Global Perspectives on E-Learning: Rhetoric and Reality presents several cases of international online education and the rhetoric that surrounds this form of teaching and learning. Editor Alison A. Carr-Chellman examines the impact of online distance education throughout the world in an effort to understand more deeply the merits of such initiatives. Written from a critical perspective, the book sheds light on some of the problems faced by international distance educators. It particularly focuses on who benefits, and who does not, by the advance of international e-learning and how we can respond to the needs of the disenfranchised. This book is intended to supplement what has to this point been largely a positive, how-to literature in distance education. It offers a balanced perspective on the problems and possibilities of distance education worldwide.


Alison A.Carr-Chellman

The goal of shaping information technology to democratize education is highly appealing, but there are, at present, no strong well-organized forces promoting that end.

—L. Winner, 1998

Online education has been heralded as the next democratizing force in education, particularly in higher education (Daniel, 1996; Jones, 1997). By opening access to populations which have not had access either because of geographical location, job status, or physical handicap, the rhetoric of online education suggests that this new technology will democratize education, breaking down the elitist walls of the ivory tower. However, it is not at all clear that the reality of implementing distance learning solutions have in fact any potential, much less actual value for democratizing higher education. Much the opposite, founded on the myth of ...

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