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Title of session

Improving access: reaching Marginalised communities and people

Session details

  • Date: 15 July 2008
  • Time: 11.00
  • Room: 801

Session papers

  • Dr Bobby Barrett, Using e-learning as a strategic tool for students with disabilities (209)
  • Dr Phalachandra Bhandigadi , Exploring utilisation of TV PrintCast technology in satellite-based training of Panchayat [local self-government members] of Karnataka (555)
  • Dr Pushpa Chakrapani Ghanta, Empowerment of marginalised communities: role of ODL in India (534)
  • Prof Andy Lane, Am I good enough? Mediated use of open educated resources to empower excluded communities (405)
  • Ms Gomang Seratwa Ntloedib-kuswani, mobile learning : reaching the disadvantaged(123)
  • Dr Hugh Starkey, distance learning and human rights education: a contribution to development (458)

Key Issues that arose in the session

  • Role of ODL in (a) countering negative cultural factors that limit participation in education and society(e.g empowerment of marginalised and excluded communities in India) and in (b) promoting positive cultural influences that support inclusion (e.g as strategic tool for learners with disabilities; in support of potential learners who lack self-confidence; through human rights education)
  • Need for action to improve access to ODL and OERs in seriously disadvantaged countries where cash is crucial (notably those at the bottom of UN league table s, based on indices such as the Human Development Index and GDP per head)
  • Use of technology to overcome effects of distance and lack of access to Internet, including in particular the evolving benefits of mobile technology

Points for future action (Policy, recommendations, commitments etc.)

  • Action to increase support from world donor community. Should not the Forum end with powerful messages of the benefit coming from ODL and OERs, the opportunities they create for developing countries and the need for modest but significant additional resources to achieve the potential? There is particular scope for public-,voluntary-private partnerships, where donors/investors can see that their money is being well-used and will make a difference
  • Exploring and experimenting with approaches, outlined in the session, to changing culture or modifying its impact (e.g. using e-learning as strategic tool for students with disabilities (paper 209); techniques for empowering excluded communities in India (534); mediated use of OERs to empower learners in excluded communities (405); exercising influence through human rights education ((458).
  • Countering effects of distance e.g through exploring use of TVprintCast technology (paper 555); and more particularly bydeveloping use of mobile technology . Because of ubiquity of mobile phones, this is already feasible in Botswana, as part of blended learning . It supportsexploration by young people of how they can benefit from Internet and ICTs (paper 123)