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Distance Learning In the Developing World

We at Ed Week have written about the potential for distance learning technologies to provide improved education to students in rural, remote, and impoverished areas of this country. Internet access, video feeds, and other technologies can provide students with access to courses their schools could otherwise not afford, or to teachers with expertise that isn't available in their local schools.

Move beyond this nation's borders, and the need for those services are much greater. Next month, an effort to improve students' access to education in the developing world will be taking place in Dakar, Senegal. It's a conference run by an organization called eLearning Africa, which supports the use and distribution of basic technologies in schools across the continent. The event seeks to bring together nonprofit leaders, university officials, and IT experts with the expertise and connections to get school technology where it's needed.

There's a lot of good background information on the eLearning Africa web site about the overall mission of the conference, and last year's event. The organization also seeks sponsors, who help pay the costs of school officials and others from across Africa to attend.

For some background on some of the challenges of delivering high-quality education in Africa, see my former colleague Bess Keller's excellent stories, here and here, from a few years ago, plus a Q and A.

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