Teach the World: How Technology is Changing Global Education
Education used to be limited to the space between the teacher’s blackboard and the classroom chairs. Now there is really no denying the potential for serious education on most any topic is virtually unlimited by either time or space.
The 21st Century Classroom
The internet allows information to be shared instantly across the globe, and now an increasing number of personal communication devices keep us in touch with the internet at almost all times. Add to that the fact educators continue to develop innovations that utilize information technology as a way of delivering their subject matter, and one can see it is more feasible than ever for a person to learn a bit of quantum mechanics on the train as he commutes to work, or to brush up on his English literature while sitting on a beach.
The potential does not end with the borders of the privileged Western world, though. The 21st century classroom is a place where all the world can be educated in kind. After all, the delivery of information through the internet is truly global, and as long as it can be received in a particular setting, any given local population can benefit from it.
The 21st Century Third World
Education is widely regarded as an essential initiative in raising third world populations out of poverty. The great challenge of that lies in the simultaneous needs for infrastructure, personnel, training and information delivery. However, if at least a basic internet infrastructure exists in the impoverished area where education is needed, there exists an opportunity to reduce the necessary expenditures for delivery of education products.
That is, the groups concerned need not choose between an adequate number of classroom chairs and sufficiently up-to-date textbooks if the essential curriculum can be provided remotely and on a recurring basis. This could also reduce the minimum qualifications of teachers in underserved areas, who would then be able to develop teaching capabilities and knowledge of their subject areas by way of their own efforts, without need for extensive travel or other expenditures.
Toward Multiple Solutions
Of course, the infrastructure and equipment needed to make impoverished classrooms serviceable by the internet are quite considerable. On the other hand, providing these things tends to provide more than educational opportunities to the given area, and so the initiatives may be pursued or supported by entirely different groups.
The third world today could actually have remarkable opportunities to benefit from technological innovations in the post-industrial world, even as it still struggles to develop. Initiatives have recently been introduced with the goal of providing solar panels to the homes in rural villages, in order to power basic lights and charge phones. Similarly, laptops that are chargeable by way of hand-crank have long since been developed specifically for use by students in underdeveloped regions.
It’s possible that with a fairly small amount of investment, the entire globe, regardless of income and development, can be kept in close connection with modern information and educational strategies. Technology can turn the entire world into a classroom, and it can improve the lives of people throughout that world by furthering education among every one of them.