IT and the Digital Divide

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					The Changing Landscape of the Global Digital Divide
Opportunities and Challenges for Teacher Education
Paul Resta The University of Texas at Austin

Will discuss:
• The changing landscape of digital divide • Key elements of digital inclusion • The leadership opportunity and challenge for teacher education

Digital Divide



Traditionally defined in terms of access to computers and Internet Digital exclusion is part of a broader divide contributing to social and economic exclusion of people Multiple aspects: economic, geographic, languages, gender, etc.

The Knowledge Divide



The digital divide helps widen an even more alarming divide - the knowledge divide Closing the digital divide will not suffice to close the knowledge divide for access to useful, relevant knowledge is more than a matter of technology access Growing concern over the commoditization of knowledge (knowledge for sale)

Teacher education should (and can) play a leadership role locally, nationally and globally in moving toward digital inclusion

Global landscape of digital divide

Adult illiteracy rates by region and gender


Arab States

Central & E. Europe

Central Asia

East Asia & Pacific

Latin America North America & Caribbean

South & Sub-Sahara West Asia Africa

Source: UIS, Literacy database, June 2005

Challenge of Global Teacher Shortages

A huge shortage of teachers worldwide:



15 to 35 million teachers needed by 2015 Two-thirds of the world’s 60 million teachers in developing countries Teaching is becoming a less attractive profession – low status, poor working conditions and salaries
(Haddad and Draxler, 2002)

Percent of households with a radio

Source: UIS from ITU World Telecommunication Indicators Database (2005)

Percent of households with television

Source: UIS from ITU World Telecommunication Indicators Database (2005)

Number of personal computers per 100 inhabitants in 2002

Source: UIS from ITU World Telecommunication Indicators Database (2005)

Broadband penetration in top 20 economies in December 2005

Internet Penetration by World Region
(in millions) 19.2007

Percent of Internet World Users

Internet users per 100 inhabitants 1994-2004

Source: International Telecommunications Union

Telephone Subscribers and Internet Users 1994-2004
(in billions)

Comparing mobile growth rates, by region, 1993-2003 (per cent)
Compound annual growth rate (CAGR), % , 1998-2003 Arab States 68.6



Asia Pacific











Source: ITU World Telecommunication Indicators database

Telephone subscribers per 100 inhabitants, Africa 1995-2004

Context of Knowledge Divide

• Knowledge, both basic and applied, is growing exponentially • World knowledge base doubles every 2-3 years • Similar growth trends in information on Internet

Size of Internet in Terabytes
Medium 2002 Terabytes

Surface Web
Deep Web Email (originals) Instant messaging TOTAL

91,850 440,696 274 532,897

Lyman (2003) How much information 2003

Library of Congress =20 terabytes

Percent of Web content by language 313 billion web pages (2004)


Essential conditions for digital inclusion
Access to:
basic literacy skills  computer hardware, software and connectivity to the Internet  meaningful, high quality, culturally relevant content in local languages  creating, sharing, and exchanging digital content  educators who know how to use digital tools and resources in pedagogically sound, culturally responsive ways

Teacher education opportunities and challenges in moving toward digital inclusion

Foster public/private initiatives to increase:


hardware access in schools Connectivity



Rapid growth of wireless technologies WiMax -increasing range of wireless Explore mobile learning opportunities

Advocate for new regulatory framework in developing countries



Today’s broadband challenge requires new thinking and an end to business as usual Build on mobile success where 1 billion mobile customers (or 58% of today’s 1.8 billion mobile users) are in developing countries Regulators have an unprecedented opportunity to speed the uptake of broadband to enable the Information Society

Develop Pilot Projects


Work with schools, communities, government agencies, private sector to demonstrate benefits of access Example of Educational Native American Network (ENAN)

Provide Leadership in Open Educational Resources

Rapid growth of digital libraries, open educational resources

Merlot, Google, Yahoo

 

Open Courseware Initiative (MIT, UNESCO) Rapid growth of free /open source software
 

Examples: Open Office,GIMP, Tux Paint, Nvu Creative Commons (some rights reserved)

Provide learners with access to teachers who know how to use digital tools and resources

E-Learning for Teacher Development

Source: Teacher Development in E-Learning Age. UNESCO (in press)

The Role of E-learning in Teacher Development….

Helping Teacher

move from… …

Provide leadership in working with communities to develop meaningful, high quality, culturally relevant content in local languages

The Four Directions Project

An Indigenous Model of Education

Use of Technology to Develop Culturally Relevant Content

Use of technology:



to develop culturally responsive content in local languages to incorporate traditional cultural knowledge into curriculum to preserve and revitalize native languages

Virtual Museum Partnerships
• Many cultural & historical artifacts of indigenous peoples are spread across the world in museums and private collections • Partnerships between museums & tribal schools offer way to create virtual museums that “digitally repatriate” items back to their cultural homelands

Provide leadership in enabling communities, schools, teachers, students to create, share and exchange digital content

Cultural Appropriation of ICT to Empower Indigenous Communities



Enable native voices to share what is shareable about their culture Use the Internet as means of fostering cross-cultural understanding and to share knowledge with other indigenous peoples To digitally repatriate important cultural artifacts resident in museums

Provide leadership in research on the application of digital technologies to enhance learning for all groups

Summary Leadership Opportunities & Challenges of Teacher Education
with accreditation agencies for teacher digital fluency •Developing pilots to demonstrate effectiveness and feasibility •Work with community members to develop culturally responsive cultural digital content in local languages

Summary Leadership Opportunities and Challenges for Teacher Education



Provide leadership in open educational resources Collaborate with telecommunications regulatory agencies to develop policies that will support educational development Establish trans-national partnerships with teacher education institutions in developing countries to foster exchanges and sustained dialogue

Paul Resta