Giving ICT an Asian Perspective

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The Asia Pacific region presents a picture of contrast when it comes to developmental stages of different countries. On the one hand it has countries like Australia, Japan and the Republic of Korea, which have comparatively mature economies, competitive ICT infrastructure and solid human resource base. On the other hand there are countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, that face daunting challenges.

Recently held eAsia 2008 presented key policy makers, managers and academicians with an overview of these differences, while highlighting challenges and opportunities that countries face in effective utilisation of ICT.

The eAsia report in this issue points towards the need for Asia to take a lead in new growth areas, while facilitating multi-stakeholder participation to overcome various roadblocks.

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The Asia Knowledge Forum, launched at the event, represents a fruition of an endeavour to assist the Asian countries in mobilising best practices and knowledge on integrating technology in education.

The commentary section spells out need for radicalising education through ICTs. The author, who is an IGNOU joint director, emphasises on the utility and subjective appropriateness of technology. Various modes of technology can be an answer to a heterogenous society with variable levels of socio-economic development.

We also present Indonesia’s tryst with integration of ICT in the higher education sector, and the constraints it faces. There is also an interview of Dr Binod Agrawal, who pioneered use of qualitative methods for communications research during the world famous Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) of ISRO. SITE proved beyond doubt that the gap between urban and rural India can be neutralised through information technology.

As 2008 goes by, we wish our readers a happy New Year! We will see you next year with our 3rd anniversary issue, which will carry a perspective of all stakeholders on ICT in education.

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