Technologies for Social Goods, Latest Trends
Innovation is all around us. We are, we are told, experiencing massive changes reflecting the impact of new technologies, of globalization, of a whole new order. Lifelong learning is at the very center of this new agenda, as encapsulated in the first paragraph of the introduction.
Change in higher education is thus driven by a number of forces including the demands of employers, government policy initiatives, and attempts by “teachers” in universities to meet the changing needs of students and to reflect the changing nature of their subject matter. But inertia, or resistance to change, is also heavily supported by a range of factors. For certain institutions, the nature of their intake has remained more or less constant, the demands of employers fairly distant and the temptations of government-advocated reforms generally resistible, despite the necessity of some token effort. The higher education sector is, of course, highly differentiated, with the obvious divide between “new” and “old” universities (pre- and post-1992). However, there are also divisions within institutions and even within departments. Even in the most research-oriented of old universities, there are lecturers who see themselves primarily as having a teaching role, and in the most progressive of new universities, aiming at becoming student-centered learning centers, there are those who strongly aspire to international levels of research excellence. For many “academics,” a term which they would much prefer to “teachers,” their subject remains paramount and their expertise is measured by their research output rather than the quality of learning experienced by their students. Nevertheless, one of our second-phase case studies was of a research-oriented “old” university that had developed a very strong teaching and learning strategy, with a high level of innovation well supported by external funding.
The creativity, energy, enthusiasm, innovative techniques, modern thinking, and approach with positive attitude of the youth can be channeled correctly with ICT, with young people becoming the catalyst of the changes they attempt to manifest. ICT also provides websites like You Tube, MySpace, Face book, and Twitter.
The present study is an attempt to make the higher authorities or management to initiate the best practices in their educational institutions to explore and exploit ICT to enable them having far-reaching developmental changes in education, students, teachers, and society as a whole, under their leadership for the progress of their nations. Over the last two decades, there has been a rapid change across continents and communities, due to the global belief in the crucial role of ICT, in bringing youth empowerment through education, market dynamics, business, and social environments. This is a clarion call to business schools and educational bodies to train and involve the youth and let them evolve as the pioneers with the aid of ICT. This will emphasize the awareness in them echoed by its mission statement, that is, “Harnessing Internet Technology to cultivate youth leadership and engagement in societal issues, bridging the community gap that causes the fragmentation between and within the generations of youth movements and championing the role of young people as key stakeholders in all aspects of society.”