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Global Education & The Flat World

Today I ran across the following reflection that I wrote and forgot about in October 2006.  I believe it was around the time I read Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat.  I could just as well have written it today.

Our opportunities seem to expand by leaps and bounds in today’s world.  We still have backyards and neighborhoods, our two hands, the autumn breeze, the need to eat and wear clean clothing and maintain house and health, the need to SLEEP—things we’ve always had in our lives.  And we’ve added: cell phones and the internet, the ability to find out about anything any time, the ability to communicate so much more across so much bigger distances.  We have ever more opportunities to travel.  We can record our lives and share through pictures and movies…  The world is flat, the world is at our fingertips, the world is calling us, literally and figuratively.

And we have no more time than we did in 1960 or 1900 or 1600.

It’s easy to feel lost and inadequate in the midst of this abundance.  It can almost seem as if our actual time available is shrinking because we can seize an ever shrinking portion of the opportunities available to us.  Students must feel this especially strongly.  Do we ever discuss this with them?  How do we help them choose and feel good about their choices?

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