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The Effect of Cultural Differences and Educational Technology on Distance Education in the South Pacific

The Effect of Cultural Differences and Educational Technology on Distance Education in the South Pacific
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Author(s): Jonathan Frank (Suffolk University, USA) and Janet Toland (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 8
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch111

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Abstract

Innovations in information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the development of global-knowledge- based economies are presenting higher-education institutions throughout the developing world with both opportunities and challenges. New opportunities for remotely located institutions are opening up, but the challenge is to ensure that these innovations can be utilized in a culturally appropriate manner at the local level. Despite a relatively low population base, the scattered geography of the South Pacific region has resulted in wide cultural variations between the different island groups. This makes the South Pacific an ideal region in which to explore the impact of cultural differences on online learning. This research investigates the opportunities offered by online learning; the focus is on the use of e-mail as a mechanism for encouraging Web-based interaction among students in two distance-education institutions with a culturally and geographically diverse student body.

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