Harmonizing Global Education

From Genghis Khan to Facebook

By Jon Baggaley

© 2012 – Routledge

216 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415892681
pub: 2011-12-13
US Dollars$49.95
Hardback: 9780415892650
pub: 2011-12-13
US Dollars$140.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Distance education (DE) offers ways to reach the many people around the world who lack access to education and training by other means. International DE methods, however, are fragmented, and distance educators have often abandoned new technologies before giving them a chance to develop. As a result, many current DE tools and techniques are incompatible with the needs and cultures of different global regions. With the goal of designing efficient, relevant DE for worldwide audiences, Harmonizing Global Education invites scholars and practitioners to consider the historic development of technology-based education and communication studies, going back further in the literature than is often assumed necessary.

The book examines a wide range of historical ideas capable of shaping modern DE, including the Luddite Revolt among British textiles workers in 1811-12, the evolution of cubist art and musical aesthetics, and the visionary advances of early twentieth-century Soviet multimedia specialists. The author urges an awareness of previous generations of communications studies, and shows how audience research relating to traditional media can be relevant in the design of current internet-based and social media approaches. Today's open universities have grown from these earlier historical efforts, and the future success of open and distance education depends on learning from the successes and the failures of the past.


"Harmonizing Global Education provides a unique and significant contribution to distance education and educational technology. Unlike so many contemporary texts which either ignore past achievements or brush off history in a few paragraphs, the strength of the book is the author’s distinctive focus on not just contemporary issues, but contemporary issues grounded in history, culture, and the arts." —Educational Technology

Table of Contents

Tables and Figures

Introduction and Acknowledgements

CHAPTER 1: The New Silk Road

1.1) The Gold of Timbuktu

1.2) Open and mega-universities

1.3) Traditional and new media

1.4) The mobile learning tradition


CHAPTER 2: Wax and Wane

2.1) Fin de siècle

2.2) Knowledge is power

2.3) The Luddite Revolt

2.4) Media adoption


CHAPTER 3: Why is the Sky Blue?

3.1) Cubist analysis

3.2) Cubist synthesis

3.3) Cubism online

3.4) Online constructivism


CHAPTER 4: Building Global Practices

4.1) Lost foundations

4.2) The asynchronous years

4.3) A Web-based bubble

4.4) Practical evaluation guidelines


CHAPTER 5: The Power of Many

5.1) Double-edged swords

5.2) Pedigree of a plagiarized piece

5.3) The uncritical mass

5.4) A giant structure


CHAPTER 6: Harmony and Counterpoint

6.1) The man who mystified Moscow

6.2) Imperfect harmony

6.3) Global counterpoint

6.4) A fugue state


CHAPTER 7: The Prism of History

7.1) Down on the farm

7.2) "There it is!"





About the Author

Jon Baggaley is Professor of Educational Technology at the Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University, Canada.

About the Series

Open and Flexible Learning Series

This internationally respected series features invaluable contributions from the world's leading experts in the field of online learning. It offers a combination of innovative research and practical advice, offering valuable insights into the comprehensive process of developing, teaching, learning, and managing online and distance learning materials.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Distance Education & Learning