Through virtual learning spaces in the form of blogs, wikis, email, and virtual conferences, students from all over the world can join together and learn together. They can use online forums to discuss political, ethical, and scientific issues that are pertinent to all societies around the world. Students can also work on shared projects together, which helps bridge cultural gaps and fosters a sense of community and togetherness.
In this way, students will develop intercultural communication skills that will last with them for the rest of their lives.
For the full article, see Higher education needs to build global learning communities on TheGuardian.com.