Sunday, April 11, 2010

Journal 10 Lessons From the Global South Nets 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Burns, M, Montalvo, M, & Rhodes, R. (2009-2010). Lesson from the global south. Learning and Leading with Technology, 37(6), Retrieved from

In this article the authors bring up very good points on the use of technology in West Africa where they don't have the access or the money to facilitate high tech class rooms. The authors are bringing up several examples of technologies that are being used in several countries. In these class rooms they use Smartphones, iPods, Interactive radio instruction (IRI) and its audio sibling, interactive audio instruction (IAI). Many communities in these countries are too remote to have the right set up for new technology and many can't afford the cost. But this does not hold them back. The authors talk about the fact that there is no need to wait when you can use creativity to make it happen. The fact that they have been able to overcome technological issues just so that they can continue to teach have increased student participation and the drop out rate has decreased significantly. The students find it interesting and exciting to come to class to learn.

I really found this article enlightening. You don't necessarily need to wait for "good things to happen." Make it happen with what you got. I don't necessarily think that it always has to do with technology even though that is the example this time. Use creativity and flexibility to come up with solutions. There are many ways that you can interact and make teaching exciting. I thought about the radio. What a great example. What would happen if we today made our students listen to a show on the radio? Would they be able to sit through it or are they too hyperactive?

Question #1
I wonder if students in developed countries would appreciate more technology in the class rooms and how much more they would be engaged if they did receive it?

I think whether the students will be more inclined to come to class and learn or skip class due to lack of excitement has to do with where you grow up. In our society today, our children/students are so spoiled with technology. Also, everything they do is based on instant gratification. Once you have some new gadget you will run out and buy a new one faster and better. Nothing is good enough. I believe the fact that the "simple" technology they use in West Africa really excites the students because they have never had anything like it before. It is different. They won't be able to find it in their homes. When they go to class it is cool something new. Many of our students have all technology in "the world" at home. How can a school possibly keep up with that.

Question #2
Why are we not adopting the use of Interactive radio instruction (IRI) and its audio sibling, interactive audio instruction (IAI) in our class rooms as a substitution for the latest and greatest technology?

Since many schools in the US also can't afford to have nice new technology, I think it would be a great idea to use these simple technologies that are already in place. It would be different because the students are not used to it. I think it seems to be very creative to use the technology this way and it is very inexpensive. The school does not have to supply computers so the teachers can use Skype to interact. Also, it does not necessarily have to be real time. It is the whole experience. The question would be if our students would have the patience for it.

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