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Can eBooks Satisfy? Creating Content for ICT-enabled Classrooms

Wayan Vota

During the Human Development Network webinar, “eBooks & Affordable Access to Digital Content for Teachers, Health Care Workers & Agricultural Extension Agents in Southern Africa“, which looked at lessons from the IADP Affordable Access Initiative Partnership with African Universities, a sidebar conversation came about on the instant message board that was associated with the webinar.

From this conversation came a very interesting question:

What is the impact of open access resources for primary schools on the current educational content creation models?

Now this question has many angles to it, but for the August Educational Technology Debate, let us focus on how low-cost ICT devices are transforming the creation and distribution of open content in the developing world.

Will educational systems, and the stakeholders that support them, be able to adapt existing and new content onto these devices? Might this adaptation facilitate a more egalitarian content creation structure, challenging the existing pricing structures and vested interests of current curriculum production & dissemination models?

In addition, should this content focus on ebooks and other electronic media that replicates existing content? Or is this an opportunity to change the way in which content is created, teacher’s educate, and students learn?

To lead us in this conversation will be two respected discussants:

  • Richard Rowe
    Richard Rowe is the Chair and CEO of the Open Learning Exchange, a network of nation-based NGO’s committed to achieving Quality Universal Basic Education by 2015 . Dr. Rowe has served as Director of Test Development and Research for the West African Examinations Council, Associate Dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Technology and Education.
  • Angus Scrimgeour
    Angus Scrimgeour is the President of the International Association for Digital Publications, a program to provide university students and academic staff in developing countries with affordable access to e-books, and support for the identification, development, and effective use of open access e-learning resources. Mr. Scrimgeour is also a former Vice President of the World Bank Group a member of the Knowledge and Learning Council.

Please join us for what we all expect to be a lively and informative conversation – your input can start right now in the comments below, and Richard and Angus will post their opening remarks beginning Monday, August 10.


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