<<July 29, 2000>>
Archived distributions can be retrieved by clicking on the top lines of our home page
Mr. Bruce R. Best
Telecommunication and Distance Education Operation
Center for Continuing Education & Outreach Programs
University of Guam
Box 5278 UOG Station
Mangilao, Guam 96923
Fax: 011-671-734-8377<<04/22/1994>>for short msg
(1) ATTACHMENT I is the transcript of my greeting for your workshop.
ATTACHMENT II is the list of our reference web sites.
Pls print both with my electronic signature and distribute to your attendees.
(2) From your previous msgs, I and Roger Boston understand
that my greetings
will start from 5:45 pm of August 1st (New York time), and last till
6:30 pm for our session.
My greetings will last about 20 to 22 minutes. After my talk,
will spend the rest of the session time.
(3) Will see you at our test time at 5:00 pm of August 31st
(New York time),
and discuss more.
(4) If you have a web for this workshop, pls let me know.
(5) Pls convey my best personal regards to Norman Okamura and
Christensen when you met them.
Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen.
Good morning. Thank you very much for your waking up this early morning
for this videoconferencing.
I am extremely delighted to share my thought on global education and
learning at this historic event organized by Professor Bruce Best of the
University of Guam.
The dawn of the twenty-first century comes with a digital revolution and
economic globalization with a New Economy.
The digital revolution started with the invention of digital computer
and was fueled by the advent of personal computers in the past two decades.
Internet, which is the convergence of computer and telecommunication
technologies, is now becoming the main telecommunication media of tomorrow,
accelerating the globalization of economies around the world.
The key principle of Internet is to SHARE valuable telecommunication
media. This "sharing" principle is now being extended to the sharing of
information and knowledge, and even sharing of joy, and hence creating
egalitarian global society. In this sense, Internet will act as the effective
tool for achieving ultimate democracy, i.e., participatory democracy,
crumbling down all kinds of barriers, i.e, national, parochial, cultural,
continental and oceanic.
The sharing of information and knowledge also establishes a global
knowledge society where information skills and competence become the driving
forces of social and economic development which is based on creativity. The
New Economy now burgeoning in the US totally depends on this creativity, which
largely stems from youngsters' energetic motivation in an open and flexible
society. This is to have them transform the world from the industrial age
(where obedience predominated) to a knowledge age (where creativity and
competence predominate). The world renowned economist, Joseph Shumpeter, once
coined the word "Creative Destruction." Youngsters have to have courage to
break their shell to emerge into their new life. Oldsters have to encourage
youngsters to break their shells. This is the essence of teaching, because
creativity is a prudent province of Homo sapiens.
It is this confluence of social, economic, and technological forces that
create both opportunities and challenges for a more knowledge-intensive,
interdependent global society as a whole and particularly for the design and
delivery of education. The problems associated with this transformation can
no longer be solved with traditional educational paradigms. Old wineskin no
longer works for new wine.
In addition to the fact that the sharing of Internet will bring cost
reduction and productivity increase, asynchronous features of the Internet can
also be of benefit in access to the information and knowledge, by outreach
learners of all ages anywhere and anytime.
The Internet will rapidly create new opportunities for establishing
international distance learning and global healthcare/telemedicine programs.
In this age, effective learning requires upgraded multimedia educational
materials, preferably distributed using broadband Internet applications.
Although the opportunities for international distance learning are great and
with creativity flowering almost everywhere the Internet reaches, the global
digital divide is also becoming a new dividing line between connectivity haves
and connectivity have-nots. The use of these applications for global distance
learning and telemedicine must be efficient and cost-effective, enabling
educational institutions to foster global citizenship and achieve "education
and healthcare for all" at anytime and anywhere. Education and healthcare are
two basic needs of human development.
We held a highly successful International Workshop and Conference on
"Emerging Global Electronic Distance Learning" in August, 1999 at the
University of Tampere in Finland, with financial support from the World Bank,
the US National Science Foundation, etc..
We formed a Global University System (GUS) with group activities in the
major regions of the globe, i.e., Asia-Pacific, North, Central and South
Americas, Europe and Africa to establish distance learning pilot projects.
