5 Key Barriers to Educational Technology Adoption in the Developing World

Clayton R. Wright, Apr 17, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I think this is the real challenge to talking about educational technology in the developing world: before you can get to educational technology you have to consider, if not overcome, these barriers. What are they?

  • electrical power
  • internet connectivity
  • training and professional development
  • value of teachers
  • sustainability

Most of these could be solved with money - and in a nation like Canada, they would be - but some, like electricity or internet connectivity, would require a great deal of money, because of the need to build social infrastructure before you can build a learning infrastructure. And most of the discussion around them talks about short-cuts or work-arounds: solar power, for example, or mobile internet. But you can't short-cut the last three, and that's why these problems are ongoing.

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