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Trends in ICT education

06 August 2012

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This blog entry by Michael Trucano, ICT Specialist, explores issues related to the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education around the world. It explores trends that are sometimes not widely reported on in the international media.

Much of what we read and hear discussed about 'emerging trends' in technology use in education is meant largely for audiences in industrialized countries, or for more affluent urban areas in other parts of the world, and is largely based on observations on what is happening in those sorts of places. One benefit of working at a place like the World Bank, exploring issues related to the use of ICTs in education around the world, is that we get to meet with lots of interesting people proposing, and more importantly doing, interesting things in places that are sometimes not widely reported on in the international media (including some exciting 'innovations at the edges').

We are often asked questions like, "What trends are you are noticing that are a bit 'under the radar'?" In case it might be of interest to wider groups and/or provoke some interesting discussion and comment, we thought we'd quickly pull a list of these sorts of things together here.

Inclusion on the list below doesn't mean to imply that a given trend is 'good' ... just that it is apparent and interesting to us in some way. We don't mean to suggest that these trends are apparent everywhere; they are largely born of our personal experiences, and so are perhaps informed more by strings of compelling anecdotes and 'gut feelings' about what is relevant than on hard data that we can cite.  We have deliberately omitted a number of trends that we have noted in prior posts that didn't necessarily have a specific developing country focus (including those mentioned in an entry on 10 Global Trends in ICT and Education that is now a few years old) or which are cited in widely read publications like the Horizon Report (whose K-12 edition for 2012 was released earlier this month). In some cases, the trends have been observed and noted in more 'advanced' countries for some time, but are only now gathering momentum (sometimes with a twist) in many less economically privileged parts of the world.  In other cases, the trends may have emerged in developed country contexts, and are finding particular resonance in some less economically developed places.

With that explanation out of the way, here are, in no particular order ...
Ten trends in technology use in education in developing countries
that you may not have heard about

1. tablets tablets tablets
Whereas five years ago there was a great deal of (new) excitement about low cost laptops for students in so-called 'developing countries', in 2012 much of the mindshare previously occupied by such programs is being taken up by large scale initiatives to put tablet computers into the hands of students.  While in industrialized countries there are scores of iPad in education projects, in developing countries much of the discussions is around the use of lower cost Android tablets or simple e-book readers. Large projects like those in Russia, Turkey and Thailand, where plans to purchase hundreds of thousands, and in some cases millions of low cost tablets, are now underway and, we expect, represent the leading edge of a very large wave of activity in this regard.
To read full story, click here

Source : World Bank

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