Today, the world is moving in lighting fast pace in terms of research and technology, but it does make sense to those who can afford its benefits and accessibility. Though, we are building satellites and nuclear reactors, but are these really helping the common middle man? Yes, television broadcast and weather forecasting or determining atmospheric characteristics by remote sensing makes it more relevant and indirect. I know it’s not an individualistic approach but a nation’s approach towards building a sustainable future, but again how is the future sustainable, if the basic necessities of human life is not fulfilled?
From Cloud Computing to Solar Technology to Quantum supercomputers to Nanotechnology to Robotics, this century will be identified as the global technological age sooner or later. There are few initiatives which I would like to mention in eradicating the social causes and making the world a better society to live in.
Apple Inc. is building an application which is digitizing the textbook content and converting into e-books making it more convenient for the students to access it. It will be a revolution in terms of Education and a mentioned dream of Steve Jobs in Walter Issacsons’ book.
As per an article from BBC News, “More than 600 million people worldwide have some sort of access to the internet, but that still leaves about 5.5 billion people who do not use the net and who have no access.
Most of these people live outside the developed Western countries. While over half of UK households are online, only 0.1% of homes in Bangladesh can claim the same.” If internet is made available for each individual, there will a revolution in spreading awareness about current affairs, health and education. But before that, who will give them the device to access it.
One organization which I would like to mention http://olpcindia.net/en/ is making true efforts so that their motto of One Laptop Per Child is fulfilled.
Educational Technology has been coined and it works in creating resources of learning and making it more efficient around technology. The International Labour Organization defines the requirements for education and training in the new global economy simply as “Basic Education for All”, “Core Work Skills for All” and “Lifelong Learning for All”.
“Information and communication technologies (ICTs)—which include radio and television, as well as
newer digital technologies such as computers and the Internet—have been touted as potentially powerful enabling tools for educational change and reform. When used appropriately, different ICTs are said to help expand access to education, strengthen the relevance of education to the increasingly digital workplace, and raise educational quality by, among others, helping make teaching and learning into an engaging, active process connected to real life.” Read: ICT in Education.
How technology can enhance its competencies and making it more affordable for the commons lies in developing around ICTs linking television, radio, internet and cloud computing. Microsoft Research India is working for ICTs in rural areas.
OpenCourseWare by many institutions have been an accepted model, and through collaborations, lectures and videos from many institutes in the world are available for free. A lot of web-based learning websites have been made, and the knowledge is shared in the world with the maximum pace and efficiency. But, it should reach the ignorant and the unheard is the main task motive.
A move of Aakash, low-cost tablets available in India for just 40 dollars is going to make the world even flatter in the coming times and the ones who never actually could afford it, will own it.
I believe, through collaborations and connectivity, illiteracy will be history.
But, does technology does it all? www.teachforindia.org.