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Multimedia Learning in Developing Countries

Page history last edited by shijunchen 5 years, 1 month ago

The Existing Problem



This video is not purposed to depress readers, but to open up a dialog and an awareness about how changing the scope of education in underdeveloped countries should be a global priority.  The issues mentioned are very relevant and applicable to problems that exist today on the other side of this world. 


For more perspective of this problem at hand, please click on the link to watch another video.  Though it was originally published in 1990, the issues are still quite relevant and applicable to today.


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Multimedia Archives 


Addressing the Problem


Unfortunately it is factual that most developing countries, nations that do not share the same accessibility and resource capability like that in the United States, are failing to expand multimedia education.  Due to socio-economical and technological shortcomings; such as living in rural and highly dangerous conflict territories, e-learning is a large feat to accomplish. 


Education is not a high priority for the children in these suffering lands—working is.  Based solely on the reasons related to poverty, gender inequality and non-existent access to basic resources are taken for granted in developing countries. 


As an example, higher education institutions in underdeveloped countries such as Tanzania, Africa are unable to properly fulfill technological advances in multimedia instruction because of the lack of a strong foundation to support Information Technology.  (Sife, et al. 2007) states “African universities which should be in the forefront of ensuring Africa's participation in the ICT [Information and Communication Technologies] revolution, they are themselves unable and ill-prepared to play such a leadership role. This is because of the information infrastructure of African universities which is poorly developed and inequitably distributed.”


As mentioned prior, it is an issue of accessibility.  While developing countries experience various measures of incapability within socio-economic factors, some nations may only have access to computers but not enough to justifiably accommodate all learners in multiple school levels or simply failing to ensure stable Internet connections.   


Challenges or Solutions


Implementing ICT-modeled changes in the classroom have to begin in development stages.  In order for such changes to be widely accepted and virtually successful, tests have to be conducted, surveys have to be taken and results need to be applied in real life and everyday educational scenarios.  Though disparagingly, education policy makers will not even show interest of ICT-modeled integration in education if the challenges prove greater than the achievements.  In 2001 W. J. Pelgrum’s Obstacles to the integration of ICT in education: results from a worldwide educational assessment, the research shows:


The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) decided in 1997 to conduct such comparisons by means of the Second Information Technology in Education Study (SITES). This study consists of three phases: Module-1 (19971999): a school survey, Module-2 (19992002): case studies of innovative ICT-practices, Module-3 (20012005): school, teacher and student surveys. Between November 1998 and February 1999, data were collected in representative samples of primary and secondary schools in 26 countries.


The purpose of this example was to show the arching inadequacies that frequent schools in other countries, for instance ‘insufficient teaching time and/or skills’ that correspond with computer illiteracy.  Other issues that surfaced based on the results were ‘incompatible ratios of learners to computers’ and ‘software that does not adhere to cultural differences’.  Also present is the small percentage that ‘students are more technically aware’ than their adult-learner counterparts.  (Pelgrum, 2001). 





Distance Learning in Developing Countries by Using Mobile and Multimedia Technology


Although  the  developments  of  multimedia  technology  and  internet  networks  have contributed to immense improvements in the standard of learning as well as distance learning  in  developed  world,  the  developing  world  is  still  not  in  position  to  take advantage of these improvements because of limited spread of these technologies, lack of proper  management  and  infrastructure  problems.  Unless  we  succeed  in  solving  these problems  to  enable  people  of  developing  countries  to  take  advantages  of  these technologies  for  distance  learning  the  vast  majority  of  the  world  population  will  be lagging behind. We recommend the use of mobile and multimedia technology to reach this vast population of under-developed countries to impart quality learning in an effective way. Click here to see the  Effective Distance Learning in Developing Countries Using Mobile and Multimedia Technology (Deb, 2011).


Attitude is Everything


There are mixed receptions about the implementation of incorporating IT in the classroom, especially for child-learners in other countries outside of the US.  Some implementation programs have not reached the intended success and has subsequently left parents, teachers and other educational professionals feeling disdain for incorporating ICT in classrooms.  On an educational blog portal, it was mentioned.

In the developing world, analysis of the One Laptop per Child Program, which hands out specially designed computers loaded with learning applications, has shown similar and consistently disappointing results. In Peru, a program that randomly assigned the computers found that kids who got them certainly used them—and did a little better on IQ tests—but researchers at the Inter-American Development Bank found no impact at all on math or language scores. Another evaluation (pdf) of the program in Nepal suggested computer-assisted learning had “no impact or a negative impact on student learning, non-cognitive skills and attendance.” Or look at the results of a laptop-distribution program in schools in Costa Rica: Give kids a laptop, and they’ll do considerably worse on their math tests. (Mugarura, 2010).



This image depicts the 'One Laptop per Child Program' occurring in Nepal, Asia during the beginning stages of an initial IT implementation in secondary schools.


How can there be in progression if participants across the global spectrum aren’t arriving at the same conclusion?


Importance of Education in Developing Countries



(AlShahrani, 2013)





AlShahrani, M. (2013). Importance of Education in Developing Countries. [Video file]. Retrieved from



Deb, S. (2011). Effective distance learning in developing countries using mobile and multimedia

            technology. International Journal of Multimedia and Ubiquitous Engineering, 6(2). Retrieved from http://www.sersc.org/journals/IJMUE/vol6_no2_2011/4.pdf


Mugarura, C. (2010). Strategies for Deploying eLearning in Developing

Countries. Retrieved from http://edutechdebate.org/elearning-promise/strategies-for-deploying-elearning-in-developing-countries/


Pelgrum, W. J. (2001). Obstacles to the integration of ICT in education: results from a

worldwide educational assessment. Computers & Education37(2), 163–178. Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.1016/S0360-1315(01)00045-8


Sife, A.S., Lwoga, E.T., & Sanga, C.(2007).

          New technologies for teaching and learning: Challenges for higher learning institutions in developing countries [Peer-Reviewed Article].           Retrieved April 17, 2015 from http://ijedict.dec.uwi.edu/viewarticle.php?id=246/&layout=html


The Education Crisis in Developing Countries. (2014). [Video file]. Retrieved from








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