The Role of Language in Knowledge Society Educational Systems
SUSANA FINQUELIEVICH; ROXANA BASSI
Educational Technology Debate
INFO DEV - UNESCO
Lugar: Washington DC; Año: 2013 p. 6 - 6
Many developing nations have committed themselves to becoming Knowledge Societies in the near future, approving development plans for horizons extended 10, 15 or 25 years, with a view to substantially change their economies. But this implies that most of their citizens will have to be connected to the Internet, and moreover, will have to be qualified users of technologies. The old digital divide related to devices and connectivity has been replaced with the new knowledge divide, which is about people knowing how to use digital tools productively. In order to become real citizens of a knowledge society, the knowledge divide must be overcome. The language barrier is an issue that still keeps many of these citizens from becoming productive cyber-citizens and enjoying universal access to information. According to UNESCO, languages are potent instruments for preserving and developing culture. New information and communication technologies (ICT) can help not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to increase awareness and transmission of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world, and to motivate solidarity between diverse peoples. However, at present less than one hundred languages are represented in the digital world. Language presence in cyberspace is insufficient in view of the increased importance of the role of cyberspace for access to education and information, and the construction of inclusive knowledge societies. In this article we discuss some of the actions that governments could take in many cases through their educational systems to assist in the preservation and propagation of local languages, customs and other elements of their cultural heritage using ICTs.