Digitalization in internationalization of education – what’s in it for me besides the difficult words?

Is digitalization the answer to challenges of internationalization? There are many views on this topic, and the correct answer always depends on the person asking the question. For some it really is the new way of working together, reducing the need to travel, and making the cooperation more approachable and achievable. For others, digital cooperation can never substitute international networking and learning from others in a new country, in a new environment. In my opinion both are correct, and neither is wrong. In the previous post, Kirsi wrote about a virtual exchange experience our student Pihla got when the situation forced us to pause international mobility. That was a good solution in the moment and it will be a good option for some of our students in the future as well, but like Kirsi wrote, diversity is the key.

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Exchanges in the middle of the pandemic

When the COVID-pandemic suddenly swept across the world in spring 2020, many students were faced with difficult decisions. Students who were at that moment abroad had to decide whether it was better to return home or stay put in their host country and finish the semester there. Students who had just applied for an exchange in the autumn had to cancel, postpone, or plan to complete the studies online. In Laurea, the decision was made to pause mobilities for the autumn semester 2020. This meant no students or staff came or went. However, this did not mean that no exchange activity took place.

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Sustainable, responsible and ethical internationalization

Anyone who has been exposed to stories about time travel cannot have missed a principle often connected with it – the time traveler should leave everything intact on their travel, or their actions can have grave implications for the future. This seems to ring increasingly true for our current daily travel as well. We are presently living in uncertain times, with a global pandemic restricting our lives to smaller circles than before, and the future looking as uncertain, with the latest IPCC report presenting worrying consequences of the climate change. All of this affects travel greatly, but in a circular motion, travel affects these crises as well.

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A journey through the wonderful world of internationalization

The current times have challenged internationalization in unforeseen ways. As borders have closed and travel restrictions tightened the internationalization efforts have also come to a halt, at least when it comes to mobilities. At another front, this unusual era has worked as a propeller for innovation, harnessed to discover alternative routes of internationalization. In between obstacles and innovation, we are living exciting times when it comes to the future prospects of internationalization of higher education. This is also visible in the new Erasmus+ programme season (2021-2027) where the priorities are set on inclusivity, environment and climate action, and digital transformation.  The future is sustainable, digital and includes us all.

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AI, learning and the role of interaction

Artificial intelligence (AI) has a lot of promise for learning. However, most applications so far are using AI to replace human interaction while there are less examples of AI increasing the productivity of interaction. This article presents two retail cases that approach interaction from a different angle.

Written by Teemu Ylikoski

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