Exploring the Role of ICTs in Addressing Educational Needs: Identifying the Myths and the Miracles

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Date
2006-08-23
Authors
Daniel, John
West, Paul
Mackintosh, Wayne
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
Abstract

Our title is Exploring the role of ICTs in addressing educational needs: identifying the myths and the miracles. Persistent myths have lessened the impact of ICTs on education. Fortunately they are balanced by miracles of theory and practice that are gradually gaining the upper hand. // We shall start by dismissing the pernicious myth that innovation in the application of ICTs is the preserve of industrialised countries by listing innovations from southern Africa that are global trendsetters. // We argue that developing countries have two advantages over industrialised countries in exploiting of the fundamental miracle of educational technology, which is its ability to provide higher quality learning to increasing numbers at lower costs. The power of this miracle increases with every new generation of technology. The current trends to social software and open educational resources will benefit more and more South Africans as connectivity steadily improves. In Africa you have the advantage of scale and the habit of leapfrogging into new technologies. // But things are not always what they seem. We warn you of a difficult, but important section later on in the talk when we shall explode the myth that all open content is truly open and show how to restore the miracle of a global intellectual commons that cannot suffer the tragedy of the commons.

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ICT in Education,Educational Technology,Developing World
Country
South Africa
Region
Africa
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