November 15, 2013 by throughwriting
Computer Science 101
December 10, 2012
A Flattened World and Technology in Education
“The world Is Flat” is not only a book of Thomas L. Friedman, but also the truth that the world now faces. Friedman starts his book by explaining what he means when saying, “The world is flat.” The explanation comes after traveling to one of the biggest technological places in India known as Infosys, where Friedman meets the CEO, who states that there are levels for the playing field. After a while, Friedman realizes that the world is flat because technology eases the communication between individuals. Friedman divides the era into three globalizations in which various changes happen, and the most important one, he further stresses, is Globalization 3.0 starting in 2000 because people, since then, have started to globally compete and collaborate. Furthermore, Friedman wants to sheer convince himself about the flattening of the world; therefore, he travels to other places such as Iraq, and there, he sees that military uses technology to enlist people and has access to sensitive information. In addition to traveling, Friedman now explains ten tools or flatteners to show the truth, which is the world is flat. The ten flatteners are the New Age of Creativity, “8/9/95, The New Age of Connectivity: When the Web Went Around and Netscape Went Public,” Work Flow Software, uploading, outsourcing, offshoring, supply chaining, insourcing, informing, and the Steroids. The explanations of these flatteners are greatly supported with examples, facts, and statistics.
The Ten Flatteners
The very first two of the flatteners are about the new ages of creativity, which is the impact of Berlin Wall and Netscape. The fall of Berlin Wall is a great example of a clarification of general global changes and shifts toward free market economies and democratic countries, which means people select prices on the basis of their needs not what the government is thinking. In another word, people, in Friedman’s perspective, are thinking by themselves. Additionally, Friedman states, “The fall of the wall did not just open the way for more people to tap into one another’s knowledge pools. It also paved the way for the adoption of common standards” (p. 55). That is, people after the collapse of Berlin Wall see the huge economic playing field for themselves. More to the point, in the second flattener, he stresses the rise of Netscape and the protocols, which help people communicate more often with each other with the help of various operating systems. “In short, the Apple-PC-Windows phase begat the Netscape browsing-e-mail phase, and together enabled more people to communicate and interact with more other people anywhere on the planet than ever before” (Friedman p.77). Basically, Apple and Microsoft computers enhance the rate of communication between individuals.
Work Flow Software, uploading, and outsourcing are the flatteners that in my opinion work together and somehow are related to each other. With the Work flow software, people can stay at home and do their jobs, and similarly with uploading, people can upload whatever they want to share with their friends and the rest of the users. With outsourcing, companies go to the chosen country to work and hire people there. Also, the idea of outsourcing is very crucial and useful. According to Wise Geek, “There are many reasons that companies outsource various jobs, but the most prominent advantage seems to be the fact that it often saves money. Many of the companies that provide outsourcing services are able to do the work for considerably less money” (“What is outsourcing?,” 2012). In another word, outsourcing is important for virtually all companies because it saves money.
Offshoring, supply chaining, insourcing, informing, and the Steroids are the rest of the flatteners about which Friedman intensively talks. Like outsourcing, offshoring’s great beneficial is concerning with money. A company, for instance, takes one of its factories to another place, and produces its products there, which takes less money. Unlike outsourcing, “a company takes one of its peripheral tasks (e.g., accounting) and has another company handle it” (Altermatt). Another important force I would like to point out, besides the rest of the forces, is informing, which simply means inform yourself by using one of the search engines, such as Google. All in all, the only purpose of these flatteners is to clarify and show how the world becomes flatten.
Fitting Technology in Education
Technology is the tool, in my opinion, that has to be used in every inch of this life. Life lasts with the use of diverse technology; therefore, the more we use technology, the more innovation we will have and the easier life will be. Education is one of the ways through which technology is used, and the use of it depends on both countries and people. With education, technology must be used to encourage students to study. Technology can be used in education through different ways, such as by changing the old traditional classes, which students sit and perpetually listen to a teacher, to more modern classes in which teachers have platforms and students have notebooks, and together, they interact with each other by reading books or doing other encouraging activities that interest students. Furthermore, if I were the Kurdistan Minister of Education, the three steps I would do are spending a part of the countries money for technology to be used in education, having students take more computer science classes instead of having them memorize mathematical rules, which is happening now, and creating more innovative competitions between schools.
The first step is providing money, which can be done through different techniques to spend the whole money for improving technology and having more companies involve with the system. Furthermore, Preparing trips for big companies or more technological companies is another way that needs money to be done. Students here in Kurdistan would mostly like to be doctors and engineers because they haven’t even known about other fields, such as IT, Business, environmental science, and other classes. Furthermore, the second step I would do is offering more computer science classes. Offering more classes about computer is very important to high school students, and these students must be given exams to take the courses seriously. Students must not be required to memorize exact words from the book because this way the benefit of the subject lessens. Having more computer classes enhances students desire for the subject. In addition to learn by understanding rather than memorizing, competitions must happen between students, and schools, the government, and companies must support these competitions, and they have to support and encourage students to participate in these competitions. For instance, Imagine Cup Kurdistan is a very competitive program that IT college students from various universities participate, and KRG IT, Kurdistan Regional Government Department of Information Technology, greatly support this program and encourages IT college students. According to KRG website, “Supporting young people and enabling them to prove themselves through innovation, technology and hard work is a vision the Microsoft shares with the KRG Department of IT.” Moreover, if the government tries to have more competitions for students, the desire of technology will grow among almost all students with the help of local and foreign companies such as Microsoft.
Living in a Flattened World
Because technology has covered almost all the parts of the world, the more time we spend learning various technology, the more flattened our world would be. In a flattened world, communications between individuals are so easy because of mobile phones and the Internet with all its features. My own plan is to learn the most I can to get benefit from every inch of technology, particularly the Internet. My purpose is to serve my country to be flattened like the rest of the world, such as China, because the use of technology in this country is not only at a lower level, but also at a level where people misuse it. Also, I would like to inform myself by reading more articles and using more technologies to share what I know with other people like me. Additionally, I would like to continue using cell phones, notebooks, websites, and the Internet to more get in touch with the rest of the universe.
Altermatt, B. Notes on the world is flat (friedman, 2006). Retrieved from http://vault.hanover.edu/~altermattw/ms/assets/World-is-flat.pdf
Friedman, T. (2007). The world is flat. (3 ed.). New York: Picador.
Kurdistan selects team for microsoft’s imagine cup it contest. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.krg.org/a/d.aspx?s=02010100&l=12&r=223&a=39590&s=010000
What is outsourcing?. (2012, November 24). Retrieved from http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-outsourcing.htm