The original article was published on Devex on 6 April, 2016. Written by Jeff Tyson. To read the complete article, click here

Students use laptops at the library of the Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco. The demand for education technology is greater than ever, but how can one tell which existing and emerging edutech innovations are the wisest investments? Photo by: Arne Hoel / World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

Technology and education are colliding like never before, and educators and policymakers are struggling to make sense of what it all means for the future of learning.

Increasingly, donors recognize education technology — or “edutech” — is an important tool for promoting quality education, and governments are asking for more and more donor support to help them adopt technology that leads to better learning.

The demand for — and “confusion about” — education technology is greater than ever, Michael Trucano, the World Bank’s senior education and technology policy specialist and global lead for innovation in education, told Devex and that with so many innovations out there, “people aren’t sure what to do,” Trucano said.

Five years ago, education technology professionals focused on getting tech — computers, tablets, phones —  to parts of the world that lacked it. Education technology was driven by the hardware — the technology itself — without adequate consideration for the content housed within the technology and what would or would not catch on in certain contexts, Christopher Fabian, co-founder and co-lead of UNICEF’s innovation unit told Devex.

One Laptop per Child, a nonprofit founded in 2005 to distribute laptops to children in developing countries, has been widely criticized as a U.S.-driven effort that failed to take into consideration country context, to provide adequate training for teachers, and to demonstrate significant results on learning.

Now, Fabian said, there is a growing recognition that policy makers and development professionals cannot just dump hardware into communities. Instead, there has to be a greater focus on prototypes, models and measurement.

To read the complete article, click here

Print This Story