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 Internet takes 'distance-learning' into the Amazon

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Date posted: 21/08/2011

The Internet is letting a school sprout in the Amazon where teachers tend not to linger due to harsh living conditions and a scarcity of students. Teachers in Manaus, the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas, conduct lessons streamed to students in the village of Tumbira using an Internet connection made possible with a generator-powered radio signal.

If not for "distance learning," children from far-flung Amazon river communities would forgo school or endure arduous boat trips to places with traditional schools.

"There was skepticism whether this system would work," Tumbira school director Izolena Garrido told AFP on Friday. "It seemed like there was a lot of outside manoeuvring to keep the school from functioning."

While Internet technology made the school possible, opposition came from traditional schools in cities that saw money spent on distance-learning as eating into government funding for public education.

"So, we established a model for teaching and learning and just got the school going," Garrido said. "With or without students, we were going to get this school going."

A home for the distance-learning school was created by Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), which built classrooms, a library and even sleeping quarters where students could string up hammocks that serve as bedding in the Amazon.

See the full Story via external site: www.physorg.com



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