The Role of Language in Knowledge Society Educational Systems

Susana Finquelievich, Roxana Bassi, Jul 15, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I agree with the objective of this article, which is to promote cultural and linguistic diversity on the internet. But I wish it were better argued. Much better. For example, the authors write, "most of their citizens will have to be connected to the Internet, and moreover, will have to be qualified users of technologies." Connected, sure. "Competent," even, though we could quibble. But "qualified"? It's not rocket surgery, you know. Also: "providing free or low cost Internet access in schools, libraries and community centers." Not that I would oppose this, but it shouldn't be the emphasis (especially in regions without well-developed schools, libraries and community centres). Cybercafés have historically been much more central to public internet access. The rest of the article - with references to "the necessary measures and provide the necessary resources" and "appropriate national policies" - is similarly imprecise. Photo: Wikipedia.

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