Our WebDebate in November focused on the question: ‘What is needed for a curriculum on Gender and Diplomacy in diplomatic training academies?’ The debate produced the first building blocs for a curriculum and pilot training in gender and diplomacy.
New information and communication technology (ICT) not only changes the practice of diplomacy, it also can, and should, influence how we teach diplomacy, and in particular public diplomacy. In June, I attended the annual conference of the British International Studies Association (BISA) and was inspired by a panel on Teaching with Twitter. I use the insights shared there and some of my own reflections to make the case for including Twitter in teaching public diplomacy.
In this post, I want to take a step back and look at the motivation behind online learning – not from an individual perspective but from the perspective of institutions and society as a whole. The question is: what do we hope to achieve for our organisations and for society by offering online learning? For this post, I’ll be looking at some of the recent reports to get a sense of the current debate.
Quantum theory represents not only one of the biggest advancements in our understanding of nature, but it is also a fertile ground to inspire thought experiments and new ideas in fields other than physics. A diplomat who is in two places at the same time? Events which have an immediate effect on the other side of the globe? Crises which are in a state of indeterminacy until we look at them?
Online learning is now part of education at almost all levels and not a month goes by without the announcement of a new cooperation initiative in online learning or a new platform being developed. Although the hype generated by the first Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is over, there is still excitement buzzing around each new initiative. Precisely because the hype is over but the excitement is not gone, this is the time to draw on the lessons of various online education initiatives.
'New diplomacy' has become somewhat of a buzzword. In its current form it mainly describes new actors becoming more visible in the diplomatic process. We have also seen new terms such as health diplomacy being used more frequently. Here, I am wondering about the potential of so-called education diplomacy.
Education Diplomacy Day, organised by the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) and DiploFoundation, took place on 7 October in Geneva. ACEI started developing the emerging concept of Education Diplomacy in 2009, and the concept is still under construction. The day-long event in Geneva helped to map the emerging field through presentations, discussions, and networking with relevant practitioners.
One of the key moments of the NSA-affair from a German perspective was the revelation that the phone of German chancellor Angela Merkel had been tapped. She reacted by stating that "spying among friends, that cannot be" and bemoaned a loss of trust.
2012 was the year of the MOOC. MOOC, an acronym for massive open online courses, grabbed the media attention and became a widely discussed topic in education. Three of the most famous initiatives, Coursera, Udacity and edX enabled a large world-wide audience to take courses from elite universities for free. Especially the fact that high-level education suddenly became available for free for anyone who wanted to take part, was heralded as a major advantage and the start of a new era in education.