Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

S Rye (2009) Negotiating the symbolic power of information and communication technologies: The spread of Interent-supported distance education, Information Technology for Development (2009) Volume: 15, Issue: 1, Pages: 17-31

The Internet may be, as typically suggested, important in distance education for facilitating connections between groups of students, educational institutions, and external learning resources. This article, however, reveals why this is not the only reason for applying information and communication technologies (ICT) in higher education in a remote area in a developing country. In addition, the Internet seems to be of great importance in symbolizing modernization and progress, thereby adding symbolic power to such education. Empirical sources originate from an explorative case study of an Internet-supported distance education program in the province of Bangka Belitung in Indonesia. Based on a translation perspective on the spread of pheromones, the analyses of empirical sources show how the Internet has contributed to the spread of distance education, but paradoxically this has not had much effect on the use of Internet by students in peripheral areas, at least not in the short term.

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