How may ICT in basic education help reach global development goals?

May 21, 2014, 07:43 AM, Sentrum, Oslo, Norway

During her visit at Norad in Oslo, Norway on 9 May 2014 Rosalind Gater talked about the UK Department for International Development's (DFID) effort to study the impact of technology on teacher effectiveness and learning achievement. Over the past months, Rosalind has compiled an evidence paper that synthesizes findings in this area from over 80 studies from sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and South America. Rosalind will present this paper at e-learning Africa in May and in London in June. In the interview she explains how the 80 papers were identified and selected, which areas DFID wished to explore in the paper, and how ITC for including children with disabilities in education was addressed. She writes about ITC in education on DFID's blog: https://dfid.blog.gov.uk/author/rosalind-gater/

Speaking to a group of education specialists at Norad just before this interview, Rosalind said simply providing access to technology doesn't improve learning, even when access is 1:1 and guaranteed. When addressing the needs and rights of marginalised children, it is unlikely to help the learning outcome to introduce ITC unless the activity is specifically adapted to this group. In addition, at present, teachers struggle to find resources on the internet that are really relevant to their context. Further, educational technology programmes are more likely to work if teachers are given ongoing and regular support in their use of ITC in the classroom, and this is true even if the teachers are trained and capable. Another point to make is that integrating technology often increases teachers' workload, and this increase in teachers' time is often overlooked. Finally, technology can improve efficiencies in data collection, and communication between ministries of education, teachers and students.

Rosalind Gater joined DFID in 2013 as Entry Scheme Education Advisor in the Education Policy Team. Rosalind is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, where she studied English, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she studied International Education.

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