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What we are learning | What we are reading: Recommended reading for people who demand evidence in EdTech (1 of 6)

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This is Part 1 of a six-part blog series inspired by discussions with partners working in the EdTech space who recognize they do not have the information they need to make informed decisions and recommendations. With that in mind, we put together a series summarising what we have learned so far in each of our focus areas: Data for Decisions, Digital Personalised Learning (DPL), Girls’ Education & Technology, Participation & Messaging, and Teacher Continuous Professional Development. In each blog, we provide some key lessons, an outline of our ongoing work, and additional resources (written by us and by our partners) for readers who want to delve deeper. This first blog focuses on the general EdTech Hub space. 

If you know EdTech Hub, you know that we exist because there is a lack of clear EdTech evidence and there are gaps in the use of evidence that is out there. We believe that technology has the potential to help address the global learning crisis. However, this potential is not being realised because of these gaps. Policymakers and other decision-makers face an overwhelming choice of technology solutions, are unsure about what works and what doesn’t, and are forced to make decisions based on little or no evidence.

What is clear is that investments in information and communication technologies have rarely had a long-term impact on learning outcomes, particularly for marginalised students in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). And while the use of EdTech can potentially help us get closer to attaining Sustainable Development Goal 4, it is unlikely to be the ‘silver bullet’ that some once envisioned.

To achieve sustained improvements at scale and reach marginalised learners in specific contexts, we must seek to understand the various reasons why many previous EdTech programmes have not fulfilled their potential and what EdTech designs and systems are needed for more effective outcomes.

How Edtech Hub ‘seeks to understand’ is through the collaborative relationship between rigorous academic research, sandbox innovations, and evidence-based technical assistance about how to use technology in education. This means that with our help, decision-makers inside and outside government can make clear, evidence-based policy decisions to achieve maximum impact. 

Our reading recommendations.

We’ve compiled an overview of resources (driven or gathered by EdTech Hub or in collaboration with partners) that address some of the existing gaps in EdTech research, innovation and practice.   

  1. Problem Analysis and Focus of EdTech Hub’s Work: Technology in Education in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (EdTech Hub) 
  2. Country rapid scans (EdTech Hub), containing information on existing policies in 11 countries.  
  3. EdTech to Reach the Most Marginalised: A Call to Action (EdTech Hub)
  4. Education for the most marginalised post‑COVID-19 Guidance for governments on the use of digital technologies in education (EdTech Hub)
  5. Reimagining Human Connections: Technology and Innovation in Education at the World Bank (World Bank)
  6. A Case for a Systems Approach to EdTech (EdTech Hub)
  7. Worst practice in ICT use in education (World Bank blog)
  8. A Political Economy Analysis Framework for EdTech Evidence Uptake (EdTech Hub)
  9. Nine takeaways from our reviews of COVID-19 education responses (EdTech Hub blog)
  10. Remote learning packs (UNICEF, World Bank)
  11. Promising practices for equitable remote learning (UNICEF)

Coming Next: What we’re learning and what we’re reading in our Data for Decisions focus area. And, as always, you can find more resources in our Evidence Library.

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