Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Learning Centers Provide Global Access to Effective Teaching Tools

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Learning Centers Provide Global Access to Effective Teaching Tools

Article excerpt

For the residents of Namibia, in Southwest Africa, obtaining their first television set was not about entertainment or leisure--it was about opportunity and access to information. With the launch of six new learning centers, the rural residents of Namibia will now have access to television and satellite technology due to the efforts of the nonprofit Discovery Channel Global Education Fund (DCGEF) and The Africa-America Institute (AAI). In joining forces, the two organizations can better serve the people of Namibia by providing culturally appropriate educational video programming and training in the use of video as an effective teaching tool.

DCGEF's worldwide learning centers (www.discoveryglobaled.org) currently serve more than 320,000 students and have trained more than 5,200 teachers. The organization provides training and television equipment for local teachers to use in the classroom to enhance their teaching abilities and broaden their students' experiences. DCGEF chose television over all other technologies to inform and educate the underprivileged students because it requires very little technical support and can easily reach large groups of people--many of whom might be illiterate. In addition, television boasts a large amount of available content.

As an added bonus to help benefit the community, DCGEF's agreement with each school includes making the equipment available to the community outside of school hours when it is not being used. Gall Ifshin, Ph.D., executive director of DCGEF, notes that the practice of sharing the technology equipment helps to reach a larger demographic of people in addition to fostering a sense of community ownership and pride. In this way, more people are exposed to diverse cultures, enabling them to adopt ideologies that can change their lives for the better. …

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