What Do We Know About Using new Technologies for Learning and Teaching? A Ten Year Perspective. Digital Divide or Digital Dividend? Postcards from the South
The 12th Cambridge International Conference on Open and Distance Learning, What do we know about using new technologies for learning and teaching? A ten year perspective, 25-28 September, 2007, Digital Divide or Digital Dividend? Postcards from the South, By Asha Kanwar, Commonwealth of Learning // 'We firmly believe that the Commonwealth can contribute meaningfully to measures aimed at bridging and closing the digital divide and are resolved to do so. ICTs provide an opportunity for individuals to learn, to grow, to participate more actively in society and to compete more efficiently in markets'. 1 // Does this overarching rhetoric adequately capture the cultural specificities and different needs of the Commonwealth Member States? Is the 'digital divide' only about the ownership and use of ICTs? What have we done in the last ten years to deal with the issue of the digital divide and what lessons have we learned? In each 'postcard'-which is open (doesn't require an envelope), informal (unlike an epistle), wide-ranging and brings news from exotic destinations--I will look at three key areas - each a postcard reporting success that travels across the digital divide with major implications for converting that divide into a dividend not just for the few, but for all. These promises of success are i) ICT in Education policy; ii) the emergent Open Education Resource (OER) movement and iii) the impact of technology on encouraging the emergence of the 'new learner'. Finally, these postcards generate some questions which stimulate us to reflect on what responsibility each of us has in converting the digital divide into a dividend.