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Getting Closer to Distance Learning: Online Education in Latin America

Date & Time

Aug. 17, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm ET


As schools in Latin America struggle to reopen amid another wave of the pandemic, online learning platforms remain essential tools. Latin American students have suffered the most lost days of in-person learning of any region. Today, most of Latin America has partially reopened classrooms, but schools in several countries in the region remain fully closed. That has left many children still dependent upon recorded TV programs and radio broadcasts for learning. Renewed social distancing measures are also disrupting university teaching. In the long-term, these educational losses could reduce the region’s potential GDP by 16 percent, according to the World Bank.

Fortunately, some school systems in the region have adopted effective digital platforms for synchronous remote teaching, to offer asynchronous digital learning tools and for communicating with students and caregivers. These technologies also hold immense promise for post-pandemic education. For now, however, there are barriers to the widespread adoption of remote learning platforms, including the region’s deep digital divide. In Mexico, for example, 70 percent of elementary students rely upon mobile phones for remote education. Regionally, one-in-three Latin Americans lacks regular internet access, and the number is far lower in rural areas. There are also obstacles to the continued development of remote learning tools, including government regulations and limited venture capital.

This event addressed how education technology can provide long-term solutions for the region’s educational challenges, the advantages and limitations of online education in Latin America, and its post-pandemic prospects. This seminar is co-sponsored by Zoom Video Communications and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI).

This event is part of the “Going Digital” series. To learn more, see our content below:

Latin America's Digital Divide: Overcoming Persistent Gaps

Uruguay’s Technology Sector and the Future of Fintech in Latin America

Going Digital: Latin America’s Digital Workforce

Going Digital: The Future of Digital Trade in Latin America

Going Digital: Privacy & Cybersecurity in Latin America

Hosted By

Latin America Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin America Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

Argentina Project

The Argentina Project is the premier institution for policy-relevant research on politics and economics in Argentina.   Read more

Thank you for your interest in this event. Please send any feedback or questions to our Events staff.