In a world where the gap between the haves and have nots is ever-widening, the issue of the digital divide looms large.
People who live in areas where learning resources, quality teachers and support groups are in short supply are severely at a disadvantage.
In India , where 75% of the population live on less than $2 per day, owning an iPad or even a reasonably powered Android tablet would be out of the realm of possibility.
However, a team at the Indian Institute of Technology took up a challenge from the Human Resources Ministry to develop an Internet-enabled, wireless tablet that a poor family could actually afford. And last month – it happened.
The Indian government sees being connected to the internet and having access to technology as a vital strategy in helping people overcome poverty and transform their lives.
So let’s stop having discussions around IF e-learning and tech are useful in Australia, let’s stop complaining about the cost of future-proofing our network (vs. trying to build a short term solution on old copper technology that will be obsolete again shortly) — and let’s take a page out of India’s play book and close the digital divide for our citizens by putting their needs first and getting affordable technology into the hands of more of our learners.
Read the full story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/opinion/sunday/friedman-the-last-person.html