How can technology bring us closer to quality education for all?
Good question, thanks for posting! In my opinion, technology opens up many opportunities by providing access to good education to all people around the world regardless of where they are located. This includes people who live far from learning institutions or even those in remote areas.
Embracing technology also enables people to access information very easily, hence refining learning processes by providing a platform for them to learn and discover knowledge in their specific area of interest. This in itself brings us closer to quality education for all.
I am very interested to hear the thoughts of other forum members on this subject especially from forum members who have experience in applying technology in education.
We (MAKAIA) approach this issue by training teachers in ICT so they have better tools to teach and to be up-to-date on technology. So far, we have reached more than 1,500 public school teachers with ICT training. We use a framerwork developed by the Ministry of Education in Colombia that sets some guidelines to train teachers in ICT, under 5 competencies: research, communications, pedagogy, management and tech. You can see more info here: https://makaia.org/en/projects/technology-for-social-change/orientate-mundo-click/
Thanks for sharing @CEscobar what has been your biggest learning or challenge in implementation of this project?
Hi, i am happy to join and post in this forum.we being a new startup in Pakistan are working to reduce the gap between Parent & Teacher through mobile application. Parent-teacher communication is lacking in most of the public and private schools in Pakistan & developing countries, that leads to poor academic growth of children(poor grades), behavioral issues, lack of parent’s interest in child education, lack of guidance, supervision, support from parents & community, increased dropout rates and poor quality of education. The limited communication (diaries & letter) are rarely checked by parents due to their busy routine. Uneducated parents remain unaware of the school notices due to language barrier. This situation becomes worst for children whose parents are working outside of their home towns or abroad (4 million in Pakistan). we are planning to engage stakeholders, education directorate, UNICEF and other potential actors to support us in this initiative. This application will be an open source (we will put link on GitHub) so that other developers can also contribute and expand this idea in their respective circle. we would like to follow the digital principles in its implementation (open source is one part)…i will keep posting on this topic in the future inshallah…
Thanks for the update, this information is quite insightful! We are particularly glad that you are considering open source software and look forward to receiving more updates on this project and learning from how embracing technology will help yo to reduce the gap between parents and teachers. All the best in the project
Thanks for contributing! What about the Special Needs Community, how can they benefit from technology?
The page does not exist. Do you mind resenting the link?
Regarding primary and secondary education:
The question of ICT integration in education is hotly contested and subject to much research (and opinion). You might find this article https://bjohas.de/Publications/HMH2015 and this (open) publication of interest https://bjohas.de/Publications/Perspectives. The review focusses on tablets, but the messages are generic (and other stuff is cited in it). For the review paper, I’ve got a list of citing papers here https://www.zotero.org/groups/2129771/references_and_bibliography/items/collectionKey/2GFF835P - if you go through those, you’ll see what else has appeared in the meantime, that isn’t reflected in the review. (Other reviews have come out, etc.)
Another tool that I often refer to the (UK) EEF toolkit https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/evidence-summaries/teaching-learning-toolkit. You see that digital technology is associated with learning gains (that are reasonably secure) but that it’s more expensive (per child) compared to other interventions that you can do, which are equally or more effective than digital technology. In other words, yes, technology in education works, but it’s not as cost-effective as other things you could do to improve student learning. Roughly speaking, in situations where funding is scarce that means you should do those other things first.
Now, this is a UK toolkit (based on solid UK research), and clearly the messages don’t necessarily apply globally. However, the ‘Perspectives’ paper (above) also summarises some of the global messages and in my view those are consistent with the UK insights. Now, clearly people sometimes claim that somehow ICT in developing countries would be all magically different from those experiences, but in my view the research that we do have shows that the same overall principles apply.
For example, poor pre-existing infrastructure makes the use of ICT harder (and more expensive) than in the UK (where good infrastructure) pre-exists. So if anything, the cost of using ICT goes up (and the value-for-money proposition gets worse) rather than better.
Or people say: But we have to use ICT, because teachers are so bad! Firstly, that’s not a nice thing to say about teachers (and we should resist the ‘incapable teacher narrative’). However, if it’s true, does it not mean that there’s also huge scope for improvement, e.g. by applying the low-cost high-impact strategies from the EEF toolkit? Also, effective use of ICT in the classroom depends on teachers (a research outcome). So if you have bad teachers - well, ICT isn’t going to make any difference.
Now, this is a general view - there clearly are also uses of ICT to support individual students that have specific learning needs! Clearly it’s again different in higher education.
Anyway - very happy to chat more here, or have a hangouts session if people are interested.
Thanks for the detailed update and for particularly sharing the research papers and tool-kits. This is a very interesting discussion, let’s continue the discussion here so that other forum members can learn from it and also get an opportunity to share their insights and experience in this topic.
As you can see, for each project, we also mention, which of the Principles is followed.
Interesting! Thanks for sharing
In 2018 we asked students in Kenya to write about “How can technology bring us closer into quality education for all” through the Digital Essay Competition - an essay writing competition where students from Grade 5 to Form Four in English, Kiswahili, French, German and Art categories. The competition was open to all in mainstream and Special Needs categories - Visual Impaired wrote in Braille and Hearing Impaired in signed videos.
The 2018 Competition registered 13,064 students, 356 schools from 44 counties of Kenya. For the second time in the history of the Competition, we had students from special needs schools, 103 special needs learners 4 schools across 4 counties participating. We also received French and German Essays.
The theme question for this year 2019 is "Think of a problem in your school: how can technology help to solve this problem?"
We would like to hear from you and any feedback on the question. Thanks!