Tuesday, May 30, 2000

Classroom for the next generation (Digital Dream for Myanmar)

Myanmar (Burma)1, one of the countries in Asia, has many talented, less-privileged and young students. If one such student is worried about the future of his or her education, the digital classroom in the near future can help his or her dreams be realized. The classroom of that kind can be called "digital class from Digital Online University." Actually, this has been one of the dreams of Michael Saylor, a millionaire from MicroStrategy (Morse, 2000).

How our country can benefit from Internet technology is going to be the concern here. If we have a free and unlimited Internet access all across the country in public schools and libraries, many talented and less-privileged students from rural areas can benefit and can become competent enough to lead the country, having a chance to educate themselves----not like a sad scenario in which only privileged children of the elite can get the best education paying high tuition, leaving out poor children who cannot afford a good computer.

Many Asian countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong are trying to use the information technology in their classrooms (Seno et al., 2000). They are using a handsome amount of government budget with the help of such private companies as AT&T in many pilot projects across their countries to help the leaders of the next generation get the best education they can imagine.

The world can be one click away from many of our under-privileged children in rural areas. Being one of the kids away from many good opportunities such as elite schools and one of the best libraries in the country cannot be understandable if you did not come from that background. To help those kids equip themselves with the latest information and knowledge can be easily achieved with the wonder of World Wide Web also known as the Internet which was originally conceived at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland (Berners-Lee, 2000).

In addition, a student doesn't have to be enrolled in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or Stanford University yet can still download the lecture notes from those schools and get the text book from the local library and teach himself a course if he is diligent enough to do self study. Moreover, Michael Saylor's free on-line university (if his dream is ever realized) can benefit many students across the country and all over the world (Morse, 2000).

My dream here would be to make this free and unlimited access to the world of information available to the less-privileged and poor students across the country in Burma.

References

Berners-Lee, T. (2000). Tim Berners-Lee.
        URL:  http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/

Morse, J. (2000, March 27). Digital Dreamer. Time. 155(12),
        http://www.time.com/time/magazine/articles/0,3266,41205,00.html

Seno, A. A. , Stephens J. , Winterton B. , Mutsuko M. (2000, May 12). Wired For Life.
        Asiaweek.
       URL: http://www.cnn.com/ASIANOW/asiaweek/magazine/2000/0512/

1.  Myanmar is the new and official name of Burma. For simplicity's sake, I will keep using the old name Burma.