Education in the 21st Century: Simultaneous Integration of Technology & a Universal Value System in Our Classrooms
The pervasive reality of globalization in the 21st century has brought together people of diverse backgrounds and cultures, as rapid advances in technology and communications continue to eliminate geographic borders and enhance the quality of our lives. To fully harness the advantages and opportunities afforded by globalization, we must invest in education of our youth to help create tomorrow’s leaders today. A quality education must therefore include the integration of technology and the Internet to equip our children with the tools necessary to advance in a digital world. In addition to equipping ourselves with greater scientific knowledge and competence, tomorrow’s generation of civic leaders must also understand and appreciate the complexities and nuances of the new paradigm in which we find ourselves today if they are to meet the difficult challenges that lay ahead. In this regard, it is essential that children and adolescents receive a comprehensive education that contains a strong ethical component that identifies the nature of our common humanity and implements in practical terms the fundamental values of tolerance, compassion, cooperation, responsibility, and accountability for our thoughts and actions. These universal values and principles are independent of specific belief systems and underlie all human interaction. Some examples of this type of education include Virtue Foundation’s partnership with Apple Inc., Microsoft, UC Berkeley, and others in Louisiana, empowering the underprivileged children of the state with a quality of education congruent to the needs of 21st century, and its partnership with The Dwight School in Manhattan to provide high school students, as part of their International Civic Leadership program, with the opportunity to engage in a year-long internship program at the United Nations, where they work closely under the supervision of Virtue volunteers on a variety of humanitarian initiatives.