Constructing Sustainable Digital Learning Environments for Remote Rural Children of Sarawak
Children today are labeled as Digital Natives, because they are born into an era where ICT has already permeated almost all layers of societies around the world. However, digital gaps among children still exist, particularly for those born into underprivileged remote rural communities. Making technology accessible for all learners, irrespective of their geographical locations, is often viewed as the means for narrowing, if not eliminating digital divide. Presence of technology would definitely generate interest and discussion about its potential use especially among learners from rural remote locations. However, the debate is still open about the feasibility and capability of technology to initiate meaningful learning. This paper describes part of an on-going research to investigate the impact of using technology to supplement classroom learning among children of remote rural locations in Sarawak, Malaysia. One of the key goals of the project is to develop a technology literacy programme in an informal learning setting using localized content which are selected and built to sustain and enhance local cultures, beliefs and traditions that already exist in these remote rural locations. This project also investigates the factors that need to be addressed when planning, designing and sustaining informal learning experiences using technology for children of various ethnic groups, languages, beliefs and cultures.
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