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International lessons for the digital age

By Paul Breen

Abstract

Some commentators hold the view that the digital divide is a problem largely caused by lack of access to appropriate technologies which, when overcome, will act as a virtual panacea for many interlinked ills. Yet, others see this as far too simplistic an analysis in the search for radical solutions in a world of such extreme social inequality and global inequity. This paper will argue for a bottom-up rather than a top-down approach to finding those solutions, advocating a greater amount of needs-based work in this field, getting to the root of the problem by taking into account the particular set of conditions within each situation or case study. At the same time it will strive to create a more harmonious world view where each small scale project is seen as part of a network searching for broader solutions rather than an end product in themselves. In order to provide a framework for this argument, and support theories with informed practice, a case study of a teacher training project delivered to Rwandan students, through the medium of the English language and new technologies, will be used as an example of what has been achieved so far in the field of online learning, and what lessons could be learned for the future. The paper shall also argue for greater involvement on the part of British universities, so that voyages into this multidimensional terrain, widely explored but largely uncharted, remain more pedagogic than economi

Topics: T Technology (General), L Education (General)
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:generic.eprints.org:431/core5

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