4.3.1 Broadening Teaching Possibilities
Further, in rural and remote regions, connecting schools to Internet enables a new generation of distance learning that goes far beyond traditional correspondence courses or broadcasting-based services. Internet enables services including videoconferencing, real-time distribution of classroom materials, and collaboration with students in the classroom and other distance learners.
In Bangladesh, ICTs have been incorporated into the non-formal and continuing education sector. Learning centres such as Gonokendros (Union Libraries) have been established by the non-profit BRAC 186 and Grameen Communications’ Village Computer and Internet project. Although these centres are primarily set up as community centres in rural and under-served areas, the aim is also for them to be access points for informational and educational content, communication services, and other services. 187
An evaluation of an ICT for education project in Russia, carried out at the end of the 2007/08 school year, found that enrolment in distance learning courses increased by 75 per cent. The enrolment in rural areas jumped from 2.4 per cent to more than 30 per cent. The big increase was due to Internet connectivity, which allowed students to take an online training course to prepare for the Unified State Examination. 188
The common thread linking such initiatives is the Internet connection in the educational institution. It enables fast and cost-effective transmission of resources targeted at key populations, as well as sharing of content and curriculum with other institutions remotely located students.
187 Infodev, ICT4E in India and South Asia - Bangladesh Country Report, http://www.infodev.org/en/Publication.877.html
188 World Bank. Implementation completion and results report (ibrd-47260) on a loan in the amount of USD 100 million to the Russian federation for a e-learning support project in support of the first phase of the government's education modernization programme.