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Innovating technology for education

11 February 2010

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Technology in education is changing the learning experience for students around the world. BBC World Service programme Digital Planet, follows up on unique technology initiatives in three countries - mobile based learning in Bangladesh, laptops for kids in Brazil, and a futuristic classroom in UK.

From the abacus to the Apple Mac, technology has constantly changed the way we learn.

In equal measure, the needs of education have provided the driving force behind some of our most significant technological innovations.

BBC World Service programme Digital Planet, explored three of the many unique initiatives in education technology.

Innovating technology for education1
Image Credits: BBC / Bangladesh: Mobile English

Most classrooms in the world would insist on having students turn their mobiles off - but one scheme in Bangladesh is very much about keeping them on.

The Janala service - created by the BBC's development charity the World Service Trust - gives anyone with a mobile the chance to learn English - simply by calling a number and listening in.

Mobile telecommunication is the fastest growing industry in Bangladesh, and the Janala service has already logged over 400,000 calls.

"We can't carry a dictionary everywhere," said one Bangladeshi student.

"But now we can carry a mobile phone which helps us learn." 

Innovating technology for education2
Image Credits: BBC / Brazil: One Laptop Per Child

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project was announced in 2005.

The "$100 laptop" was intended to provide rugged technology to students in some of the world's poorest areas.

Although falling short of its initial ambitious targets of connecting millions of children, the OLPC project is being well received in the developing world - despite never becoming quite as cheap as $100.

However, some countries have taken the project to heart. The government of Uruguay has bought a laptop for every child, whilst the state of La Rioja in Argentina has also said that it will purchase the machines for its pupils.

In Brazil the government has bought 150,000 laptops to deploy in 350 schools. 

Innovating technology for education3
Image Credits: BBC / Britain: New Line Learning Academy

The New Line Learning Academy in Maidstone, England, prides itself on being forward-thinking and progressive.

The school is currently being rebuilt into the classroom of the future. It is full with touch screens, facial recognition technology and even mood lighting.

The new facilities will be open in 2010.

Source : BBC

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