Developing a National EdTech Strategy

Providing practical information on developing a national EdTech strategy to support education decision-makers

The purpose of this resource

This resource offers practical information on developing a national EdTech strategy. It is designed for education policy- and decision-makers, including officials within ministries of education and major development agencies who work with them. It is also relevant for other government stakeholders, such as ICT, infrastructure, and communications ministries, who are often involved in strategy development and implementation. It is based on the following hypothesis:

  • If…we provide practical, actionable, timely information to support decision-makers who seek to develop national EdTech strategies or to integrate EdTech into education sector plans to support educational resilience and work towards digital transformation…
  • then…education stakeholders will be better equipped to incorporate effective uses of EdTech into their planning and implementation…
  • so that…education stakeholders will be better equipped to incorporate effective uses of EdTech into their planning and implementation.

What this resource covers

  • Information for governments and other stakeholders who are designing or refining EdTech strategies that cover general education (e.g., Grades 1–12) OR who are integrating EdTech into broader education sector plans.

  • A starting point for education specialists wanting to learn more about EdTech strategies

  • Links to additional tools and guidance where readers can find more information on strategy building

Why this resource is needed

A number of factors inform the need for additional guidance on EdTech strategy planning.

  • There is renewed interest in national EdTech strategies. As the Covid-19 pandemic wanes, countries are taking
    stock of recently implemented distance learning strategies and interventions and looking toward digital
    transformation and greater resilience. This has implications for technology-enhanced remote learning, blended
    and hybrid learning, and technology integration into traditional classroom learning.
  • Things can change: The EdTech landscape is constantly evolving, with new technologies being introduced.
    Unexpected system shocks (e.g., Covid-19) can change the role that EdTech plays.
  • Countries are requesting support to develop approaches to integrating EdTech into education systems.
    EdTech Hub has seen an increase in support requests from governments and development partners as they
    undergo processes designed to help them effectively harness the power of EdTech (see examples on the
    following slide).
  • There is scope to increase existing capacity and knowledge. EdTech Hub has noticed that requests for support
    are due, in part, to the fact that traditional education specialists may not have adequate knowledge of advances
    in EdTech innovations to incorporate them into education sector plans. Likewise, tech experts may lack
    knowledge of effective educational approaches to strategise for national education planning.
  • Without effective planning, resources may be wasted. Without a strategic, technically sound plan in place,
    there is considerable risk that resources will be wasted on impractical solutions that may not support students
    in achieving better learning outcomes.
  • Responding to support gaps: There is a need for up-to-date, practical guidance on how to design, implement,
    and evaluate EdTech strategies

5 things to be aware of before developing a strategy:

There is no one “right” way to create a strategy, but many ways it can go awry. Identifying potential challenge areas based on context and experience early in the process is important.

The process, emphasis, and role of a strategy will look different depending on the nature of a nation’s education system (e.g., centralised vs decentralised). It is important to account for these systemic characteristics to create a realistic and actionable strategy.

“Precursor” steps to EdTech strategies tend to mirror ESP development processes, including landscape analysis or mapping and stakeholder engagement. The particularities of EdTech merit special attention in planning and strategising.

It is important to strike a balance between plan comprehensiveness and feasibility — offering enough depth to make a strategy applicable and relevant while also ensuring it is actionable for decision-makers, education practitioners, and leaders.

Strategies may live in draft form in perpetuity and may come in a variety of formats. Getting a strategy officially endorsed can take a lot of effort, and the process may be opaque. Some strategies are lengthy documents, while others are short Powerpoint decks or
web pages.

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