Just Sociology

ICT and Education’s Corporate Takeover

The Future of ICT in Education

ICT (Information and Communication Technology) plays a vital role in education by offering learners new methods of knowledge acquisition and access to vast resources. Digital media provides a wide range of formats for presentation and recording of information for customized learning.

ICT also enables personalized learning as it supports individual and self-directed learning, as well as diverse learning styles. Feedback mechanisms integrated into ICT infrastructure provide opportunities for tailored feedback to learners, which helps learners get a deeper understanding of the areas they are struggling with.

The digital world offers an increasing resource base for educators and learners. With the rise of the internet, information is no longer monopolized by individuals or institutions.

Website, blogs, online libraries, wikis, social media and many other platforms provide enormous amounts of information, insights, and knowledge. Online libraries and online learning tools contain countless resources for free without any geographical barriers.

The integration of ICT has also led to changes in the learning day, which is no longer restricted to face to face interactions, but increasingly blended with online learning. Open access initiatives from educational institutions reinforce the role that ICT has in promoting knowledge sharing and lifelong learning.

Technology is increasingly amplifying the reaching of resources into areas where there is little educational infrastructure. Despite the many advantages of ICT in education, criticism is raised concerning the neutrality of technology in the classroom.

The digital infrastructure of education has been characterized as Flexnet, a system designed by educational corporations for commercial gains to their shareholders. In this system, digital infrastructure is exploited to promote products, services, and information to students for commercial interests.

Skepticism over the neutrality of technological advancements in education is driven by the notion of educational corporatism. Educational corporatism refers to private institutions, investors, and corporate interests that influence and control education systems.

By molding technology to their proprietary software, educational corporatism ensures the promotion of commercial gains rather than student cognition. The privatisation of education through ICT also raises concern over security and privacy issues.

With increased usage of online learning tools comes the concern over data protection and monitoring. The global shadow elite, which includes IT and communications company executives, have been accused of partnering with national governments to monitor students under the guise of counter-terrorism initiatives.

The current situation gives ample opportunity for them to monitor students and use their data for targeted marketing and profiling. It is also pertinent to question whether ICT is the answer to educational evolution.

Critics argue that educational corporatism’s grip on the ICT infrastructure may not promote actualization of the educational potential, but rather re-shape educational institutions to the advantage of corporate interests.

Global Educational Corporatism

Educational corporatism is a burgeoning structure that has transformed the education sector into a $7 trillion industry. The rise of global corporatism in education is assisted by advances in ICT, which offer a new platform for educational delivery.

The advent of online learning management systems, which have become increasingly popular in universities around the world, is a hue phenomenon in the global educational scene.

Concerns have been raised about the extent of global educational corporatism and the associated influence it has on academic research, learning, and teaching.

Educational institutions tend to be manipulated by external actors, primarily through funding and targeted marketing services. Critics argue that the result is a homogenization of learning and a circumscription of independent thinking.

The global giant Flexnet–a system of educational enterprise size and scale–is the primary agent of educational corporatism. Flexnet has brought with it notable changes to the education system; some critics argue that these changes do not bode well for the learners themselves.

They argue that the main drivers of the ICT infrastructure have little interest in the educational primacy of the learners. Rather, learners are viewed as products to be marketed, controlled, and profiled for commercial gain.

Michael Bloomberg and Joel Klein’s takeover of the New York City education system is an illustration of educational corporatism in action. Klein, a lawyer and businessman, was appointed as the head of New York’s public schools in the 2000s.

Under his tenure, the city’s education system upgraded its ICT infrastructure and increased investments in educational technology. The Wireless Generation, a company founded by Klein, sold online assessments and personalized learning initiatives to the same schools Klein was running.

In 2010, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation bought Wireless Generation for $360m, in what many have called a clear conflict of interest. The ARIS system, a central database that tracks the academic records of New York’s students, was another example of educational corporatism in the New York City educational scene.

Surveillance was prominent through the ARIS system, making it possible for educational corporations to have an unprecedented level of control over the student data accumulated in the database. Charter schools were also used to promote corporatism in the New York educational system.

In 2010, the New York Post, one of Murdoch’s businesses, published editorials supporting charter schools while attacking teachers’ unions. Murdoch and News Corporation benefitted from the hype on charter education, with the promise of more money and venture capital.

Overall, the prevalence and influence of global educational corporatism in today’s education systems remain a topic of heated debate. The rise of ICT has empowered corporate interests to dominate education systems for commercial interests.

The question remains as to whether educational corporatism stifles the learning process and promotes commercial gain over educational knowledge.

Global Neoliberal Agenda for Education

Education stands at the crossroads of economic, political, and social advancement, and the foundation upon which future generations can build their own gains. As nations strive to compete on a global scale for economic superiority, educational institutions and systems have come under scrutiny in the attempts to reshape education systems’ agendas to exploit markets fully.

The global educational corporatism that emerged out of these efforts taints the education system, and in the background, a global neoliberal agenda for education is shaping up. The global neoliberal agenda for education is driven by the Shadow Elite – a group of individuals who hold immense economic and political power; their influence spans national borders and transcends all democratic institutions.

