The Tourism Global Classroom


A dynamic addition to the development of higher education technology

What is the Global Classroom? 

(Google Images)

The CN Global Classroom is an interactive, online environment that provides students studying the same subjects in different parts of the globe an opportunity to connect with each other through CN course site capabilities. This feature has soared to new heights giving students, teachers and scholars across the world an opportunity to change the way they learn. In the future, CN hopes to incorporate advanced algorithms into the Global Classroom function, such as keyword tagging, that help better filter information based on specific content categories. 



Functions and Capabilities 

In a world that has now become dependent on global interaction in all fields, how is CN exposing students to international awareness before they enter the real world? What functions are responsible for this continental outreach? 

Professors interested in building a course on CN choose a course category based on their subject. Courses that choose the same category will be automatically connected and considered as Global Classrooms of the given subject.  The Tourism Global Classroom, developed and launched in January 2014, currently has over 1,000 posts relevant to the study of tourism. Once students decide to make a post in their tourism course, after choosing the “Visible to This Course and Global Classmates” setting, students begin sharing their intellectual knowledge with tourism students on CN all over the world, breaking down the barriers of communicating globally through a complex design that’s proven itself pervasive and rewarding. Their posts, shared images, polls, and other methods of content sharing appear in all other tourism classrooms on the CN, immediately creating opportunities for quick, real-time responses. 
 
Course Networking has taken the basic functionalities of a standard online learning platform, built upon it, and expanded it into something no other higher education technological advancement has done before: CN may have coined the term, “Global Classroom,” but Director of International Partnerships at IUPUI Dr. Ian McIntosh has referred to CN’s latest capability as a, “tool of liberation.” Published editor, author and Professor Dr. Jafar Jafari believes the Tourism Global Classroom will help the “goal of globalization become more attainable.” 



Instructor Responses

McIntosh (Course Networking)
Ian McIntosh, anthropologist and former Managing Director of the Boston-based global indigenous rights group Cultural Survival Inc., now serves as the Director of International Partnerships at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), where he also teaches a course on the CN titled, “Gaza: Tourism, Development and Peace.” The course is designed to explore the potential for tourism and pilgrimage for promoting peace and development within Gaza. 

This is McIntosh’s third course on the site. The first, a virtual study abroad through Gaza, allowed students to explore Gaza’s sights, attractions, culture and ways of life through the network. The second course, a massive open online course or MOOC, gave students a chance to build a “New Gaza” in 2050 that included peace and prosperity. “Visioning is a real science,” McIntosh explained in a recent interview. “My students needed an outlet to share images and information that describe what they believed Gaza would look like years from now.”

Based on the requirements for his course, McIntosh looked to Course Networking and found it a wonderful tool for connecting. “The CN has opened the door to learning without borders,” McIntosh claimed. “A tool like this helps dispel stereotypes. With this type of global audience, hope for a peaceful and prosperous future becomes more realistic.” 

Jafari (Course Networking)
But Dr. McIntosh isn’t the only professor who’s found the global classroom to be critical to his course topics. Dr. Jafar Jafari, Co-Founder of TRINET: (Tourism Research Information Network), Founding President of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism and a cultural anthropologist, Jafari still finds time to share the wealth of his knowledge in tourism using the CN.


“Tourism recognizes no boundaries,” Jafari explained. “It crosses lines such as culture, religion, race, nationality, and geography all the time.” For these reasons, Jafari has found different approaches for teaching tourism through CN. Like McIntosh, Jafari has two different courses available on CN titled, “Sociocultural Systems of Tourism” and “Principles of Tourism” both through the University of Wisconsin-Stout. “My students have found that many concepts and issues surrounding tourism are actually universal,” commented Jafari. 

Through simple functions like the post tool, Dr. Jafari’s students can now grow intellectually more complex by sharing these similar course topics with other global classmates. “It’s become one of the most beneficial tools on the site for my students,” he claimed.
 
Student Voice

CN has been fortunate to attract a wide variety of professors in different subjects to explore the capabilities of CN and the benefits of the Global Classroom, but what do students think? What have their experiences taught them and has it been helping them become successful in their academic and professional endeavors? Active CN member and student of the Surrey International Institute DUFE in Dalian, China Wang Lu tells us why the Tourism Global Classroom works for him:
 
I enjoy using CN for connecting globally. People from different countries share a lot of good information on CN, like personal experience, websites or links, and even study materials. It is a really good network for me to learn so many different things that I have never heard of. People can make friends and communicate with people from different cultures. I enjoy sharing and learning in this network.”

 


The Future of Global Learning 

Creating a Tourism Global Classroom is one thing. As Dr. Jafari mentioned earlier, tourism includes a variety of sub categories, from culture to race to geography. In order for students to understand how tourism exists outside of the U.S., the Global Classroom is critical to their success in understanding the course, whether it is an elective or their major. 

But can you imagine a world where all kinds of subjects, from English to mathematics to science and even the arts, could receive that same global audience in a learning institution? The impact of global learning has existed for years now, but why do educators find it necessary for today’s classrooms? Virginia B. Edwards, President and Editor of Education Week, an online publication for weekly news on American education issues, issued a statement in an interview on the topic:

“I don't think there's any denying that the world has become a smaller place. And I think it needs to be an important priority of the schools to have ways of helping kids recognize that globalization is something they have to understand and respect and become one with -- not just because of the economy, but also because there are all these different cultures and different peoples of the world, and if we're all going to make it together, we've got to understand each other.”

Course Networking’s goal is to continue the learning process outside of the classroom to become more diverse and curious about the world we live in, whether it’s in the U.S., Gaza, or Asia. The Global Classroom has begun making us, in the words of Edwards, “understand each other” in ways we never sought possible. 

The future is here: and it starts in the Global Classroom on Course Networking. 


Interested in Joining the Global Classroom Community? 

To experience the meaningful global learning experience provided by Course Networking, you can go to thecn.com, create your course and invite participants. Your course will be automatically connected with other courses within the same learning category. If you want to see what’s going on in those CN tourism courses, you are welcome to join the CN Tourism Global Classroom at thecn.com/5452207.

 

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