Nowadays borders have been faded and there are constant revolutions that make communication possible, feasible and almost instant in just a matter of seconds all over the world. Terms such as ”Information & Communication Technologies” (ICT) and ”Learning & Knowledge Technology” (LKT) have been introduced to today’s world following the developing digital world. The attempt is to integrate technology tools into teaching and learning means for educators. Admittedly, there is no doubt of their importance and the cost-effective role they play in science development and improvement.
However, a question raises and some might wonder whether ICT or LKT could be replacing the traditional networking and learning strategies that universities have been offering to their students or staff so far?! Would they be enough to substitute or underappreciate the traditional ways such as admitting the international students or sending their students and staff on exchange programs to other universities?!
As important as ICT and LKT are, there is a greater value in the traditional ways. In other words, these two perfectly complement each other and should not be overshadowing one another. Experiencing is a huge part of profound learning and only through the real world interaction students, researchers or staff could be able to feel the differences and start thinking about them. Novel ideas for research arise from the deep understanding and feeling of the need. We all know the necessity is the mother of the invention.
Furthermore, a very much-underrated aspect is the benefit of seeing the world through other people and culture eyes. Different societies tend to look at the world around them differently. Sometimes it is good to be open and vulnerable to the differences and give yourself an opportunity to be out of your comfort zone and simply live the experiences. Putting it in other way is that there are different norms in different societies. This factor is also true when it comes to different universities and different learning environments.
Finally yet importantly, is the role of peer-learning. Regardless of your position at the university as a student or a staff, it is always tons of new things that you could learn from your peers. They could be as simple as their daily routine to manage their life or work duties, or as complicated as the new learning materials, methods and strategies.
To conclude, the important thing is that you could always get the benefit of seeing the differences, start thinking about them and consequently, adopt or ignore them. Nonetheless, you could end up having a great new idea for your next research topic 🙂
Mina Azimirad BSc, MSc, RN, PhD candidate, Research Assistant at SLIPPS and ENhANCE projects
Address: University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Department of Nursing Science
PO BOX 1627, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
T: +358 41 7193144