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.
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.