Volume 25 Issue 2

Educational Planning in the Age of Digitisation

Mike Douse and Philip Uys

Numerous and ingenious ICT devices and systems are being applied at various locations across the educational landscape, often with interesting consequences. Such piecemeal, add-on approaches are, however, increasingly inadequate and progressively inappropriate. Given that digitisation has profoundly transformed both the objectives of education and the means of their achievement, the requirement from now onwards is for an all-embracing and visionary strategy matching and embodying our entirely altered environment. Essentially, humanely-inspired and digitally-comfortable educational planners should creatively ponder upon how best entirely to re-structure the whole of education in order to serve and help shape our utterly-transformed and ever-evolving world. Education planning should no longer focus on formal education only, but also on informal learning. By such means may much more equitable, ethical, enjoyable (and far less economics-bound, test-oriented, world-of-work-dominated) systems be created. Specifically, educational planning now means ‘educational planning founded upon digitisation for the Digital Age’. This paper explores the implications of this ground-breaking reality.

Use of Out-of-school Time with Urban Young Adolescents: A Critical Component of Successful NativityMiguel Schools

L. Mickey Fenzel and Kathy D. Richardson

Adopting an asset-based and resilience-building framework, the present study examines the effects of out-of-school activities on advancing the academic achievement, leadership skills, and service orientation of youth of color placed at risk who attended one of over 60 independent urban middle schools that follow the NativityMiguel model of education. These out-of-school activities include late afternoon and evening academic support and other activities, such as sports and clubs, community service activities, and a holistic summer enrichment program. The present study summarizes results of individual and small group interviews with graduates and staff that address the benefits of the out-of-school programs. These benefits include being prepared for later academic success, developing effective leadership skills, belonging to a community of supportive faculty and peers, and developing a strong commitment to service and activism oriented toward addressing the needs of underserved communities. Also addressed are staffing and planning issues that contribute to successful out-of-school programs and implications for including these efforts in other schools.

Health Sciences Students’ Interest in and Opinions About Global Health Experiences

John B. Oliphant

While there is a significant body of literature regarding the interest in global health experiences (GHEs) for medical students and resident physicians, there is very little published in the scholarly literature regarding whether college/university students who are not in medical school, but are interested in pursuing a medical, health science, or allied health career in their future are also interested in global health.

An anonymous electronic survey was sent to students enrolled in the College of Health Sciences and Technology at Rochester Institute of Technology to assess how important these students felt it was for them to learn about global health issues and then determine what types of GHEs they would like to have available to them. The participants were matriculated in the following majors: Biomedical Sciences (BS), Nutrition Management (BS), Diagnostic Medical Sonography (BS), and Physician Assistant (BS/MS).

Participants were asked five questions to assess how important they felt it was that GHEs were available to them. For each of the five importance questions, between 89.3% and 93.6% felt these GHEs are either somewhat or very important versus 0.5-1.1% of those who felt that they were either not important at all or minimally important.

The survey participants were asked thirteen questions regarding their opinions about what types of GHEs might be of interest to them. The three options that garnered the strongest interest were the ability to participate in a short-term international service project (91.4%), the ability to do international clinical rotations (89.3%), and the ability to participate in international research opportunities (82.5%).

Independent t-tests showed that participants that had international travel experience in developing countries, those who were women, or those that were multilingual showed heightened interest in GHEs of various types.

One-way ANOVAs showed that Biomedical Science & Physician Assistant students were significantly more interested in GHEs than Diagnostic Medical Sonography / Cardiac Echo students. Younger students were found to be more interested in international research opportunities than older students.

An Analysis of a Government-Sponsored Retraining Program: Implications to Educational Planning

Holly Catalfamo

The collapse of the global economy in 2008 had a devastating impact on manufacturing and other sectors across Canada. Displaced workers were unprepared for the demands of the new knowledge-based economy and found that they required retraining to secure employment in modern, highly technical workplaces. In Ontario, the introduction of the Second Career (SC) program provided opportunities for laid-off workers to attend college for retraining. Using qualitative methods, this study explores the experience of adult students participating in a government-sponsored retraining program. The findings suggest that adult learners who return to school encounter many challenges, including the need to balance school-life responsibilities, the dynamics of generationally diverse classrooms, significant financial pressures, adaptation to a new postsecondary environment, the need to relearn how to learn, the need for academic upgrading, and bureaucratic processes. In addition, the data reveal significant impacts on SC students, including renewed confidence and hope, a determination not to fail, new skill development, preparation for and connection to employment, establishment of powerful relationships with instructors, and development of a supportive community of peer learners. The data revealed in this study provide important recommendations to key stakeholders with respect to the importance of educational planners creating conditions for success when planning and implementing a school-to-work transition program for displaced workers.