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BRIDGING THE KNOWLEDGE DIVIDE Educational Technology for Development

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Author(s): Reviewed by Ozlem OZAN,

Journal: The Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education
ISSN 1302-6488

Volume: 10;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 226;
Date: 2009;
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ABSTRACT
BRIDGING THE KNOWLEDGE DIVIDEEducational Technology for DevelopmentMarshall,S., Kinuthia, W. & Wallace Taylor., Ed.D.; Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, NC, SBN: 978-1-60752-109-9, p.433, 2009Reviewed by Ozlem OZANFaculty of EducationEskişehir Osmangazi UniversityEskisehir, TURKEYThe concept of a knowledge divide is used to describe the gap in living conditions between those who can find, manage and process information or knowledge, and those who are impaired in this, for one reason or another. In the 21st century, the emergence of the knowledge society becomes pervasive hence the information and ICT systems that support knowledge are very important.This book discusses how educational technology can be used to transform education and assist developing communities to close the knowledge divide. Its broader audience is anyone who is interested in educational technology for development. In the book you can find best practices and case studies especially from countries in Africa.The book is edited by Stewart Marshall, Wanjira Kinuthia, Wallace Taylor. Professor Stewart Marshall, PhD, is the director of the Academic Division of the University of the West Indies Open Campus (UWIOC) and holds the UNESCO Chair in Educational Technologies.Dr. Wanjira Kinuthia is assistant professor of Learning Technologies at Georgia State University. She works as an instructional designer in higher education and business and industry for several years. Professor Wallace Taylor, PhD, is a founding director of The Information Society Institute (TISI), a non-profit academic, research, and policy development organization based in South Africa.The book is consisted of 433 pages (+xxxv) covering 24 articles divided into four sections and provides information about flexible learning for empowerment, managing and communicating knowledge, flexible delivery in higher education and preparing teacher using flexible approaches.Topics covered in the book are as follows:Flexible Education and Community Development, Flexible Learning for Community Economic Development, Contribution of the IDE in Promoting Gender Equality and in Empowering Women in Swaziland, A Virtual Wheel of Fortune?: Enablers and Constraints of ICTs in Higher Education in South Africa, Delivering Distance Education for the Civil Service in the UK: The University of Chester’s Foundation for Government Program, Knowledge Management Strategies for Distance Education, The Effectiveness of Mobile Short Messaging Service (SMS) Technologies in the Support of Selected Distance Education Students of Makerere University, Uganda, The Impact of Video Conferencing on Distance Education Courses: A University of Namibia Case Study, Open Resources for Open Learning in Developing Countries: Deciphering Trends for Policies, Quality, and Standards Considerations, Freedom, Innovation, and Equity with Open Source Software, Copyright Issues and their Impact on Flexible Education in Africa, University Education for National Development: Makerere University’s Dual Mode Experience, Considerations for Higher Education Distance Education Policy for Development: A Case of the University of Botswana,Blended Online and Face-to-Face Learning: A Pilot Project in the Faculty of Education, Eduardo Mondlane University, Evaluating the Impact of CABLE: A Cognitive Apprenticeship-Based Learning Environment, From Distance Learning to E-learning in Central and Northern Mozambique, A Framework for the Delivery of Cross-Regional Distance Education to Professionals in Developing Countries, Distance Learning—Challenges and Opportunities for Postgraduate Medical Education: A Case Study of Postgraduate Training in Family Medicine Using Distance Learning at the University of the West Indies (2001–2006), Pre-service Teacher Preparation and Effective eLearning, Distance Teacher Training in Rwanda: Comparing the Costs, Beckoning E-Learners through Exploration of Computer Technology, Educational Technology and Flexible Education in Nigeria: Meeting the Need for Effective Teacher Education, Fostering Digital Literacy of Primary Teachers in Community Schools: The BET K–12 Experience in Salvador de Bahia.First section of the book consists of five chapters. It deals with some of the key issues in flexible education as a means of bridging the knowledge divide, empowering groups and building cohesive communities. In first two chapters, identifications and of critical factors and constraints to the delivery of flexible education for community development is provided. Paradigm shift to more open and flexible learning is discussed. In next chapter, a distance education application as case study is given in promoting gender equality and in empowering women in Swaziland. Fourth chapter presents a regional perspective on how academic staff and students are enabled and constrained by access to variety of resources. Finally, some of the lessons learned from Delivering Distance Education for the Civil Service in the UK: The University of Chester’s Foundation for Government Program are given.Second section, consists of six chapters, and covers topics of knowledge management, specific technologies that can be used in the facilitation of flexible learning and open educational resources as an issue of access to knowledge.First of all it provides an introduction to the concept of knowledge management and emphasizes its importance in distance education. Then more effective usage of mobile technologies is mentioned and a Uganda example is given.Furthermore, the impact of video conferencing on distance education is mentioned from University of Naibia’s point of view. On the other hand open access movement and open educational resource (OER) is reviewed in the light of knowledge society trend. Finally copyright issue and their impact on flexible education are discussed.Third chapter looks at some of the methods adopted by universities often in difficult circumstance. Examples from dual mode universities Makerere University in Uganda and University of Botswana, Eduardo Mondlane Univeristy, Catholic University of Mozambique are given and discussed. Within this context challenges and solutions are mentioned. Furthermore some framework for distance education planning and programming are offered. Results of evaluation study on the impact of a Cognitive Apprenticeship-Based Learning Environment are discussed.Flexibility of teacher education is an important issue for flexible education of students. Because of this, final section, which consists of five chapters, focuses on flexible learning and teaching into teacher preparation. Case studies and thoughts from China, Rwanda, Nigeria, Salvador de Bahia are shared.BIODATA and CONTACT ADDRESSES of AUTHOROzlem OZAN, MA has been a Research Assistant in Department of Computer Education & Instructional Technology at Eskisehir Osmangazi University in Turkey since 2002. She received B.S. degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department and master’s degree in Distance Education at Anadolu University. Her research interests are distance education, information and communication technologies. She also gives lessons about multimedia development as an instructor

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