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Case Study of Access to Higher Education Through Technology in the Resource-Poor Country of Haiti


According to the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (2012-2013), access to higher education is extremely limited in most of the developing countries due to inadequate budgets, lack of schools and teaching staff, costs of attending school, and lack of higher learning institutions. The use of educational technology could help bridge the gap, but the current and past studies only explore the use of available technologies to enhance learning where higher education is already accessible. The purpose of this case study was to investigate the use of one-to-many videoconferencing as an education access tool for high school seniors seeking higher education in the most devastated areas of Haiti. The theoretical framework for this study is based on the social learning theory of Albert Bandura, activity theory, and constructivist epistemology. This study attempts to answer the following questions: How does one-to-many videoconferencing learning enhance access to education in Haiti? What are the experiences of various sets of participants? The data were drawn from interviews with the school officials, the students, and the instructors and corroborated by hours spent observing the same participants engaged in classroom activities via videoconferencing. The data from this study suggest that by preserving the features of the familiar classroom model, videoconferencing could be successfully utilized to compensate for the lack of other facilities for higher education. The study will allow Haitian professionals living outside of the country to affect change in access to higher learning in Haiti.

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