Why does EdTech matter? 8 reports we are reading right now
In an era where technology is rapidly transforming the way we live, work, and connect with the world, its impact on education cannot be overstated. EdTech in its many forms has emerged as a powerful catalyst for educational advancement, holding the potential to bridge gaps, expand horizons, and unlock new opportunities for teachers and learners around the globe. While its influence is evident in many parts of the world, it is in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) that the transformative potential of EdTech can truly shine if implemented according to context. However, LMICs also present the biggest challenges when it comes to using EdTech when the whole ecosystem has not been considered.
Through this blog, we explore the potential of EdTech in LMICs, delving into recommendations for decision-makers in the sector, the benefits and successes of EdTech, as well as some of the shared challenges implementers of technology in education experience along the way.
Messaging Apps, SMS, and Social Media: A Rapid Evidence Review
Messaging can be an effective way of supporting teachers, both in terms of providing activities such as lesson plans, and motivation. Initiatives which deliver lesson plans and guidance have been shown to foster a wider range of classroom practices and show good potential to be applied at scale. Messaging is relatively low cost and teaching materials could be tailored to the local context. In terms of supporting teachers’ professional development, messaging has been shown to be an effective way of maintaining contact and support in addition to in-person training. Materials adapted for messaging can also have a wider reach by being readily circulated among colleagues, and sharing knowledge through informal communities of practice.
A Literature Overview of Accountability and EdTech: Recommendations for Using Technology to Improve Accountability in Educational Systems from Ghana and Other LMICs
Learning interventions work well when there is transparency and accountability in the education system. Learning outcomes can improve significantly when local stakeholders are empowered to engage with their school’s decision-making. Decentralised, system-wide decision-making is thus integral and, in practice, this requires system-wide accountability: when stakeholders are truly involved with decision-making, then they will also be asked to take responsibility for their decision-making and be supported in this role. Holistic integration of EdTech can increase stakeholders’ participation in decentralised, system-wide accountability in LMICs. Technological tools can enable practitioner monitoring and student tracking to be carried out efficiently. Thus, technology for accountability can address a widespread issue of teacher absence among other foundational issues around educational effectiveness.
Eight Reasons Why EdTech Doesn’t Scale: How sandboxes are designed to counter the issue
EdTech Hub’s sandbox approach offers implementers and decision-makers a clear way to implement and scale only the most effective EdTech interventions. In this position paper, we share our view on why EdTech isn’t scaling and how we see the sandbox approach addressing them.
The sandbox process is designed to help generate real-time evidence. We draw on methodologies like lean impact and user-centred design to get to learning as fast as possible to make interventions as robust as possible. We have developed the Sandbox Handbook as a guide to implementers looking to test and scale EdTech interventions in this way.
Girls’ Education and EdTech: A Rapid Evidence Review
This Rapid Evidence Review provides an overview of how technology was used in LMICs for girls’ education at primary and secondary levels before the Covid-19 pandemic. It offers evidence of how technology can be of potential benefit to girls’ education and explores the current barriers preventing equal access to technology. It contributes to the emerging knowledge base and organises the most relevant literature into coherent themes for the consideration of key stakeholders in how to employ technology to benefit girls’ education.
Using EdTech in Settings of Fragility, Conflict and Violence: A Curated Resource List
Our long list of resources collates interventions that effectively deploy education technology in settings of fragility, conflict and violence (FCV). This list explores the effective uses of EdTech in FCV settings, emphasising interventions and evidence relevant to the Yemeni context and distance learning during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Use of Technology to Promote Equity and Inclusion in Education in North and Northeast Kenya
Our report brings out the context of North and North Eastern Kenya to understand why quality, equity, and inclusion disparities exist, and how technology can play a role in increasing equity and inclusion in education in the region. Understanding the disparities and Identification of the right EdTech tool for intervention builds an inclusive system that not only supports messaging to learners but also their caregivers through an evidence-based, cost-effective solution, hence increasing participation in learning.
Under the Hood of an EdTech Study in Kenya: Implementation challenges, successes, and lessons learnt
Our recent research highlights EdTech’s impact on LMICs in broadening educational access for learners, particularly in remote and underserved areas. Interventions like simple phone messaging and radio are cited as instrumental channels in boosting enrolment rates and ensuring that educational opportunities are extended to marginalised communities.
Reflections on technology, teaching, learning, and professional development: Findings from a teacher survey in Tanzania
One notable facet is the rise of access to quality education, especially through the integration of teacher professional development (TPD) via technology. According to Hennessy, et. al., pervasive issues with TPD design and implementation have significant consequences for teachers in LMICs, whose learning and growth within the profession are stunted. As a result, vast numbers of learners, especially those in marginalised population groups, endure a poor educational experience as they navigate a schooling system where low levels of teaching quality collide with other persistent problems. The integration of technology into educational systems offers significant advantages for facilitating teacher professional development. As emphasised in a journal article by Hennessy, et. al;, EdTech can enable the effective delivery of professional development for teachers, extending its reach to remote regions and improving the quality of teaching in classrooms.
EdTech Hub Evidence Library
At EdTech Hub, we recognise the diverse and expansive nature of the EdTech field. This complexity is a primary factor contributing to the challenges faced by decision-makers when addressing gaps in evidence for EdTech interventions. Our evidence covers a wide range of essential topics, which are instrumental in adopting a holistic approach to identifying and recommending EdTech solutions for enhancing learning in underserved communities. Discover more from our Evidence library.