E-learning for developing countries is focus of MIT workshop

January 22, 2003

In addition to senior MIT faculty and policy makers from USAID, the

World Bank, corporations and foundations, the following countries will

be represented: Armenia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Japan, India,

Ireland, Iran, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, Niger, Pakistan, Russia, Syria

and United Arab Emirates.

Richard Larson, professor of electrical engineering at MIT and

co-editor of Internet Forum 2001, created the concept of LINC to

address the needs of the growing youth-oriented population demographic

in developing countries and the fact that developing countries will be

left further behind unless their youth receive quality higher-level


Speakers, who will address distance learning initiatives in their

respective countries, include Dr. Milad Fares Sebaaly, Provost, Syrian

Virtual University; Dr. Naveed Malik, Rector, Virtual University of

Pakistan and Dr. S. Sohail Naqvi, Ministry of Science and Technology

(Pakistan); Dr. Judy Dori, Technion University (Israel); Dr. El-hadi

Khaldi, Rector, Universite de la Formation Continue (Algeria); Dr.

Magdallen Juma, African Virtual University; Ali Meghdari, senior

faculty, Sharif University (Iran); and Yolanda Martinez de Hernandez,

Virtual University (Mexico). Participants will also hear the latest

developments on OpenCourseWare, MIT’s large-scale, web-based electronic

publishing initiative to make MIT course materials freely available for

educators, students, and individual learners around the world. A full

agenda, list of thirty speakers and their topics and bios are

available at http://ken.mit.edu/linc (login email: lincpress@dev.null,

password: 48linc).

Membership in LINC is open to individuals and institutions and will be

supported financially by membership dues, foundation support, corporate

funding and governmental institutions. Some of its early activities

will include the creation of collaborative educational web sites;

starter R&D projects in developing countries aimed at new initiatives

such as alternative pedagogical models in e-learning; and the provision

of technical assistance in training the trainers who will serve as

initial key e-learning project managers.

The workshop is made possible by a generous grant from the Lounsbery