in Education through Collaborative Distance Learning
The Learning International
Networks Consortium (LINC) is an MIT-managed international
initiative that began in 2001 and is operated by a growing
team of MIT faculty, student and staff volunteers. LINC’s
premise is simple and compelling:
today’s computer and telecommunications technologies,
every young person can have a quality education regardless
of his or her place of birth.
the assets of a country lay buried underground, such
as oil, gas, gold, silver and diamonds. Today, the key
assets of a country lie ‘buried between the ears
of its citizens!’ Educating the mind – that
is the key to a better tomorrow for all.
LINC is an international
community of individuals and organizations that focuses
on higher education in emerging countries and the role
that technology can play in expanding educational reach.
It is a collaboration of educators from around the world
whose purpose is to share best practices
and to learn from each other’s mistakes, in order
to move forward with successful distance learning projects
in tertiary education in their home countries.
LINC is a hybrid,
a professional society whose participants include scholars,
practitioners, students, corporate executives, government
officials and foundation professionals. Their goal in
collaborating through LINC is to help build on-the-ground
expertise and virtual distance learning communities
in each of the respective countries seeking such assistance.
Their focus is not on the narrow engineering aspects
of technology but on pedagogical issues, educational
content, financial planning, political constraints and
organizational issues. Technology fits into this in
a natural way – as defining what can and cannot
be done in various regions.
The hybrid part
of LINC arises because LINC also supports various programmatic
initiatives. In that sense, LINC is a ‘professional
society with an entrepreneurial attitude,’ one
that applies new and modestly priced distance-learning
initiatives in various countries and regions around
To help disseminate
state-of-the-art learning and best practices, LINC regularly
holds international symposia. The first three were held
at MIT in 2003, 2004 and 2005. The fourth will be held
in Amman, Jordan, in October 2007. The LINC symposia
are most useful as forums of sharing ‘lessons
learned,’ as all participants teach and learn
from each other, assuring that the proverbial wheel
is not reinvented many times.
are available on this website.
LINC is funded by
foundations, corporations, individuals, and by MIT.
It has had the enthusiastic support of MIT’s President,
Provost and Chancellor.