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Connecting the World 20 November 2017

Unlocking the Internet for Education: Policymakers Hold the Key

Constance Bommelaer de Leusse
By Constance Bommelaer de LeusseSenior Director, Global Internet Policy and International Organizations

Education is the basis for individual empowerment, employability, and gender equity. Unfortunately, it is not available to everyone.

In 2015, the international community agreed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which commits countries to addressing these challenges. Such commitments require innovative approaches that go beyond simply building more educational institutions. At the Internet Society we believe the Internet is a key piece of that puzzle, which is why we are pleased to release a new paper, “Internet Access and education: Key considerations for policy makers”, to help navigate some of the opportunities and challenges.

The Internet has great potential to not only expand access to, but also improve the quality of education. It opens doorways to a wealth of information, knowledge, and educational resources to students and teachers. It also promotes opportunities for learning beyond the classroom – a critical feature to promote the lifelong learning that the future demands. A skilled workforce that utilizes ICTs effectively is a key factor in the global digital economy and for harnessing its natural resources for sustainable growth. Education is where it starts.

This Internet Society briefing describes ways in which policymakers can unlock that potential through an enabling framework for access to the Internet, identifying five priorities for policymakers. Together they represent what we see as key considerations for unlocking access to the Internet in support of education:

  • infrastructure and access;
  • vision and policy;
  • inclusion;
  • capacity;
  • content and devices.

Access to the Internet is not, of course, the answer to every challenge posed by education. But by working together, policymakers, technologists, and education stakeholders can develop the right policy approaches to maximize the Internet’s contribution to education.

Join us on 6 December for a Community Forum that will consider some of the most challenging questions relating to the impact of the Internet on education: Can the Internet in education close the digital divide?

Please read and share our new policy paper: “Internet Access and education: Key considerations for policy makers”.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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