Soon schools in many regions of the world will be gaining internet access for the first time. They will have immediate access to global curricular materials, student resources, online education initiatives, and much more.
What they often will not have, however, are resources that are culturally appropriate and in local languages. Half of the world speaks one of five languages (English, Spanish, Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic). This is the half that is essentially online now. The other half of the world speaks over 6,000 languages. This is the half that is essentially soon to come online.
So how to bridge from global online resources to local needs for education?
One key strategy is to use tech incubators. Cities around the globe are now home to thriving co-working spaces bringing tech-oriented professionals together to build local online services and apps. Tech hubs, such as Nairobi Garage in Kenya, BongoHive in Zambia or Phandeeyar in Myanmar provide the space and tools that entrepreneurs require. They also provide an immediate and invaluable source of community to help with collaboration, training, and promoting innovation.
Coworker.com lists co-working spaces in 170 countries – and growing! Co-working spaces represent a mostly hidden, but very consequential, form of tech infrastructure in developing countries that will benefit education and other sectors.