As schools in Latin America struggle to reopen amid a new wave of the pandemic, online learning platforms remain essential tools. Latin American students suffered the most lost days of in-person learning of any region. Today, most of Latin America has partially reopened classrooms, but schools in several countries in the region remain fully closed. This has left many children still dependent on recorded television programs and radio broadcasts to learn. The new social distancing measures are also disrupting university teaching. In the long term, these educational losses could reduce the region’s potential GDP. 16 percentaccording to the World Bank.
Fortunately, some school systems in the region have adopted effective digital platforms for synchronous distance education, to offer asynchronous digital learning tools, and to communicate with students and caregivers. These technologies also hold tremendous promise for post-pandemic education. For now, however, there are barriers to the widespread adoption of distance learning platforms, including the region’s deep digital divide. In Mexico, for example, 70 percent of primary school students rely on mobile phones for distance education. Regionally, one in three Latin Americans does not have regular Internet access, and the number is much lower in rural areas. There is also obstacles to the continued development of distance learning tools, including government regulations and limited venture capital.
This event discussed how education technology can provide long-term solutions to the region’s educational challenges, the benefits and limitations of online education in Latin America, and its post-pandemic prospects. This seminar is co-sponsored by Zoom Video Communications and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI).
This event is part of the “Going Digital” series. For more, check out our content below:
The digital divide in Latin America: bridging the persistent gaps
Uruguay’s Tech Sector and the Future of Fintech in Latin America
Going Digital: Latin America’s Digital Workforce
Going digital: the future of digital commerce in Latin America
Going digital: privacy and cybersecurity in Latin America