Reshaping Destiny: Developing Global Leaders One Digital Connect at a Time

Concurrent Session 8
Blended Equity and Inclusion

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

The development of global leaders should begin in the early learning K-12 stage and continue through higher education. How do we initiate and navigate the global learning process for leaders of the 21st century? Experience how global connectivity and digital technology provide opportunities for the development of future global leaders.


Dr. Karen Lynne-Daniels Ivy, Ph.D., is the Associate Dean – Innovation & Enterprise, Forbes School of Business & Technology at Ashford University. She is also acting Program Chair of the Bachelors in Information Systems for the Forbes School of Business & Technology, and co-founder of the media tribute company, Visionary Expressions, LLC. Karen is a life-long learner, and her educational background consists of a combination of business, technical, marketing, and management advanced studies. This includes a: Ph.D. in Organizational Management with a specialization in E-Business (Capella University), Masters in Business Administration with a focus in Management/Marketing (St. Thomas University), and an BA degree in Mathematics with a Computer Science focus (Washington University in St. Louis, MO). Dr. Ivy’s professional experience includes over 30 years of business, technical, and leadership contributions in the Aerospace, Manufacturing, Commercial Consumer and Office, Health Care, and Information Technology industries. She is an accomplished Senior Leader in the Information Technology Services industry with expertise in strategic development and oversight, service delivery, program management, and technology transformation. Dr. Ivy is a native of St. Louis, MO, and currently resides in Parker, Colorado. She enjoys giving back to the community and being a catalyst for change in our society. She has a passion for continuous learning and very much enjoys leading through change, developing others to reach their potential, teaching, singing, golfing, and travel. Her goal is to inspire others to achieve their ultimate goals in their educational and career endeavors, and to explore their passion to the fullest!
Dr. Jackson is the CEO and Curriculum Leader of the Maji Shujaa Online Academy. She is an avid reader, book writer, music writer, Braille Transcriber and advocate for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Disabled, educator and researcher of African Centered Education. She lives in St. Louis, Mo. with her adult children in a loving family, economically survivalist family entrepreneurship /sharing environment. She is always seen walking her Shih tzu and Chihuahua.

Extended Abstract

In this interactive session, attendees will:

1.      Define the importance of global educational and cross-cultural learning environments to develop global leaders of the 21st century. Presenter-audience interaction will be an important part of this session.

2.      Understand and walk through application of the Global Intercultural Online Collaborative Learning (GIOCL) Model; a framework to guide the design of a cross-cultural online collaborative learning environment and activities.

3.      Experience the shared research results and impact of social media and other digital technology integration in two real-life global learning environments: 1) Online African Centered Educational programming at Maji Shujaa Academy and 2) U.S. to Uganda global collaboration project included Ugandan May Christian College Nkumba students and the U.S. Sims-Fayola International Academy Denver, Colorado.

4.      Identify global connectivity and digital technology tools to provide opportunities for the development of future global leaders (Skype, Zoom, WebEx, Screen-O-Matic, Google Docs, Ning, YouTube).

5.      Individually reflect on your personal plan to reshape destiny by developing global leaders one digital connect at a time.

6.      Participate in a Q&A and group discussion integrating the Zoom digital technology to demonstrate creative learning and connecting global learners.


Extended Abstract:

The rapid development of today’s global economy has critical implications for leadership development. The development of future global leaders should begin in the early learning K-12 stage and continue through higher education; giving young people the skills they need to thrive in a changing world. “This requires not only building schools and increasing enrollments but also helping children and youth develop the breadth of skills needed for work and life, inclusive of academic competency and other essential 21st-century skills (Winthrop, 2016, para.31).

A global mindset is a critical prerequisite for global leadership. Research and experience have shown that the best way to perfect those skills and abilities is to live and immerse oneself in a globally diverse environment (Solomon & Schell, 2010).  As we enhance focus on moving mountains in digital, blended, and online learning, how do we initiate and navigate the global learning process for leaders of the 21st century? Current global internet connectivity and online communication technology provide opportunities for people from different learning cultures to work together for the development of future global leaders.

Several studies on the effectiveness of cross-cultural learning have been performed at the higher education level. In 2012, Chen, Caropreso, Hsu, and Yang provided an online collaborative study involving U.S. and Chinese university students. They concluded that the cross-cultural online learning environment will more likely than not have positive, engaged, reciprocal learning experiences that build on similarities and bridge differences to support their cooperative learning. Cross-cultural communication and collaboration competencies are essential for students as they prepare for good performance in their future careers.


Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning is a situation in which two or more people learn or attempt to learn something together. Johnson & Johnson (1999) proposed positive interdependence, individual accountability, face to face interaction, social skills and group processing as the five basic elements of collaborative learning, and the grouping strategies were essential to meet the needs of the five basic elements.


