How do we support the use of EdTech for girls?
Addressing the digital gender divide
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, ministries of education and partnerships with other organisations through the World Bank and FDCO.
In general, access to technology has been shown to be just as, if not more, empowering for girls as for boys. However, the existing gender digital divide means that girls tend to have less access to technology, both inside and outside the classroom (Webb et al., 2020).
To ease the divide, education professionals can engage in the following actions:
- Raise parental awareness of available out-of-school education resources and of the benefits that girls’ access to EdTech could bring.
- Explore a range of ICT options (mobile devices, television, radio) to offer girls additional ways to access education.
- Ensure that women are represented among presenters and producers of educational content.
- Create safe spaces (virtual and / or physical) where girls can interact and learn together. For girls with access to mobile technology, this can be facilitated through social media platforms. When technological access is limited, marginalised girls may still need to meet with other girls in-person (Naylor & Gorgen, 2020; Webb et al., 2020).
Safeguarding initiatives should also be considered, specifically regarding the increased risks of online abuse associated with providing girls with internet access for educational purposes. Education responses to the Covid-19 crisis should further seek to leverage local networks and coordinate with other sectors to reach marginalised girls.
For additional recommendations, please read EdTech Hub and Education Development Trust’s report on education for marginalised girls and EdTech responses to Covid-19. We also have additional resources including: