I believe, projects like Internet.org will create a rapid increase global communication and with it global competition - but is the Scottish education system ready to accept the challenges and benefits that ambitions projects such as this will bring?
Internet.org is an ambitious Facebook-led initiative bringing together technology leaders, non-profits and local communities to connect the two thirds of the world that doesn't have Internet access. This lack of access is due to a combination of factors such as devices being too expensive, service plans being too expensive, no mobile networks, content not available in the local languages, limited power sources, poor networks that are unable to support a large amount of data and local populations unsure of the value that the Internet could bring.
Interestingly the main resistance seems to be from people who already have access to the Internet (including all the benefits it brings) but are now keen to make a lot of money out of providing connectivity to others. Or, by groups of people who argue that it will create a two tear system of partial and full connectivity (which is bizarre when the alternative is full and no connectivity?).
Whether you agree with its principals or not you can’t help admire the sheer ambition of the project which includes providing connectivity my lasers through a series of solar powered high altitude gliders that have a wing span larger that a Boeing 747 but weight less than a car!
What I love about the project as well is how much societal progress we could make by increasing the potential of online global collaboration from 33% towards 100%. Of course, with an increase in potential collaboration on this level and with it an increase in global competition the UK will need to ‘up-its-game’ in terms of the digital skills and the innovation agenda within schools.internet.org
Lets hope someone in the Scottish Government Learning Directorate / Education Scotland has this as a standing item on their ‘Education Futures’ agenda. Projects like this that will rapidly up the levels of global competition (which is not a bad thing) will literally be here in no time.