Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Global Digital Divide

Leading up to the Peterson Symposium in April a series of Reading Groups have been considering issues around the global nature of technology in schools by both teachers and pupils. Recently the issue of inclusion/the digital divide was on the agenda with the article ' Distance training of teachers in a rural area in Kenya' by Chiara Pozzi, Sociologist, e-learning didactic designer, Centro di Produzione Multimediale, University of Milano-Bicocca, as the main point of discussion. The study looked at the effective models that worked in the training of teachers in rural Kenya. The main reason for the selection of the text was the image which appears in the paper which shows the world at night with electrically lit areas glowing brightly while some areas of the globe are in darkness in more ways than one. The question raised was how do we bring digital literacy to those dark areas of the globe in Latin America, Southern Africa, India and South East Asia.

I must admit that my view is that we must make use of the technologies which are or have become part of the community - mobile (cell) phones and Television being two powerful media for digital literacy. I firmly believe that Stephen Heppell is an important voice which organisations should pay heed to.
If we are going to go down the route of 'one laptop per child' for the developing world then we should also consider the OLPC project:

Below you can see a video from Noah Dumahasi, project manager for Together Ghana, weighs in on the digital divide across Ghana and the development of communication technology in rural Africa. - Providing a Voice

Africa takes on the digital divide
And below an article about The digital divide or access to the latest technology, is far from being equal. An attempt to remedy this is the Digital Equalizer programme of the America India Foundation, started at the initiative of President Clinton in 2001. "We have learnt how to use the camera to record, edit and make a movie from what we have edited and to burn a CD," said J M Manu Kumar, a student.

Update - interesting reading to add to this mix - the 2008 Millennium Goals from UN
I feel sure that this will provoke a wide ranging discussion as we all consider what steps are required for the future.
Also thanks to Judith Fabian ( IB Academic Director)for the reference below to the recent Education Guardian article on the 'Hole in The Wall' project begun by Sugita Mitra to consider

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