Wireless technologies: A knowledge opportunity in developing countries

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By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, October 05, 2001 - 4:40 pm: Edit Post

Wireless technologies: A knowledge opportunity in developing countries

Wireless technologies: A knowledge opportunity in developing countries

Wireless technologies: A knowledge opportunity in developing countries

Jan 1, 2001 - Educational Technology, Research and Development Author(s): Hayden, Robert; Rientjes, Rod; Ryder, Wendi; Wall, Ross

Visualize a United States Peace Corps volunteer named Shem, equipped with the customary supplies for visiting the area, including his new cellular phone, as he enters a remote village in West Africa. Previous assessments of the area have shown that the crop production is much lower than it should be for an area such as this one that has fertile soil, good weather, and a long growing season. Shem, utilizing his agricultural training, concludes that the irrigation system needs a change. Realizing that such a change by the local farmers could potentially affect the productivity of the entire region, he outlines a plan to upgrade the irrigation system.

He then uses his cellular phone to send his plan via e-mail to regional headquarters, nearly 350 miles to the north. Within a few hours, he checks his e-mail, finds valuable feedback on his plan, and immediately begins work on the system. This imaginary setting represents ways in which a knowledge opportunity can be delivered via wireless technology to developing countries around the world.

The purpose of this article is to look at current knowledge transfer technologies that allow for a more efficient use of the digital world and to determine how these wireless technologies may be used more effectively to transmit vital knowledge to third-world countries. It is hoped that preliminary findings will lead to a better understanding of how wireless technologies potentially may be configured to reach an even greater number of learners in developing countries than are being reached now. This understanding may be accomplished as answers are developed to the following questions:

1. With current telecommunications technology, is it really possible to reach anyone anywhere in the world who is willing to tap into the digital world?

2. Is it likely that each individual residing in a third-world country will be able to receive knowledge using wireless technology in the very near future?

3. Is it feasible to exchange knowledge with third-world citizens by piggybacking onto the medical community technology infrastructure already in place?

Copyright Association for Educational Communications & Technology 2001

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Special Interests - An Electronic Peace Corps



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