n today’s world, the combination of education and technology is considered the main element to human progress. Today’s children and youth have been born into a digital world. They are exposed to technology and innovation and are keen users of new information and communication technologies (ICTs).
The internet and digital technologies offer huge potential to children especially in a world where social media, mobile technology and online communities are fundamental to the way that they communicate, learn and develop. There are a lot of people in the world who do not worry about not having access to the internet or being able to use a computer on a day to day basis, but there are lots of places in the world where people don’t have the option.
Technology can empower children in developing countries and when it comes to education, there is evidence that young people are increasingly using ICTs and technologies as learning tools. From studies in 2013, UNICEF found that 40% of Vietnamese children surveyed in rural areas use the internet for educational purposes, with 34% sending school-related text messages.
Computers are very important for developing countries because they promote literacy and education. Computers allow children to build new skill sets with education giving them the opportunity for a job in the future.
However, it’s important to note that it is not enough to simply provide the hardware and basic equipment. Training, maintenance and suitability must all be planned for as well, as safe use of the internet and teaching around privacy is also required for the safety of children and young people in developing countries.
At READ Foundation, our students attend regular ICT classes and they have full access to computer labs within the school. Our students receive regular support and training to ensure they are taught how to safely access information online with our teachers keeping a close eye on students privacy and safety.
Getting technology into the hands of children and youth in developing countries encourages learning and growth in children but can also help improve their government, enforce human rights and even save lives by giving them access to health care and health information.