The GUS will harness the emerging technologies of high speed Internet
connectivity among institutions of higher learning in developing countries to
provide learners of all ages with global distance learning across national and
cultural boundaries. The goal of GUS is to foster youngsters around the world
for the Virtual State of the 21st Century with competition for excellence
through affordable and accessible broadband Internet. A central theme is the
integrated flow of knowledge among educational, research, industry and trade
sectors. Inclusion of basic schools in the design would ensure the
acquisition of this new learning culture at an early stage of education.
Dr. Tapio Varis of the University of Tampere, a former rector of the
United Nations University of Peace in Costa Rica, accepted to be the Acting
President of the GUS. Dr. Marco Antonio Dias, former director of Higher
Education of UNESCO, also kindly accepted to serve as the Vice President for
Administration. I became the Vice President for Technology and Coordination.
Dr. Pekka Tarjanne, former Secretary General of the International
Telecommunications Union (ITU), is now a Trustee member.
Each of those regional groups will formalize their pilot projects which
will foster the establishment of GUS in their respective regions with the use
of advanced global broadband wireless and satellite Internet which is to be
financed by the Global Service Trust Fund (GSTF). The pilot projects will be
disseminated as "best practices" examples for the further development and
deployment of effective international distance learning partnerships.
For example, we recently had a highly successful workshop in Manaus,
Amazona, Brazil with UNAMAZ consortium of 77 universities in 8 Amazonian
countries. The success of this Manaus event will be the first example to
other regional activities. This occasion also secured close partnership
between universities in Amazon areas and the universities in the US to ensure
students' learnability. This partnership will become the educational exchange
among them in the near future -- i.e., "the 21st century version of the
Fulbright exchange program."
During this workshop, we also had exciting demonstrations of low cost
teleconferencing technologies via narrow-band Internet for distance learning
by Professor Roger Boston of Houston Community College. He prepared
sophisticated web site for this event where you can obtain necessary software
template free of charge to emulate his approach. He is a top notch expert in
this field. Since he performed a similar demonstration during our Tampere
event, he has been invited to China, Hawaii, and so on several times. As a
next speaker, he will describe about these more in details from Houston.
We also had our telemedicine demonstration which transmitted the
echocardiogram of a patient to the University of Michigan via 384 Kbps ISDN
line for a joint diagnosis. The scanning of the echocardiogram can be done by
a nurse, but its diagnosis requires expert doctors with several years'
experience. High demand exists for the telemedicine in global scale. This
demonstration will also show the value of high-speed telecommunication lines
to open the eyes of decision-makers for their installation in remote/rural areas.
In the developing world, open and distance learning suffers from many of
the problems faced by conventional education. Additionally, lack of
infrastructure and professional competence in open and distance learning are
important barriers. Nevertheless, these forms of educational delivery have
come to stay, and many countries are looking at open and distance learning as
a major strategy for expanding access and raising quality.
The construction of virtual universities, i.e., establishing
institutional linkages and forging working partnerships among institutions, is
now the world-wide trend; for example, (1) Finnish National Virtual University
with its headquarters at the University of Tampere, (2) e-university in
England for which a large conference is to be held by the British Council in
Sheffield, England next March, (3) a large conference to create an European
Virtual University which is organized by EuroPACE and which will be held on
October 20 to 21 of this year at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in
Belgium, (4) African Virtual University of the World Bank, (5) a virtual
university of Central America which is now being contemplated by the UN
University of Peace in Costa Rica, (6) a similar movement by Pakistan
government, (7) National Technological University in Fort Collins, Colorado,
(8) Tennessee Virtual University, (9) Western Governors University in the US,
(10) Space Collaboration System in Japan, and so on, to name but a few.
Therefore, I was very delighted to receive recently an e-mail from Professor
Best which indicated his willingness to work with our Global University System.
The USPNet of the University of the South Pacific in Fiji may be said to
have a virtual university system. As you may know well, they received funds
from the governments of Japan, Australia and New Zealand, to connect a dozen
nearby islands with 64 Kbps satellite Internet lines -- 4 of them with 128
Kbps for videoconferencing. The university people told me last November when
I was invited, that Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii will be connected
with a giga bits per second optical fiber ring from this summer.
Professor Norman Okamura of PEACESAT of the University of Hawaii is now
at your conference. Thanks to his effort, we had a videoconferencing about a
year and a half ago among American Samoa, PEACESAT, Maui Community College,
and Montana State University via 384 Kbps ISDN line. He then attended our
Tampere event in Finland last August. According to him, American Samoa has
extensive advanced telecommunication network. Another colleague had his
wedding on the last New Year's day in Palau. He was astonished to find an
optical fiber network around the island.
