Technology and Globalization

There is no denying that technology has made a significant impact upon our daily lives. From cell phones to computers, the age of technology that we live in today has changed the way in which we do many things such as shop, communicate, and obtain information. Moreover, technology has not only influenced our daily lives, but has also transformed globalization. New media technology has expanded our borders and has opened avenues for learning, communication, and commerce that extend well beyond borders that I ever dreamed about. Technology in higher education is vital and has been a driving force behind the expansion of higher education across the globe. Technology has allowed people in various places to receive and education from a specific institution that they wish to attend because of distances education offered through web based applications. Additionally, the internet and web based learning is having a significant impact on work in higher education. It is creating new professional roles in higher education, especially around supporting students enrolled in distance education. Distance education also has changed the role and expectations of faculty in higher education. Instead of lecturing as in brink in mortar learning, in online distance education faculty or stretched to teach in ways other than lecturing.

Authors Friedman (2005) and Florida (2005) both presented compelling arguments regarding the leveling effect that technology has had on the world; however, these arguments diverged greatly on their ideas about how level of a playing field technology has created in the world. Friedman (2005) argues that technology has had a leveling effect on the world by eliminating the geographical boarders that for a long time have restricted globalization, especially with among nations such as China, Russia, India, and Lain America. In addition, Friedman (2005) identifies the forces that have led to the flattening of the world such as, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the creation of Netscape, uploading, in-forming, and personal digital devices. Friedman (2005) warns readers of the increases competition that technology brings and cautions Americans against become overly complacent and fearful as technology increases globalization. The final portion of the reading offers readers solutions and strategies aimed at teaching Americans how to survive the global flattening process that technology has spurred. For example, Friedman suggested that individuals be willing to change and adapt, seek out more education and training, and remove political barriers in order to be prepared to compete in a world flattened by technology. Friedman (2005) does not believe that the world is yet fully flat and does not that some barriers do exist that prevent certain people and places to not reap the benefits of globalization; however, places little focus on those who are left disenfranchised by the global flattening caused by technology. In contrast, Florida (2005) recognizes that technology has not had the same positive effects on all people and places of the world. The argument that Florida (2005) makes is centered on the idea that the world is not flat, but rather spiky because the world has highly populated geographical regions in which technology has created increased economic development and innovation and other geographical regions that are “sinking valleys” with little economic capabilities. Florida’s point is that the economic growth opportunities and innovation that technology has stimulated is highly concentrated in several urban cities and countries such as New York, Chicago, Japan, Brazil, Russia, and Sweden. In addition, the position of these countries in globalization is positive and leaves them to worry about little; however, other rural areas of countries such as India are left with little economic production and innovation and a great deal of political strain.

The argument that resonated most with me was the argument made by Friedman (2005). It is not to say that I do not agree with Florida or recognize that technology has not been economically kind to all parts of the world, but I do believe that technology has made areas flat that and that certain places of benefited greatly from the globalization introduced by technology. Furthermore, as a professional in higher education I think the argument that Friedman makes for Americans increasing education and training to compete in a flatter and highly globalized world and to increase job security, is serious. The argument made by Friedman aligns closely to Bostrom’s (2015) talk because in essence Bostrom urges people to think about the world that we are building related to artificial intelligence and suggests that we prepare and problem solve now to protect ourselves against technology of the future. Likewise, Friedman encourages us to prepare ourselves for the future that technology is shaping.

While it has been over ten years since Friedman’s book and Florida’s article were written, both are still sources that are highly relevant to the world and to me within my work environment of higher education. I believe that the concept of education and training as a means of preparation for the continued globalization that is happening because of technology is still very relevant. Education more than ever has become a means of competitive leverage for learners in our global society. It is critical that we continue to push education as critical element for competition in a global society.

References

Bostrom, T. (2015). What happens when our computers get smarter than we are? Retrieved fromhttps://www.ted.com/talks/nick_bostrom_what_happens_when_our_computers_get_smarter_than_we_are

Florida, R. (October, 2005). The world in numbers: The world is spiky globalization has changed the economic playing field but hasn’t leveled it. The Atlantic Monthly.

Friedman, T. (2005). The world is flat. New York, NY: Picador.

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Technology and Globalization

  1. I would agree with your statement that certain places of benefited greatly from the globalization introduced by technology. A few classes ago I researched the advances of education in other countries and found this article encouraging. How technology is set to transform India’s fragmented education system is a great read on how entrepreneurs and nonprofits are finding ways to put technology in the classroom. I was more focused on how this affected women are learning and going to school, but in general, it is a great article. Friedman (2005) was on par in the assessment of the role globalization is playing. The idea of the world flatting providing opportunities for everyone to benefit from the advances of technology is one I can support. The idea that education is not equal in some countries and women do not always have the option to learn is a hard reality to accept. I wonder if the flatting will allow women in smaller communities and villages around the world access to education?

    Reference:
    Friedman, T. (2005). The world is flat. New York, NY: Picador.

