A New Meaning For ‘Distance Learning’

Thu, Dec 11, 2008


The topic of offshoring is clearly a very sensitive one for many folks – no matter what side of the debate they fall down on.

In America, for example, it became a rather huge campaign issue during the 2004 elections. Some politicians, as they often do, made big splashes in the media about ‘Benedict Arnold’ U.S. corporations axing American employees and offshoring those jobs to cheaper destinations in countries like, you guessed it, China and India.

And many pundits like Lou Dobbs of CNN have frankly gone kind of nuts over this issue and Dobbs has sold scads of books warning Americans about the current situation, and the darker days to come.

Against this backdrop, and in reference to Eric’s post below, I just read a story about a fairly new but growing trend – the offshoring of tutoring help for American students. As the article states, it’s a political ‘hot button’ issue right now, but one can easily see how the economic and logistical advantages of this sort of thing will probably make it a more and more attractive option for all kinds of U.S. educational institutions.

What’s your take on this story?

Do you see it as a true ‘threat’ for American teachers/tutors, or do you believe this kind of thing is just a trial balloon that will quickly deflate when floated to a bigger audience?

Also – any thoughts/predictions on other American-based services (not already mentioned in Eric’s post) that might be on the verge of being shipped overseas? We all know about those call centers over in India for computer, banking and credit card companies – what’s next?

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