Technology and education in developing countries

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Techniology and education in developing countries. Describes the challenges in relation to Education For All (2015) and the role that technology could play. Presents the four pillars of UNESCO's Strategy in this domain: policies, teachers, mobile learning, and open educational resources.

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  • TRANSITION: Ladies and Gentleman… make no mistake the educational challenges before us are immense and they are urgent. Despite significant and lasting progress, the backdrop of this report is not rosy. We are still a long way from accomplishing the MGD and EFA goals we laid out over a decade ago. Without question, the educational challenges facing us today are too big and too complex to ignore any of the tools at our disposal, and, at the dawn of the 21st century, technology perhaps foremost among them. Here is a quick snapshot of some of our most pressing challenges…
  • 67 million children of primary-school age are not in school.* And more are absent from secondary school.
  • 1.7 million additional teaching positions will need to be created to attain Universal Primary Education by 2015.
  • 775 million adults are illiterate.2/3rds of these adults are women.
  • The purpose of our report is to spread three keymessages.Put simply, our fast-changing societies and economies now demand the ability to use technology. The skills required to access, navigate, and make productive use of information in our information age is no longer optional; it’s a necessity. We have arrived at a moment where technology not only should, but must support, power and enrich education. School systems around the world are beginning to make better use of technology in education. While integration is still limited and hardly seamless, it is happening in pockets around the world and it is gaining momentum.There is no doubt that 21st century skills require the ability to:Use technology productivelyNavigate the digital world; andApply (rather than merely accumulate) knowledgeTechnology also has a fast-growing track record of:Increasing the efficiency of school systems: teachers and studentsBut we need more. We need broadband to helpTransforming traditional pedagogical models; andExtending learning opportunities beyond classrooms To make this happen a holistic policy environment that is cohesive and welcomes MSP is needed.
  • BUT… the news is not all bad.Just a few days ago at UNESCO an expert from Cisco explained that it is often significantly easier and cheaper to lay down the infrastructure needed for broadband services in Africa than it is in a city like Pairs where it is extremely difficult to install underground lines and wire old, closely-clustered apartment buildings.Data from the ITU indicates that over the past half decade, growth in fixed line broadband connections in the developing world has doubled that in developed countries. While this is good news (because it means the playing field is more equal) it deserves to be put in perspective. In absolute terms developing countries are still FAR behind. In 2011 25% of people in developed countries had a broadband connection. Only 5% in the developing world did. So despite the rapid growth in areas like Africa and Asia there is still a long way to go.Source: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/statistics/at_glance/keytelecom.htmlThe uptake of mobile technology has been nothing short of phenomenal. In 1995 there were 600,000 mobile subscriptions in the entire continent of Africa. In 2005 there were 87 million. Today there are around 735 million. Promisingly, the developing world is also getting access to mobile broadband. (As everyone in this room knows the utility of any mobile device hinges—to a large degree—on the quality and speed of its connection. In 2012, worldwide growth in mobile broadband services was 40%. In the developing world this number was much higher. Growth in poorer countries was 78%. This is an indication that people even in traditionally underserved areas are getting access to ICT that can fuel and extend learning opportunities. The situation is far from equal but the developing world is catching up.
  • Technology and education in developing countries

    1. 1. Technology and Education in Developing Countries Francesc Pedró Teacher Development and Education Policies UNESCO
    2. 2.  The context as a challenge  Contrasting views  What works?  Our strategy Contents
    3. 3. Our needs are urgent.
    4. 4. 61 million children are not in primary school.
    5. 5. 1.7 million additional teachers are needed.
    6. 6. 775 million adults are illiterate; two-thirds are women.
    7. 7. 1. Broadband can foster education development 2. … and transformation 3. But a holistic policy environment is needed
    8. 8.  Evangelism Contrasting views
    9. 9.  Catastrophism Contrasting views
    10. 10. The landscape is changing Percentage of 15 year olds with access to the Internet, at home and in schools (2009) Source: OECD, 2011
    11. 11. Still oversold and underused? Average weekly use of computers in OECD countries (2009) 0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 70.0 80.0 90.0 100.0 Maths Science more than 60 mins 30-60 mins 0-30 mins No use Source: PISA OECD, 2011.
    12. 12. Measuring digital skills Percentage of students at each level of competencies, 2009 Source: PISA OCDE Dataset, 2011.
    13. 13. Students’ digital skills and SES
    14. 14. .00 .500 1.00 1.500 2.00 2.500 3.00 Equal start SES effect ICT use No capital With capital Excluded from the benefitsPISAcompetenceindex PISA2006 science
    15. 15.  3 requirements:  Access  Usability  Utility  The best example?  System and school management!!! What works?
    16. 16. 1. Engagement
    17. 17. 2. Convenience
    18. 18. 3. Productivity
    19. 19.  One objective:  Teachers empowered to facilitate – More learning – Better learning – Different learning  Four pillars:  Policies  Teachers  Mobile learning  OER UNESCO Strategy
    20. 20. 1. Technology policies contextualised in realistic education policies
    21. 21. I. Challenges developing countries are facing in harness ICT’s potentials for education  Affordability: recurrent budget to ensure universal access to ICT devices and online digital resources, and regularly update device and internet connection  Capacity: in making and managing sector-wide ICT in education policies; both institutional and individual capacities in implementing polices  Inclusion: equal opportunities for the poor, rural and other disadvantaged populations, including girls; not only to the upper classes  Content: ICT facilitates and complicates the content development and dissemination at the same time. OER holds potentials, but barriers remain  Quality assurance: quality of digital content/textbook; reform of quality framework to embrace new ICT-enabled learning outcomes; quality online learning (e-safety of children online)  Monitoring and assessment: need to promote systemic innovation through (non existing?) evidence about what works and why  Complexity of the policy environment: Many actors, sometimes with vested interests; education systems in developing countries are far more complex to govern. The challenges in developing countries
    22. 22. 2. Teacher Training institutions have to be empowered
    23. 23. 3. Mobile learning is a window of opportunity
    24. 24. SOME SIGNS OF PROGRESS Growth in fixed line broadband from 2007 to 2011 Developing countries: 109% Developed countries: 40% In 2012 Growth in mobile broadband worldwide: 40% Growth in developing countries: 78% Broadband can be (and is being) installed quickly in the developing world. Huge surge in mobile connectivity including mobile broadband, particularly in resource poor areas.
    25. 25. 4. OER promoted to spur use and innovation
    26. 26. Many thanks F.Pedro@UNESCO.org Available at: /francescpedro Follow us: @FrancescPedroED /francesc.pedroED

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