I have just been looking through some of the videos associated with “Examples of how the world is changing” from next weeks learning path and started to think about when I first really had “free” access to e-mail & the internet.
I can still remember working in Bougainville in the mid 80’s and having to line up for hours some times just to use the public phones. My hand full of 20 toea (cents) at the ready so I could call my mum & dad or gran for their birthday or Christmas. Used to get connected through the exchange both in Port Moresby and then in Australia. Desk top computers were not around and industrial computers had just arrived on the scene to bring new dang fangled technology into an aging plant.
In England in the late 80’s I worked with a guy who had one of the first mobile phones. It was the size of a car battery. It was probably the mid 90’s before I really had access to e-mail and then internet and that was at work. House hold computers or laptop’s were expensive. Obviously now we have easy access to internet, relatively cheap computers and laptops as well as mobile devices.
The reason I bring this up is because the start of the video has a quote from a principles association in 1815 about students being unable to write on their slates because they depend too much on paper. In Laos students don’t have a slate but the teacher still does. They still use chalk boards. There are few text books if any and the use of technology by the teacher amounts to them photo copying their notes to sell to students for a small fee to supplement the teachers salary and so the student doesn’t have to take notes in class….. Mind you they all have mobile phones! Even the monks.
Laos, like many other developing countries, has a long way to go to bring their education system into the 21st Century and as fellow student Maria Kaffatou http://mariakaffatou.wordpress.com/ quoted in her first post ‘The presence of change knowledge does not guarantee success, but its absence ensures failure’ (Fullan, Cuttress & Kilcher, 2005) pretty much sums up the current situation in Laos.