The Shadow Elite shapes the direction of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to achieve their means, which includes influencing international organizations, such as the United Nations, to adopt neoliberal policies for education. In contrast to public governance, they advocate for private governance of educational systems, which is directed toward a market-oriented model for education.

In pursuit of the global neoliberal agenda, the Shadow Elite is working with institutions such as the WEF to promote Transformation 2.0, which is predicated on data analytics or data exhaust produced by students through online lesson attendance and interactive assessments. Through data analytics, the neoliberal agenda strives to line up students to fulfill their economic ambitions.

It forces students to conform to the needs of the labour markets of international corporations through curriculum streamlining towards STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) themes. Moreover, the promotion of online instruction, which produces digital records of student online attendance and progress, creates a sense of surveillance on the part of the global elite who seek to exploit this data to deliver tailored instructions to benefit corporate interests.

As ICT corporations come to control education, learning is increasingly becoming a source of market productivity, with students being mere producers of marketable content. The negative consequences of increasing educational corporatism stem primarily from the trend of reducing educational management to data mining and analysis.

The power of educational management has shifted to the hands of the big ICT corporations, who use their vast technological infrastructure and platforms to collect data exhaust that students generate. The intention here is to shape students’ learning experiences toward a market-oriented scheme rather than toward intellectual curiosity and independence.

The control of knowledge by ICT corporations leads to the declining autonomy of individual schools and teachers. Educational institutions are forced to adopt prescribed curricula, which seeks to serve commercial interests rather than the needs of the students.

The curriculum has lost its relevance to the learner and is being streamlined towards standardization, thereby reducing diversity of thought and innovation to the educational experience. Decisions and plans that shape the direction of education come top-down from outside sources, leaving teachers with little input.

The privatization of education, promoted through the agenda of the Shadow Elite, has seen the growth of public-private partnerships in which corporate entities invest huge sums of money for educational institutions to spend. This results in inequality of educational provision, as some institutions lack the resources and support required and tend to enroll disadvantaged students.

ICT corporations parallel to this through their presence in education suggest the transformational potential of technology in basic education. College graduates in science, technology, engineering, and maths skills (STEM) are more likely to earn higher salaries and than non-STEM graduates.

STEM graduates also form the backbones for social and economic growth. Despite the potential benefits of ICT and STEM resources in education, they are considered enablers of a broad political agenda that is often not derived from the educational development of children.

Furthermore, the centralization of educational decision-making can reduce the quality of education because it fails to establish an atmosphere in which locally informed contingencies can be taken into due consideration.

In conclusion, the Shadow Elite has propagated a global neoliberal agenda for education, which seeks to promote market-oriented schemes to education, exclusive of delivering intellectual autonomy, innovation, and diversity of thought to the learner.

The corporatist approach enhances the control of the few over the many, which leads to the reduction of the educational experience to instrumentality rather than intellectual independence. The agenda promotes ICT and STEM resources, which perpetuate the top-down application of standardized curricula that do not aid educational development.

The agenda also exacerbates educational inequality and deploys data analytics to exploit students’ academic choices to the market’s advantage. In conclusion, the article highlights the future of ICT in education, global educational corporatism, and the global neoliberal agenda for education.

While technology can offer vast resources for customized and personalized learning, educational corporatism and the neoliberal agenda for education’s market-driven goals lead to a decline in intellectual curiosity and innovation. The consequences of corporate control over education, reduced autonomy of teachers, and centralization of educational decision-making could exacerbate educational inequality.

In light of these issues, policymakers must balance the advantages of technology and the market approach to education with respect to the educational development of students. FAQs:

1.

What is educational corporatism?

Educational corporatism refers to private institutions, investors, and corporate interests that influence and control education systems to promote commercial gains rather than student cognition.

2. What is the Shadow Elite?

The Shadow Elite is a group of individuals who hold immense economic and political power, which spans across national borders and goes beyond democratic governance. 3.

What is the global neoliberal agenda for education?

The global neoliberal agenda for education refers to policies and initiatives originating from private governance that seeks to reshape educational systems to exploit markets fully.

4. What is Transformation 2.0?

Transformation 2.0 is a project promoted by the WEF in partnership with the Shadow Elite to transform education with data analytics or data exhaust produced by students through online lesson attendance and interactive assessments.

5. What are the negative consequences of increasing educational corporatism?

The negative consequences of increasing educational corporatism are a reduction of educational management to data mining and analysis, control of knowledge by ICT corporations, declining autonomy of individual schools and teachers, and inequality of educational provision. 6.

How does the neoliberal agenda impact educational institutions and the curriculum? The neoliberal agenda leads to a reduction in educational institutions’ autonomy and constrains their freedom to adopt and implement more locally informed and student-centered curricula emphasizing intellectual curiosity and independent thought.

7. How can policymakers balance the advantages of technology and the market approach to education with the educational development of students?

Policymakers must evaluate how to use technology to maximize intellectual independence and innovation, reduce curricular standardization, and enhance teacher autonomy while finding market incentives aligned with student learning.

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