This article is a comparative study to examine various strengths and pitfalls that can occur in digital classrooms, based on a comparison of two digital classrooms, specifically looking at which aspects of Internet-based learning operate successfully, and which aspects do not operate or function successfully. The results of this research indicate that the 1999 presentation of the RBO course's digital classroom at the University of Pretoria was inadequate in certain areas, but that the modifications made in 2000 improved the course considerably. With these modifications, the study proved that the model works, but that the detail of the model needs fine-tuning.
This article examines the promises and pitfalls of information and communications technology (ICT) in relation to globalisation and the learning society in developing countries, particularly in Africa. First, the authors provide a brief overview of current patterns of access and relative costs. Secondly, they question the prevalent touting of ICT as a means of education and argue that it cannot so serve unless there is already a basic level of education. They conclude that idealistic uptake of ICT obscures the very real challenges of accomplishing inclusive education. This requires responsiveness to local requirements, as well as the need for educators and citizens to engage with ICT in a skilled and appropriately critical manner.
Attempting to steer a course between WWW evangelism and scepticism, the authors consider the merits of the WWW as a technology for the purposes of education. Drawing on recent work in cognitive science, linguistics and cognitive anthropology, the authors argue that a range of resources of critical importance for many forms of learning are available in live, situated interaction between people, but 1either absent or severely limited on the WWW. The authors conclude that learning is not a process which is indifferent to the technology by means of which it is conducted, and that there will be many learning scenarios for which the WWW is entirely unsuited.