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Just finished reading this article from by Charles Kenny in Foreign Policy Magazine (LINK). I was bored and decided that I needed to start getting back into researching educational hot-topics that I studied. This one was very interesting to me. So, I am deciding to blog about it a little.
The title of this article is “No Need for Speed: Save your money, United Nations – the developing world doesn’t need broadband Internet to get ahead.” I have couple thoughts on it. First, I was not quite on-board based on the title. Why does this author state that the Internet is not great for the developing world? The developing world can utilize the Internet for its growth to ‘catch up’ with the developed world and what is wrong with this?? The common quote, “you are only as strong as your weakest link,” comes to mind.
Thus, the first quote that jumped to mind is from Thomas Friedman’s Hot, Flat, and Crowed. Friedman states that from the development of the Internet, “so many more people could work together on so many different things” (2008, p. 30). I personally agree with Friedman. The world did get flatter with the development of the Internet. The world is closer than ever and information is readily available. Just like the invention of the Guttenberg printing press, the Internet allows any user to obtain vital information for self-development. Further, people can connect with others like never before.
As an education policy student, Internet’s other great attribute is that it allows a student to further develop his or her own personal interest. This greatly allows the student to stay current with world events and greatly reduces the time needed to complete their research. In a nutshell, the Internet acts as a hub to share information. The more an individual knows, the smaller the margin for error.
However, Kenny brings up a great point in his article. He argues that many with broadband Internet fail to fully utilize the Internet for its greatest goal – connecting information from one part of the world to another. Yes, (I am guilty of this too) we connect with others via Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Tumblr, etc.), to provide our status updates; however, this fails to bring change the world. We are always ‘googling’ to see what is going on celebrity news and sports, but this causes us to fail to see the world as a whole.
Unfortunately, there are many events in the world that are unnoticed and I will raise my hand to say I am guilty of this too. Today, there was an earthquake in Turkey that has taken the lives of many innocent people, hurting their families and populations as a whole. I hope that there is a call for assistance for the greater good.
As Kenny ends the article, he states that the money to develop broadband Internet to the developing world should actually fund their infrastructure, health, and education. I cannot agree with him more. Information is only effective is it is used properly. Bringing the basic life-needs up to the developing world should be the very first step. Once basic life-needs are met, then we should talk about bridging the information gap closer.
Peter – out.