Malaysia, Vision 2020, and Leadership

This past week, John Nash (fellow author of Education Recoded) and I have had the pleasure of presenting to faculty and students at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We have been talking about the impact technology has on education and the dire need for technology leadership. I have not been in Malaysia for about a decade. However arriving to the airport it was evident: Change is happening here. Here are a few reflections that resonated with me:


  • We heard rumors that the Malaysian government is funding something in the neighborhood of 10,000 students to obtain PhDs. Even if this number is not right, the concept has been verified.
  • Some universities are proactively trying to increase their research capabilities and in turn increase their international rankings. (It seems to be working)
  • Young teachers get it. It was not a hard sell to convince would-be-teachers that technology is changing education and that this change requires leadership.
  • Less developed countries have opportunities to do education differently. Countries like Malaysia can change and change fast – but it takes solid leadership.
  • Malaysia’s push to be a developed country by 2020 (Vision 2020) smells like opportunity – if the political will is there.
  • There are cracks though---we heard that some Smart Schools (tech rich schools funded by government) are not working well because the leaders did not get it and thus did not plan for pedagogical change and did not think about sustainability.
  • Despite the hiccups, I am impressed with what I saw. It is not a utopia – I know. But I really do believe that if a less developed nation invests in its educational leaders and ensures that these leaders become technology leader then big things will happen! I am optimistic. You?

    LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

    Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

    Getty Images
    Sponsored
    Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

    No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

    Keep reading Show less

    What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?

    Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?

    Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash
    Mind & Brain

    Each new year, people vow to put an end to self-destructive habits like smoking, overeating or overspending.

    Keep reading Show less

    A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

    She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

    Strange Maps
    • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
    • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
    • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
    Keep reading Show less

    Douglas Rushkoff – It’s not the technology’s fault

    It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.

    Think Again Podcasts
    • It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
    • Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
    Keep reading Show less