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on 9 October 2012

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A survey of firms carried out in 56 developing countries finds those that use ICT grow faster, invest more, and are more productive and profitable than those that do not. It translates into a high demand for investments and presents a tremendous opportunity for innovative public-private partnerships. (From the April 11, 2006 World Bank’s home page launch announcement of 2006 Information and Communications for Development: Global Trends and Policies). How ICT Helps Meet the Development Learning Challenge ICT is, and will continue to be, a catalyst in advancing economic growth and poverty reduction. New information and communication technologies overcome the barriers of distance and time, and significantly improve the accessibility of information and knowledge. As a result, the sharing of information and knowledge quickly and effectively becomes feasible and acts as a key element in achieving development goals and mitigating the impact of unforeseen events such as natural disasters or outbreaks of disease. Distance education using ICT also offers potential learning opportunities to those previously excluded. ICT enables information and knowledge to travel faster and further Millions of students and trainees participate in education and training programs to acquire
knowledge and skills that may have future application. In the workplace and in everyday living
people seek specific knowledge and skill when and where they need it. ICT makes available and
accessible just-in-time information and knowledge and provides opportunities for continuing and
life-long learning. ICT makes available just-in-time information and knowledge for learning Distance learning, where learning takes place away from the place of instruction, has a long history and correspondence courses can be dated back to the mid 19th century. Radio has been used effectively for education in reaching students on isolated farms in Australia. A UNESCO sponsored Farm Radio Forum modeled on a 1941 Canadian radio discussion program was successfully employed in the 1950s and 1960s to support agricultural extension in developing countries. From the 1960s to ‘80s various analog technologies and satellite-based transmission systems brought about considerable growth in distance learning. The use and popularity of personal computers and related applications, especially digital technologies and the Internet have, since the mid-1990s, continued to bring about revolutionary advancement and have reshaped the landscape for distance learning. ICT has brought about revolutionary advances in distance learning THE END THE END The term ICT has become part of everyday language and is synonymous with television, the internet, e-mail, the mobile phone, CD-ROM, DVD, hand-held personal devices, and an ever-growing array of new inventions. Those who work in academic institutions and development agencies and who are concerned about the challenges of development look to ICT to help find ways to assist students, clients and adults to learn more effectively. Information Communication Technology (ICT) Using ICT ICT can significantly reduce learning costs Due to advances in ICT the personal computer continues to become more and more accessible and affordable. The internet and cellular phone is becoming commonplace for millions of people including those in developing countries. The cost of videoconferencing connection is also lowered if Internet Protocol (IP) is used.
By using ICT, training and learning can reach a large number of people at a low marginal cost. The savings on travel and the economies of scale gained reduce learning costs and bring about cost effectiveness. A real case from the Tokyo Learning Development Center (Case 1) that compares two delivery modes for the same course – the Total Quality Management course of the Asia Productivity Organization (APO) - serves to illustrate savings gained from the use of ICT. Using the traditional f2f seminar, the cost per participant is USD 2,000; while in the blended .

Case 1
Cost Effectiveness of Distance Learning Using GDLN
APO has delivered the Total Quality Management course to its member countries for years. The typical scenario is: Twenty (20) participants from about 5-10 member countries travel to Tokyo, where the seminar is conducted for 5 days. APO bears the total cost of the seminar, including participant airfare and accommodation; local transportation and learning materials; as well as the honorarium for resource persons. The average cost of the f2f scenario could be as high as USD 50,000 to 90,000 depending on where in the region the participants live. In an effort to reduce cost, APO introduced discount economy air tickets since 2005 which could reduce the total course cost to USD 40,000. This low figure is used for comparison.
In late 2004, TDLC helped APO convert the course to a blended distance learning model: Eighty (80) participants from five countries attend the seminar in their own capital city for four days. Resource persons deliver their lectures and conduct Q&A and discussion from Tokyo via videoconferencing. No air travel is involved for anybody. Five local facilitators in total are recruited; each of whom is hired in his/her country to organize and facilitate the local class. Lunch and tea breaks, plus local transportation are provided by the course organizer through local APO branches. The savings on costs of international travel and hotel accommodation is significant especially because these expenditures normally account for more than 70% of the total cost of a traditional f2f seminar according to historical data. The new cost items in the blended learning approach are fees for local facilitators and for use of videoconferencing facilities.
Based on actual data, all expenses incurred in Tokyo and five participating countries, including honorarium for resource persons and local facilitators, training materials, local transportation, lunch and tea breaks, etc. amounted to USD 10,000 (approximately). In addition, the cost of set-up and connection of videoconferencing sessions for three days was USD 36,821. The total cost of blended learning scenario came to USD 46,821.
To make an accurate comparison the total cost is divided by the number of participants in each delivery mode to get the cost per participant. In the traditional f2f scenario, the cost per participant is USD 2,000; while in the blended learning model it is USD 585 per person. The saving per person in the same course but using ICT in a VC-based learning scenario is USD 1,415, which represents a saving of 70 percent over the traditional face-to-face moDEL. learning version the cost drops to USD 585 per participant, a savings of 70 percent over the traditional face-to-face model
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