Bridging Digital Divide Through Content

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When dealing with education, across all  ages, the basic necessity is to accept that the child is ahead of us in this digital age. We need to make an effort to catch up with youth, periodically, and give them what they need. Parenting and education are both very traditional; they both resist change. There is a common pitfall for both: you and I know 'everything'; we feel that we know exactly what our child needs and set about providing for that need, as we perceive it. We take that perceived need for granted, while dealing with children and rural society.

In any ICT intervention, the start is by using the intervention to perform an existing function better. But to really utilise the full potential of ICT, after a certain stage there is a need to bring down the existing edifice and restructure. But dismantling and restructuring are easier said than done. We need to be clear as to the path we want to follow, and avoid redesigning the wheel, before we start gradual and incremental implementation; we
need to be mentally prepared for constant midcourse corrections necessitated by changing paradigms; and not get frustrated by these
constant changes.  

Whatever practices we bring in, must be the best. Avoid hand me downs. That is the only way to bridge the digital divide. Hand me downs include second rate practices. The use of a projector to teach kids is a classic 'hand me down' example. To take ICT to the child we convert existing classrooms in to dark rooms, and use a home application projector which casts a weak image and want to teach with it. Britain has done away with projectors! Each child has a machine. It will be a while before we reach that stage, we need to think laterally, not violate the basics of pedagogy. Use of TV can be an intelligent interim measure.

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