However, as same as in any other regions, in spite of the fact that most
of countries are now getting equipped with broadband Internet domestically,
the one for inter-country linkages, particularly across oceans, have not been
well installed yet and are causing major bottleneck of congestions. The worst
yet is no one has been working on this problem. This is one of major reasons
of our establishing the Global Service Trust Fund (GSTF) with the Overseas
Development Assistance (ODA) funds of G7 countries, in the magnitude of
several billion dollars in ten years.
Incidentally, Japanese government announced a few month ago that they
will send 10,000 Information Technology (IT) trainers to developing countries,
and also pledged during the recent Okinawa Summit that they will provide US$15
billions in the next 5 years to close the digital divide in developing countries.
The way to establish a virtual university in the Western Pacific region
would then be by the extensive use of digital satellite. You may follow the
suit of the USPNet which used a free channel of INTELSAT under the Project
ACCESS (formerly Project SHARE) program which was initiated by Dr. Joe Pelton,
one of our GLOSAS/USA board members and a former spokesman of INTELSAT. He is
now with George Washington University -- incidentally, Dr. Ted Christensen who
is now with your conference is at the same university. As you may know, China
TV University started with the use of INTELSAT channel under this program and
now has 7 million students around the mainland China, though they use analog
By the way, because of rapid advancement of synchronous
videoconferencing and asynchronous web learning capabilities over Internet,
such an analog satellite education in the US has now declined to one third of
once peak time usage. In addition, asynchronousness and easy, inexpensive
interactiveness of Internet are more suitable to outreach learners from
anywhere at anytime, compared with the conventional approach of replicating
You may then consider the possibility of utilizing the INTELSAT narrow-band
(1.5 Mbps) channels for uplinking with the Project ACCESS and WorldSpace
satellite for broadband downlinking which is now operational over your area.
The latter dedicates its 5% capacity for humanitarian purpose and SATELLIFE in
Massachusetts now uses it over Africa for telehealthcare.
You may also consider the use of fixed and mobile broadband Internet in
your island so that Greek style mentor system can be provided to small number
of distance learners in the just-in-time" or on-demand" mode at anytime,
anywhere. As Professor Norman Okamura witnessed during our Tampere event last
August, Nokia in Finland is now working to develop a videophone at 34 Mbps
Internet for commercialization in the coming 4 years!!
As for your construction of the vision of higher education in the coming
decades, you may refer to the transcript of keynote speech made by Dr. Dias
during our Tampere event which is now available at the web site of our Tampere
event at <http://www.uta.fi/EGEDL>. Dr. Dias was the key person who organized a
large World Conference on Higher Education (WCHE) for the Twenty-first
Century: Vision and Action"
<http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0011/001170/117022e.pdf>. This was held at
the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris from 5 to 9 October, 1998 and was attended
by over four thousand people. His keynote speech was his summary of the conference.
The foundation of virtual university system is partnership among its
member universities. You may refer to the Memorandum of Understanding for
Partnership" in our web site which was recently composed by our colleagues in
Ukraine and at the UK Open University.
Technologies are not ends in themselves, they are used to extend
opportunities of learning to make learning more efficient and flexible, and to
enrich the learning processes. Due attention should be paid to specific
institutional, national and regional contexts in order to take into account
diversity and to avoid uniformity.
Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts on global learning with
you. We would be very happy to work with you. I wish you a very successful workshop.
Reference web sites (As of July 23, 2000)
2. Tampere conference (Finland, August 1999)
3. Global University System:
4. Global University System Asia-Pacific Framework
5. Global broadband Internet networks
6. Global Service Trust Fund (GSTF):
7. Manaus workshop
8. Manila workshop
* Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., Chairman, GLOSAS/USA *
* (GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A.) *
* Laureate of Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education *
* Founder of CAADE *
* (Consortium for Affordable and Accessible Distance Education) *
* President Emeritus and V.P. for Technology and Coordination of *
* Global University System (GUS) *
* 43-23 Colden Street, Flushing, NY 11355-3998, U.S.A. *
* Tel: 718-939-0928; Fax: 718-939-0656 (day time only--prefer email) *
* Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tax Exempt ID: 11-2999676 *
* http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/ *
Return to Global University System Mid-2000 Correspondence