Digital education requires relevant software
African leaders, entrepreneurs and development agencies should start developing content to harness the potential of emerging educational technologies, writes Calestous Juma in Business Daily.
Digital education technologies like the XO '$100' laptop have their problems and critics. But the big challenge, says Juma, is teaching African children to use these technologies — and get the most out of them.
He says the real test will be creating software that is relevant and engaging for its intended users.
The content can come from different sources — a US school, for example, is adapting its personalised distance environmental education programme for use in developing countries.
The development of digital education content presents new opportunities for software companies in Africa, but is also an urgent task.
"A delay will either render the technologies irrelevant or will condemn Africa to dependence on ill-adapted educational material," writes Juma.