December 2004

A Cross-Cultural Perspective

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There are many Information and Communication Technology (ICT) related development projects focused on poor rural communities in the Asia Pacific region being funded or supported in different ways by various local, national and even international/non-governmental agencies, and with many of these directly or indirectly linked to the educational implications and opportunities associated with the use and access to ICTs (e.g. Weigel & Waldberger, 2004; Fillip, 2004). One of the key assumptions informing such initiatives and development projects is the reasonable notion that poorer nations and rural communities face the difficult task of overcoming an emerging 'digital divide' defined basically by inequitable computer-based access to global ICT networks. External assistance is thus often given in terms of a merely hopeful (and largely insufficient) expectation that provision of better access to computers, ICT networks and related resources will translate into 'sustainable' community development.

However, the presentation and inquiry briefly outlined here represent an alternative perspective on how related notions of different emergent 'ICT community learning centres' (ICT-CLCs)

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