Education for all by ICT4D Hubs: a Sri Lankan Case Study
2014 (English)In: Proceedings of the 13th European Conference on e-Learning – ECEL 2014 / [ed] Örngreen, R.; Levinsen, K. T., Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited , 2014, 347-353 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
ICT4D, here defined as the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in developing regions, has been classified as one of the most powerful and cost efficient ways to improve the standard of living in the developing world. Many regions in Asia have shown a rapid but heterogeneous development where information technology has made a drastic change to urban regions and globalisation but often left rural areas without much investment with further urbanisation as result. The aim of this study is to describe and discuss how a number of ICT4D initiatives and the creation of eLearning hubs in Sri Lanka have been supporting education for all and local development. ICT4D hubs can have various physical as well as virtual shapes and organisational models but should always facilitate education and development by the use of ICT. Some examples of studied eLearning hubs are telecentres, primary schools, online distance programmes, eLibraries and learning object repositories. A number of case studies have been conducted between 2006 - 2012 using interviews, observations and participatory action research for the data collection. Findings show that many of the analysed hubs have contributed in positive ways to the general progress of the country and most urban areas in the Western region have had a rapid development where ICT has been an important catalyst. Sri Lanka has had an outcome that must be classified as better than average with increased opportunities to education and ICT hubs as multipurpose meeting points. Contributing main factors to the successful development is the high literacy rate, the chain of ICT4D projects and a committed implementation of eServices. Several initiates have contributed to development but the internal gap has rather grown and knowledge sharing and inter-project cooperation has failed. What could be seen as a strength in the Sri Lankan ICT4D model is the way top-down management sometimes is combined with bottom-up activities. At the same time as the gap between Sri Lankan cities and the developed world has diminished the internal digital divide has increased and there exists a need for further support of the islands eastern and northern regions. The recommendation is to enhance the islands existing rural ICT4D Hubs and upgrade them to more autonomous and service-oriented ICT4D routers that could handle the islands future eGovernance and eHealth services. Found keywords for successful outcomes are commitment, collaboration, communication and coordination.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited , 2014. 347-353 p.
, Proceedings on the European Conference of e-Learning, ISSN 2048-8637
ICT4D, ICT4D hubs, eLearning, Blended learning, Sri Lanka
Research subject Computer and Systems Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108680ISI: 000351434400045ISBN: 978-1-910309-69-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-108680DiVA: diva2:760058
European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL), Copenhagen, Denmark, 30-31 October 2014