Peer-to-Peer Digital Communications Also Have Central Role in Education Practices

Published November 23rd, 2009 - 01:51 GMT

Emergent, revolutionary technologies such as open, accessible, peer-to-peer and social media platforms have an influential role to play in how conventional education is both taught and learned, the World Innovation Summit for Education - WISE, has heard today.

An initiative of Qatar Foundation, WISE this morning hosted a plenary session dedicated to Innovation, featuring a panel of world-leading experts.

Addressing the Summit, Co-founder of Twitter, Biz Stone, spoke of how, as a very simple service of rudimentary communications, Twitter has become a real-time educational tool where users help and inform each other, citing earthquakes, fuel shortages and episodes of geo-political unrest as prime examples.

"It doesn't matter how many servers we add to the network; ultimately, we hope Twitter will be a triumph of humanity, not a triumph of technology," he added.

Professor Sugata Mitra, Professor of Education, Newcastle University, and the inspiration behind the renowned movie 'Slumdog Millionaire', declared that "teachers are now no longer required to be repositories of knowledge", adding that children can learn to teach themselves and solve often complex matters if equipped and empowered with the necessary technological tools.

Dr. Tidu Maini, Executive Chairman of Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) said that the fast pace of development of the innovation society and the widespread distribution of ICT are, in themselves, not a sufficiently sustainable educational model. He added that research-led education is the extra driver that can make an important difference if the benefits of connectivity are to be mobilized

Dr. Maini added: "There is a need to create a platform of structured education combined with a new technologically-based infrastructure which can break bureaucracy and boundaries."

Day three of the Summit concludes with a series of breakout sessions before a final closing session which will allow the international participants to deliver a declaration defining educational priorities for WISE.


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