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Education Case Study

Broadband enabled ICT could mean that any child or adult can access educational opportunities in their home communities, increasing flexibility while saving travel costs and associated carbon emissions.

Some organizations have already branched out into remote learning enabled through the internet.

• The Khan Academy, based in the U.S., provides online tutorials via YouTube that anyone can access anywhere for free. They have an internet based system that can help the educators track the progress of the learner. The learner can decide when to watch the video and how they do so – they can re-wind, fast forward, and repeat lessons at their leisure.

• Webster University, St Louis has a ‘WorldClassRoom’ platform which they use to virtually link class members from their international network. It’s different from traditional distance learning approaches as the class sizes remain small and the programs are highly interactive. The courses have all the benefits of the physical learning environment with added flexibility.

• In May 2011 Rupert Murdoch signaled that News Corp would make a significant new push into the education technology market. Murdoch has a vision for personalized learning and more engaging lessons delivered by the world’s best teachers to thousands of students via the internet. He believes that it will give ‘millions of young people at the fringes of prosperity the opportunity to make their own mark on this global economy’.49

Economic benefits

ICT enabled education can decrease the travel cost associated with studying and teaching and can decrease the requirement for classroom space. Many students graduate college with a student loan debt of $20,000; a 108% increase in just 10 years.50

The flexibility that

enhanced distance learning allows could mean that students have the flexibility to more easily continue to work while attending classes, potentially decreasing their long-term debt.

Environmental benefits

ICT enabled education can decrease the need to travel to and from home and school saving on fuel consumption and associated emissions.

Social benefits

In the U.S. more than a million high school students, or 1 out of 4, fail to graduate with their high school class each year.51

In rural areas 17% of adults

aged 25 and older have a college degree (half the percentage of urban adults). The percentage of high school students attending schools offering advanced placement courses is significantly lower in rural areas (69%) than in cities (93%).52

Interactive online resources and access to the highest quality educators through the internet could help all students and in particular those based in rural locations in their lessons and in preparing for work after they finish school.

49 Bradshaw, T. Murdoch signals push into education. FT online. May 24th, 2011. Available from Last accessed June 20th, 2011.

50. Star J. Blog. 2010. Student Loan Debt in the United States. Available from Last accessed June 16th, 2011.

51. Civic enterprises 2010. Building a Grad Nation. Available from Last accessed June 20th, 2011.

52. Alliance for education, 2011. America’s rural high schools: challenges and opportunities for success. Available from Last accessed June 20th, 2011.


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