How the world learns
|April 23, 2010|
New methods and technologies transform the teacher’s role in global education
The ways we access and use information have changed radically over the last decade. Thanks to innovations such as social networking, micro-blogs and instantaneously loaded video, we can know about an event within moments of its happening, even if it happens on the other side of the world.
These dramatic advances in technology– and our increasingly easy and economical access to it–affect the ways we learn. For educators trying to stay one step ahead of GoogleTM, the challenges may seem to equal the potential. However, there is no longer a question of whether technology is essential to a teacher’s toolkit. It is.
Innovative programs based in UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management and its Public Health Leadership Program are on the front lines of educating 21st-century learners.
“The rise of new technologies poses both profound challenges and opportunities for educators,” says William Zelman, PhD, professor of health policy and management.
“The teaching-learning hierarchy is quickly changing from an emphasis on teaching to an emphasis on learning–and how to incorporate technology into the process.”
“Millennial” students — those born between 1977 and 1995 — are the focus of Zelman’s new Gillings Innovation Laboratory. His “Teaching and Training in Public Health for the 21st Century: Toward a Global Seamless Classroom” examines issues related to curricula and engaging students in learning activities.
“Many millennials are multi-taskers,” Zelman says. “They use the Internet for a variety of tasks, including for texting, emailing and participating in social media, many times a day. They demand activities that engage them, and incorporating information technologies is now an important part of curricular design.”
Along with others, Zelman has developed a budgeting module designed to increase the financial literacy of budding public health practitioners.
The need for accessible and high-quality public health education has increased exponentially with the global increase in public health priorities.
“Current distance learning practices don’t address the needs of public health practitioners around the world,” says Rohit Ramaswamy, PhD, Gillings Visiting Associate Professor in the Public Health Leadership Program. “Many of the working public health professionals in developing countries have not had access to technology or information about best practices.”
Ramaswamy’s pilot program, “Leveraging Local Knowledge to Improve Public Health,” is based on a series of collaborations. To develop the distance learning course for global public health competencies, he has worked with School faculty members William Sollecito, DrPH, Diane Calleson, PhD, and Louise Winstanly, LLB, MS, of the Public Health Leadership Program, who teach, and Eugenia Eng, DrPH, Allan Steckler, DrPH, and Laura Linnan, PhD, of the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, who designed the curriculum. Public health professionals in six learning units–three in Ethiopia and one each in India, South Sudan and Swaziland–have taken part in the pilot program. The units include people who work together routinely and face similar public health challenges.
The world moves fast, but it’s getting smaller every day.
- Read more about Zelman’s Gillings Innovation Lab at www.sph.unc.edu/accelerate/gils/zelman.
- Read more about Ramaswamy’s Global Learning Program at www.sph.unc.edu/glp.
- Read more about the School’s Certificate in Global
Health at www.sph.unc.edu/phlp/globalhealth. Applications for fall 2010 will be accepted until June 1.
- Read more about the online executive doctoral program in health leadership on the School’s website (www.sph.unc.edu/drph) and in the Spring 2006 issue of Carolina Public Health magazine (www.sph.unc.edu/cph/drph).
Carolina Public Health is a publication of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. To view previous issues, please visit www.sph.unc.edu/cph.Last updated June 07, 2010