I've been thinking about another obstacle recently that has to do with cognitive accessibility. I'm not talking about intelligence here but rather the development gap that occurs when a new tool is made available in a context that skips some of the steps that leads to the development of the tool.
Here's an example from one of my trips to Haiti after the new airport was built in Port au Prince following the 2010 earthquake... An escalator was now in the airport and clearly many people had never been on an escalator before. In fact, the airport had to have a person on the bottom of the escalator and one at the top to assist people getting on and off. It was an "aha" moment for me: Some of the people had never used an escalator before so they required an intermediary to help them access the tool. It had everything to do with familiarity and support.
A theoretical connection would be Lev Vygotsky's concept of the Zone of Proximal Development: We need a coach, teacher, parent, mentor, etc. to help us accomplish what we cannot do without one.
Which brings me back to on-line learning in Haiti. I'm wondering if we need to continue to move toward on-line learning opportunities but within a learning framework that includes guidance and mentoring so that people become familiar with the tool? In other words, we need people at the "top and bottom of the escalator" who can help us through the initial stages of the new learning paradigm. Once the technology has become embedded and part of the natural environment, the support is no longer needed (or becomes minimized or is focused on a new area of learning). This could mean that we introduce, support, and model on-line learning through workshops and camps where traditional (i.e. face-to-face) methods are also used.
FYI: There are no longer people helping others on and off the escalator in Port au Prince. People know how to "mind the gap".