Web 2.0 Learning Environments

In Web 2.0 learning environments, learners and instructors are connected through mediated cyber-infrastructure and participatory Web technology to craft identity, to institute mutual awareness, to develop social interactions, to form social relationships, and to build collaborative learning communities. Web 2.0 technology aims to enhance mediated knowledge creation, information sharing, personalized structures, and, most notably, collaboration among users. These concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities and hosted services such as the use of Skype.


Technology in Education

In the writings of Fattahi (2016) the importance of technology in education has been subject to considerable discussion about the benefits of dialogic pedagogy in a virtual, online sitting. Fattahi (2016) argues that the concept of dialogue with technology includes platforms like texting, social-media, blogs, and virtual chat rooms. Further, Fattahi (2016) suggest that teachers can facilitate online discussions, facilitate peer-to-peer learning and students can share ideas, work collaboratively, and extend each other’s thinking in virtual, written dialogue.

Indeed, research on the role of technology in education suggests that technology can shrink long-standing equity, accessibility gaps, and adapt learning experiences to meet the needs of all learners (U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology, 2017). Likewise, historically disadvantaged students gain greater equity of access to high-quality learning materials, expertise, personalized learning, and tools for planning for future education (U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology, 2017).


The Research Studies

African Centered Education, The Maji Shujaa Online Academy: A Descriptive Case Study

The purpose of this descriptive case study research proposal, framed by African-centered theory, is to advance the knowledge about the online African education centered educational programming, Maji Shujaa Academy. The researcher is the CEO and lead teacher/lead developer of online educational media for the Academy.  In the present day, considerable private African-centered educators with edupreneurial spirit have advanced and created online African centered global educational programming for the students of Africa and African Diaspora population groups.

The study evidence identified suggests that the studies presented, paired with the current small number of online African centered educational programming websites, speaks to the great need, possibilities and reach of affordable online African centered global educational programming.


U.S. to Uganda Global Project

The U.S. to Uganda research study is a global project using technology to inspire and empower youth to develop early international awareness, educational exchange, and leadership development by connecting them with youth of other cultures and backgrounds.


Global Intercultural Online Collaborative Learning (GIOCL): A Model Overview

The Global Intercultural Online Collaborative Learning (GIOCL) model was proposed based on Constructivist theory and empirical framework to guide the design of a cross-cultural online collaborative learning environment and activities. The following graph (Figure 1) illustrates the model’s components and how these components interact.

The model addresses three major design components intended to support and facilitate learning: the learning environment, learning activities, and a U.S. Host. Each component involves several significant features:

1. Designing a supportive and resourceful online learning environment by providing:

a. technical, learning, and social supports to build student competence and comfort with technology, instructional content, and members of the learning community, and

b. rich and appropriate resources to support learning needs.

2. Designing opportunities for dynamic and reciprocal learning activities, involving communication, interactions, and collaborations prior to and during instruction between instructors at both sites (teacher <->teacher), among students within the cultural group and across cultural groups (student<->student), and between teachers and students within the same cultural group and across cultural groups (teacher<->student) to promote learning.

3. Providing a U.S. Host resource to support and facilitate the establishment and efficient operating of the online collaborative technical environment, lead coordination of the development of the project learning plan and ensure effective management of the project timeline.




Figure 1. Global Intercultural Online Collaborative Learning (GIOCL)

Implementation of the Model

The GIOCL model was used to design the learning environment and activities for the global collaborative partnering of the Ugandan May Christian College Nkumba students and the U.S. Sims-Fayola International Academy Denver, CO students.


The research directions of both online global studies will be highlights of this conference session.



Chen, S., Caropreso, E., Hsu, C., & Yang, J. (2012). If you build it, will they come? Global Partners in Education Journal, 2 (1), 25-41.

Fattahi, R., (2016, July). Dialogic teaching in pursuit of 21st century learning. Teachthought We Grow Teachers. Retrieved from:

Ivy, K.L.D. (2017). Developing global leaders: Building effective global-intercultural collaborative online learning environments. International Journal on E-Learning, 16(1), 33-46. Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

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Liaw, M.-L., & Bunn-Le Master, S. (2010). Understanding telecollaboration through an analysis of intercultural discourse. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 23(1), 21–40. doi:10.1080/09588220903467301.

Johnson, D., & Johnson, R. (1999). Making cooperative learning work. Theory into Practice, 38(2), 67–73.

Murphy, E. (2005). Issues in the adoption of broadband-enabled learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 36(3), 525–536. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2005.00490.x.

O’Dowd, R., & Ritter, M. (2006). Understanding and working with ‘failed communication' in telecollaborative exchanges. CALICO Journal, 23(3), 623–642. Retrieved from

Solomon, C. & Schell, M. (2010). Managing across cultures: The seven keys to doing business with a global mindset. New York City, NY: McGraw-Hill.

U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology (2017). Reimagining the Role of  Technology in Education 2017 National Education Technology Plan Update. Retrieved from:

Winthrop, R. (2016). US leadership in global education: The time is now. Retrieved from