Is distance learning equal opportunity for the global community?

Asked on by kimamccray

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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To some extent, it is, but there are ways in which it can actually increase inequality in the world.

Distance learning does make it much more possible for people around the globe to partake of the best possible educational opportunities.  A person in a poor country like the Philippines could, through distance learning, take classes from a top-class university in some other country.  This can help to create more equal opportunities around the globe.

However, the infrastructure needed to take advantage of these opportunities is not equally available around the world at this time.  Poorer countries may lack good internet access.  Poorer people in any country might lack both internet access and access to computers.  These things would make it harder for the poor to take advantage of the increased opportunities available to the well-off.

Theoretically, then, distance learning is equal opportunity and can increase equality around the globe.  In practice, however, it might exacerbate inequality.

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