Learning ‘using’ technologies has become a global phenomenon. The Internet is often seen as a value-neutral tool that potentially allows individuals to overcome the constraints of traditional elitist spaces and gain unhindered access to learning. It is widely suggested that online technologies can help address issues of educational equity and social exclusion, and open up democratic and accessible educational opportunities. The national governments and non-governmental agencies who fund educational endeavours in developing countries have advocated the use of new technologies to reduce the cost of reaching and educating large numbers of children and adults who are currently missing out on education. This paper presents an overview of the educational developments in open, distance, and technology-facilitated learning that aim to reach the educationally deprived populations of the world. It reveals the challenges encountered by children and adults in developing countries as they attempt to access available educational opportunities. The discussion questions whether, in face of these challenges, developing nations should continue to invest money, time, and effort into e-learning developments. Can technology- enhanced learning help address the poverty, literacy, social, and political problems in developing countries?
Written by Mike Sosteric (Dr. S.)