They need buildings and classrooms, blackboards and chalk, textbooks and notebooks, chairs and tables. When such things are missing, it may still be possible to teach, sitting on the ground in the shade of a tree.
But suitable technology makes teaching and learning more effective and more enjoyable.
All countries are now including ICT in teaching and learning. Some have just started, some have taken several steps ahead, and a few countries are relatively advanced – at least on the technical side.
Starting to use ICT in the class room is only the beginning, however. Schools and universities have spent five hundred years teaching by means of books, blackboards, pencil and paper. Placing computers in classrooms do not change the style of teaching. Teachers and students need to develop new ways of teaching and learning in order to benefit fully from the new technology.
ICT is developing all the time. Things that are impossible today, will become possible tomorrow, and very easy the day after tomorrow. Since different countries have reached different levels of technical development, any teaching with ICT must be based on the local situation.
Ten years from now, fast internet access will probably be the normal situation in all countries. But in the meantime, from 2010 to 2020, we will be in a situation of constant change. We can not build on traditions. We are exploring new and unmapped territories.
This will require a great deal of flexibility from educators and planners who want work with ICT.