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Using new media (Educational Practices 15)

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This booklet shows how to use new media and technology (i.e. computers, the Internet, on-demand printing and related technologies) and electronic media for educational applications.

Recent advances in technology have enabled electronic media to offer a useful alternative to the printed book. Electronic works can go beyond the printed word, offering not only text, but sound, colour, animation and interactivity, thereby putting users in control of their own experience. Not only can electronic works be distributed freely and instantaneously through the Internet to connected destinations worldwide, but inexpensive and lightweight CDs also make it possible to send whole libraries of material inexpensively to any place on the planet. These CDs can be cheaply and quickly reproduced and redistributed in their turn, also empowering recipients to become redistributors. As an example, a library that received a single CD with the texts of hundreds of books could quickly and cheaply distribute copies of the CD to its reading clientele.

The continued spread of technology throughout the world is making computers an increasingly practical tool for enhancing youth education. While the poorest areas of the planet do not yet have abundant computing resources, the rapidly falling cost of computers combined with continued increases in Internet access is likely to make universal computer access soon a reality. Against this backdrop of widespread computing, we would like to give an overview of immediate steps that can be taken to use technology to enhance children’s education worldwide.

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