Celebrating innovation and enterprise in Digital Learning Asia 2006

The Internet has unleashed the infinite and often bottled potentials among its  users opening doors for rapid learning, human creativity, information access,  and global communication. When did these possibilities actually  translate into widespread public access to the Internet? It is  difficult to specify a date, but  one can identify a few key  developments and the key actors behind those developments.  In Word Matters: multicultural perspectives on information societies, the coordinators, Alain Ambrosi, Valérie Peugeot and Daniel  Pimienta share the developing countries perspectives of moving to a knowledge society. In the utopian definition of an information society, access to technology will not be a barrier, nor the diversity of languages, nor capacity to adapt to new innovations and rapid turnover of the technologies. A vibrant and able community of practitioners, who have integrated the new mediums, just as we brush our teeth daily, will nurture this. All this is possible with the concept of sharing knowledge, building collaborations and creating exchanges of information and experiences in a seamless fashion, through inter-operable modes and making it possible to build on the strengths of those countries, regions or communities who are ahead of the others and quickly catching up. Asia is at the brink of such a revolution. Countries in Asia have rapidly adapted to the new world information order and are focussing on education as a key  thrust to build a knowledge pool, preparing to service the global needs and responding to growth opportunities. Yet divides remain, and challenges need to be overcome. The papers in this conference special of the Digital Learning Magazine come in the week of Digital Learning Asia 2006, highlighting the essence of the discussions in the conference. The effort is not to reinvent the wheel, but learn from the mistakes of the past. For example, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong who have had major successes in the effective use of ICTs for education both for learning improvements and also education management can share their experiences with other developing countries in Asia. In Vietnam and Thailand, educational policies and processes are needed to be reformed to upscale the successful project and to coalesce these with other policies  ertaining to economics, social development and poverty reduction and science technology. The Digital Learning Asia 2006 is an important effort to network and building a collective vision. It is not just an event – it’s a process of  networking among people who have the experiences in the policymaking, technologists, practitioners in the NGO sector, the private sector etc. The entire ecosystem players have an opportunity to interact, learn, share and foster alliances and collaborations. And the magazine is the platform to continue these linkages for building the Knowledge capital for Asian countries.