This blog has been developed in conjunction with the publication of The Great Connecting: The Emergence of Global Broadband, and How That Changes Everything. Now that the book has been released, this blog will go into hibernation.
That won’t be the end of the story, however. As broadband expands into new markets, it ushers in both opportunities and challenges — which poses a challenge to policymakers. As I’ve traveled the US on a book tour, I’m frequently asked what we should prioritize in The Great Connecting. There are many reasonable answers, but my answer is this:
If schools are first adopters, that is good. Schools can make immediate use of curricular materials. Schools can teach students (and the community) the promise and peril of the internet. Schools are respected institutions, and generally not political.
Or put another way, if the first usage of the internet in a community is for gambling and porn, that’s bad. If the first use is for assisting teachers and students, that’s good.
There are many initiatives underway that will facilitate broadband expansion across schools in developing countries. My efforts at this point will include assisting these efforts. Stay tuned for more writings and updates.