How can countries use EdTech to mitigate learning loss as schools reopen?
The evidence-backed advice below is one in a series of topics from the EdTech Hub Helpdesk. Here we summarise recommendations from our work with governments, World Bank, FCDO, UNICEF and other education decision-makers.
Technology-supported remedial programmes and accelerated learning programmes offer promise to improve learning outcomes. However, it is important to also assess the appropriate use of technology for such programmes. In practice, technology may not be a feasible option for reaching the children who need to be reached.
In general, the majority of tech-enabled remedial programmes leverage tablets or computers. A handful of programmes have used mobile technologies to support remediation; we expect that this will become more common given their increasing availability in LMICs. For example, the India BridgeIT programme provided smartphones with a prepaid SIM card to support Science and English learning for fifth and sixth-grade students. Teachers received training and support on how to use the software, including ordering and downloading curriculum-based videos. The India BridgeIT programme was shown to have a significant positive effect on student learning across both subjects (Carlson, 2013).
In addition, EdTech (radio, television, mobile phones, internet campaigns) can be used to reach children who are at risk of not returning to schools when they reopen (Kaye et al., 2020; Nugroho et al., 2020). In 2015, during the ebola epidemic, solar radios were distributed to communities in Guinea by UNICEF. Once schools reopened, the Ministry of Education broadcasted messages about the start of the school year through 28 radio stations (Interagency Collaboration on Ebola, 2015).
For more information, please read EdTech Hub’s brief on back-to-school campaigns following disruptions to education.
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