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Schools in Canada to lose 500,000 students in next decade.  An education advocacy group says Ontario’s declining birth rate has put more than 300 schools at risk for closure. Canada is expected to see enrollment decline by about 500,000 students over the next decade. “All across Canada, people are in the same uncharted territories. Everybody’s looking at school closings, everybody’s trying to figure out what to do,” said the executive director of People for Education, the group that compiled the data. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (10 Nov.)

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“There are, and will be in the foreseeable future, places on the planet where, for whatever reason, good schools do not exist and good teachers do not wish to go. In such areas, it is reasonable to expect that educational technology and distance education will have a special role to play. In this sense, educational technology and distance education are meant to ‘level the playing field’ and provide equal opportunity for learners in areas where traditional schooling of adequate quality is not available.”

In “Remote Presence: Technologies for ‘Beaming’ Teachers Where They Cannot Go” (JOURNAL OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES IN WEB INTELLIGENCE, vol. 1, no. 1, August 2009), Sugata Mitra, Newcastle University, asks the question “Is it possible for teachers to live in areas that they prefer and still be ‘present’ in schools where they do not, physically, wish to go?” Mitra proposes several technology solutions designed to make it possible that also have the potential to improve the quality of the education delivered in these areas.

The paper is available at http://www.academypublisher.com/jetwi/vol1/no1/jetwi01015559.pdf

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