Syndicate content

August 2012

Re-thinking School Architecture in the Age of ICT

Michael Trucano's picture

in Colombia, entering a school of the past ... or the future?What will the school of the future look like?

Most likely, it will largely look like the school of today -- but that doesn't mean it should. Few will deny that it will most likely, and increasingly, contain lots of technology. Some may celebrate this fact, others may decry it, but this trend appears inexorable. To what extent will, or should, considerations around technology use influence the design of learning spaces going forward?

Of course, with the continued rise of online 'virtual' education, some schools don't (or won't) look like traditional 'schools' at all. Various types of structured or semi-structured learning already take place as part of things that we consider to be 'courses', even if sometimes such things don't conform to some traditional conceptions of what a 'course' is or should be.  The massive online open course (or MOOC) in artificial intelligence offered by Stanford has received much recent attention, but the phenomenon is not necessarily new (even if its current exemplars are marked by many characteristics that are indeed new, or much more developed, than those previously to be found in, for example, large 'distance learning' courses).

Let's leave aside the case of the 'virtual school' for a moment and assume that there will continue to be a need for a physical space at which students and educators will gather and interact. (Such places may be access points to virtual education, or featured various types of so-called 'blended learning', where face-to-face interactions are complemented by interactions in the virtual world -- or vice versa.)  Indeed, let's assume, for our purposes here, that the school as a concept will presumably be along for many decades to come, and that it will have a physical representation of some sort. What might such a school look like, especially in the era of ICTs?

Import protection update: Antidumping, safeguards, and temporary trade barriers through 2011

LTD Editors's picture

Is protectionism getting better or worse? Chad Bown, Senior Economist with the Trade and International Integration Team in the Development Research Group analyses recent World Bank data from 24 major economies suggesting that import protection through temporary trade barriers — such as antidumping, safeguards, and countervailing duties — has increased considerably for a handful of mostly emerging markets in the past year. But the news is not all bad – some countries have lowered their trade barriers.

No Water, No Food Security

Diego Juan Rodriguez's picture

July was the hottest month on record in the U.S. and with it the price of maize jumped 23 percent. According to very rough estimate made in a blog from the Wall Street Journal, this means just $33 more at the register next year for the average U.S. grocery shopper. But it means much more for poor people in developing countries, who already spend up to 60 percent of their income on food.

The Alchemy of Achievement: ‘Go for the Gold’ by Planning for Competitiveness

Christopher Colford's picture

Strategic planning brought the UK Olympic success. Can it also pay economic dividends? (Credit: London Annie, Flickr Creative Commons)Success doesn’t just happen automatically – not in the economy, and not in any competitive arena of life. But by focusing your resources realistically in the areas of your greatest strength, you can maximize your chances of coming out on top. Perhaps in some long-vanished world of effortless monopolies and protected markets, passivity might once have been enough – but in a world of relentless global competition, a lazy laissez-faire abdication cannot deliver optimal results.

That lesson has come through clearly amid these elegiac end-of-summer days, as the world continues to bask in the Olympic afterglow of the Summer Games in London. The games lifted the spirits of sports-watchers worldwide – and the postgame analysis of just how the host country, Great Britain, ran up its highest medal count in 104 years has provoked some intriguing ideas about creating an “Olympic effect” for economic development.

Is being employable enough to get a job in the Arab World? The double transition from education to work in MENA

Juan Manuel Moreno's picture
       

The low quality and relevance of education and training systems in MENA have led them to be perceived, most notably by employers, more as barriers to employment, rather than a path to good jobs. In recent focus group discussions in Egypt, some employers even voiced the preference for hiring young, non-diploma holders who have not gone through the technical secondary system, which is perceived as an unreformed low-quality option that is visibly associated with academic failure. 

From rice to robots: Is Vietnam's workforce ready for the future? Let us know what you think!

Christian Bodewig's picture

Cũng có ở Tiếng việt

As a member of the WTO since 2007 and located in the middle of fast-growing East Asia, Vietnam has earned a reputation as a smart place to invest. Its people are a major asset in attracting foreign investors: Vietnam can boast of its comparatively low wages and a large, young and hard-working labor force. Despite Vietnam’s success so far, it remains to be seen whether its workforce is ready for the next phase in the country’s development – to carry forward the transition from a largely agrarian to an industrialized economy.  Are Vietnam’s workers ready to move from low to high tech production? From rice to robots?

Making Water Safe in Kenya Through A Low-Cost Solution To A Big Problem

LTD Editors's picture

Every year, 2 million children die of diarrheal diseases worldwide. Chronic diarrhea contributes to malnutrition, stunting, and cognitive impairment. In Kenya, the Development Impact Evaluation team led an impact evaluation that tested different strategies to find effective low cost solutions to improve water safety. Chlorine dispensers at community water collection points raised the number of households with detectable levels of chlorine in their drinking water from 5 to 60 percent, compared to communities that had to rely on store-bought chlorine for purification.


Pages