    Like

    1. Summer,
      It is interesting to consider very specific populations within larger populations when discussing the influence of technology on globalization. When thinking about women specifically, I think culture has the largest influence on gender and technology. It seems that if a country has cultural views regarding women that are not supportive of women advancing in society or women being educated, I find it difficult to believe that women would have an opportunity to get involved in innovation and economic development, thus leaving them very economically disadvantaged. Friedman (2005) suggests that people should place political barriers to the side in preparation for the globalization ahead. I think in many places the political barriers are often grounded in cultural beliefs. I believe there are many nations that, regardless of the capabilities of women, share a culture that believes that men are the people who should lead a nation into a more globalized economy. Women are just one special population that I think could be studied for how technology impacts the group. Right here in the United States I think it would be interesting to explore the inequality in K-12 education and study if students in poor schools that are not making adequate yearly progress are positively or negatively impacted by the flattening of the world. My hypothesis would be that students at these schools are not benefiting from technology developments in the same way as their peers are suburban schools.
      Thanks for your reply,
      A. Ridgeway
      Reference:
      Friedman, T. (2005). The world is flat. New York, NY: Picador.

      Like

  2. I want to agree with you on the vital importance of education in a technologically advancing world. Our context today, across the globe, is that we see some disadvantages of technology, but we can neither do without technology or pull the plug on it because it has a lot of advantages that are now embedded in our lifestyles and cultures. Bostrom (2015) made this very clear. It becomes very important to see how we can live with technology ensuring that we maximize its benefits and minimize or avoid its disadvantages. That is the main issue. Your emphasis on the role of education in this is very true. It is important to see that qualitative, affordable, relevant (contextually and globally), and technologically compliant education are available to more and more people, especially persons at the fringes of the technologically advancing world. An excellent initiative that highlights this is Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins (JC:HEM). The world needs more of similar initiatives in different spheres of life affected by technology.

    Reference

    Bostrom, N. (2015, March). TED: What happens when our computers get smarter than we are? Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/nick_bostrom_what_happens_when_our_computers_get _smarter_than_we_are

    Like

    1. edletech,
      The Jesuit Commons is an excellent example of the type of education and resources that can be offered to the people and countries that are considered more a valley area as described by Florida (2005). I think it is partly the responsibility of the places of peaks that are benefiting from technology and have economic opportunity to help move forward the people and places that are less advantaged. Thanks for sharing.
      A. Ridgeway
      Reference:
      Florida, R. (October, 2005). The world in numbers: The world is spiky globalization has changed the economic playing field but hasn’t leveled it. The Atlantic Monthly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally agree with you that it is the responsibility of the advantaged to see that the valleys actually benefit from the advances in technology. I wonder how this can be structured to give this important perspective more prominence.

        Like

  3. This post beautifully shows the distinction between the theories put forward by Friedman and Florida, and why you lean towards Friedman’s flat world theory. I agree that education is of paramount importance, and a flat world makes this possible even in remote areas, and it also drives down the cost. What are some of the other advantages of Friedman’s theory?

    Like

    1. Hi Dr. Robinson,
      Thank you for the feedback. I think another major advantage of Friedman’s theory is the encouragement to not settle for complacency and warns of not falling behind in innovation, science, and technology (2005). Regardless if a reader identifies more with the argument made by Freidman (2005) or Florida (2005), they should be encouraged to not be complacent and lack ambition, but rather prepare for the future to not be left behind. At a minimum, I think the advantage of Friedman’s theory is that it offers encouragement.

      Adrienne
      References:
      Florida, R. (October, 2005). The world in numbers: The world is spiky globalization has changed the economic playing field but hasn’t leveled it. The Atlantic Monthly.

      Friedman, T. (2005). The world is flat. New York, NY: Picador.

      Like

  4. While I do agree with you that the higher accessibility of education via technology / online study makes it more available to others, the question still remains regarding affording education – in whatever format it is presented in. Do you think there will ever be a time when education will be available to all so that we can make progress on making the world truly flat?

    Andrea

    Like

    1. Andrea,
      I wish I could say that I felt confident that there would be a time that education would be available to all so that we could make progress; however; I think because of the clustering of innovation that happens in urban areas I do not believe that the appropriate educational tools and resources will be placed outside of the areas that have the wealthy and the greatest economic production (Florida, 2005). It think that as a society we continually place emphasis of development on the areas that we believe and investment will reap economic development. I think it will take people with resources saying I want to invest in education for people in the “valleys”.
      Thanks for the question!
      Adrienne
      Florida, R. (October, 2005). The world in numbers: The world is spiky globalization has changed the economic playing field but hasn’t leveled it. The Atlantic Monthly.

      Like

  5. Hello Adrienne:
    In you posting you write, “Bostrom urges people to think about the world that we are building related to artificial intelligence and suggests that we prepare and problem solve now to protect ourselves against technology of the future. Likewise, Friedman encourages us to prepare ourselves for the future that technology is shaping.” Do you think we have done a good job of preparing for the impact of technology in the past, or in the present? My sense is that we (people and nations) seldom understand or appreciate the long-term implications of decisions, and not just in the realm of technology. There were great benefits derived from the industrial revolution, but there were also a great many hardships, displacements, and long-term consequences. I feel the same could be said for the technological revolution. Any thoughts?
    Randy

    Like

    1. Hi Randy,
      I don’t think we have done a good job of preparing for the future that technology is shaping, mainly because as a nation we have not placed more emphasis on the importance of K-12 systems being strong regardless of the location, urban or suburban. I think when we recognize the importance of investing in education, we will be on a better track towards preparing for the future of technology.

      Adrienne

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s