The internet and education in the developing world - hopes and reality

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Information and communication technologies have made a major impact on education. This raises hopes in countries like India which are undergoing rapid growth in their educational efforts. Will Information and Communication Technologies create a revolution in the education sector? What can we expect in the way of impact due to the spread of access to the Internet? Will Internet access over the mobile phone make rapid advances possible in rural areas? What evidence is available to judge popular claims and predictions regarding dramatic growth of Internet usage as a result of the widespread use of cell phones? Can we identify the impeding factors that limit progress in using technology for education at middle schools, secondary schools and higher secondary schools? The paper addresses these questions, focusing mainly on Indian data and surveys progress in the spread of access to the Internet, including access using cell phones. It presents information on expenditure levels to offer insight into relevant socio-economic factors. It discusses the problem of language and the nature of content available over the World Wide Web. The whole effort reported in this paper is to get a realistic view of the current and potential impact of the Internet and Communication Technologies on education in India. Evangelists of technology have a way of creating unsustainable hopes by ignoring social and economic reality, and therefore a critical examination of available information is necessary. The paper concludes by discussing technologies and initiatives worth considering for ameliorating the situation mentioned above.




Ramani, S. (2015). The internet and education in the developing world - hopes and reality. Smart Learning Environments, 2(1).

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