Digital divide, development and e-learning

Regional economies and communities are facing increasing economic, social and cultural hardship in many parts of the world as economies adjust to the demands of the new orders of the information society. A part of this is the paradox that regional economies and communities can be either enhanced or disadvantaged by information and communication technology (ICT).

The potential enhancement comes from the increased social, cultural and economic capital which comes from harnessing ICT products and services. The disadvantage comes from the power that ICT products and services have in centralizing commerce, service provision and governance away from communities that have been unable to bridge the digital divide.

Education has a major role to play in resolving this paradox, but education itself is affected by the paradox. Unless ICT becomes part of both the delivery and content of education, the disadvantage will deepen and development will suffer. This blog seeks to raise for discussion some of the ways in which ICT can be used for both education and development.

For more on this, I recommend visiting this website about e-learning, and also reading:
Closing the Digital Divide: Transforming Regional Economies and Communities with Information Technology;
Encyclopedia of Developing Regional Communities with Information and Communication Technology; and,
Using Community Informatics to Transform Regions.

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