National Strategies for E-Learning in Post-Secondary Education and Trainingby Tony Bates
In this booklet, it is argued that e-learning is indeed bringing about an important shift
There has been much debate among education specialists as to whether the use of new technologies such as the Internet implies a radical change to the nature of education systems, or whether these technologies are merely tools that serve to enhance the delivery of education.
In this booklet, it is argued that e-learning is indeed bringing about an important shift within the education sector, and is changing the very nature of learning. The flexibility and accessibility of information that characterize e-learning correspond to the new types of skills required of workers in a knowledge-based economy, and not necessarily only in the most developed countries.
However, e-learning is not, as some would believe, a cheap alternative to face-to-face teaching. Indeed, the financing of e-learning is an important issue, and raises many questions for policy-makers. Whilst funding is potentially a powerful lever for government, it may also imply difficult budgetary decisions.
With examples drawn from the countries that have invested most heavily in e-learning, the author looks at the different strategies open to policy-makers. He concludes that in today's globalized economy, although e-learning may not be the answer to some of the most pressing problems in developing countries, governments cannot afford to avoid the issue of e-learning altogether.
Author Biography: Tony Bates, currently Director of Distance Education and Technology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, has researched, managed and developed distance education programmes for over thirty years. He is the author of six books, and has consulted for the World Bank, UNESCO, government ministries and universities in over 30 different countries.
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