The New Education Agenda

Gordon Freedman, Blackboard, Jan 03, 2008
Commentary by Stephen Downes

It's a bit difficult to parse exactly what Gordon Freedman, Blackboard's VP of education strategy, is trying to say here. But I think it's this: worldwide, education is being seen as more vital to national policy goals, especially in countries outside the English speaking world, and as companies (incuding Blackboard) attempt to globalize, it will be important to adapt to this reality. These governments have seen learning technology as playing a central role in this, providing as they do a means of providing access to learning, but also because they can be more cost effective and can shape a consistent K-20 learning environment. All fair enough, though it should be clear that the undertone is that he is telling governments that e-learning technology can be used to support their (political?) economic and social objectives. "A technical infrastructure tuned to the missions of innovative institutions is absolutely necessary to service the new economy, the new labor force, and to help produce the flexibility and adaptability necessary for the 21st century." As discussion of the 'new education agenda' progresses, the question, 'who do we serve?' must surely rise to the forefront.
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