Your regular round-up of the latest in clear evidence, better decisions, and more learning in EdTech. 

In this issue:

EdTech for learners with disabilities: Urgent need to focus on access, engagement, and learning outcomes

EdTech Hub commissioned a systematic literature review and policy brief to explore how EdTech can support primary school learners with disabilities in LMICs. The policy recommendations include:

  1. A call for better alignment of EdTech research to global commitments
  2. More robust research designs
  3. Greater involvement with user groups
  4. Working with key stakeholders in LMICs to ensure research undertaken is sensitive to their needs and applicable to the context of local realities

Read more in our blog.

Monitoring distance learning

As schools around the world began to close in early 2020, education leaders, policy-makers, administrators and school staff sought innovative ways to provide students with opportunities to continue their learning through distance education models. EdTech Hub has been actively working with countries to develop monitoring and evaluation (M&E) approaches to effectively support distance education approaches in light of Covid-19.

In Bangladesh, we developed a brief outlining how best to monitor distance education initiatives. Through this work we developed a framework that highlights the importance of monitoring various levels of education service delivery: availability, access, usage, and learning. In Pakistan, we worked with the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training to develop an M&E framework for an upcoming blended learning pilot. Globally, we produced guidance on how to monitor and evaluate digital initiatives targeting the most marginalised

While education professionals around the world are still continuing to learn how best to monitor and evaluate distance education, the above guidance provides a great starting point for any in-country policy-makers and administrators.

Monitoring distance education graphic, from “Monitoring and Evaluation of ICT in Education Projects: A Handbook for Developing Countries.” 

Political economy framework for EdTech evidence uptake

While the EdTech field suffers from significant gaps in knowledge, more research won’t mean much unless it can be used to inform policy and decision-making. To this end, EdTech Hub produced a political economy framework for EdTech evidence uptake.

What is it...? 

The framework uses insights from political economy to better understand the factors that are influencing whether and how evidence about EdTech is used to inform public policy decisions. The framework consists of five core elements: issue, structural factors, rules of the game, stakeholder interests and power, and opportunities. 

...and why does it matter? 

Evidence only makes a difference if it is used. To help make this happen, an understanding of the context and of how individuals and institutions are involved in production, demand, and use of evidence in relation to EdTech is essential. 

10 case studies from 10 countries: Education responses to Covid-19

Experts from 10 countries collaborated with EdTech Hub to document the education response to Covid-19 and the use of EdTech through these case studies. Key lessons that emerge from the case studies and workshop include: 

  1. Across the 10 countries there were considerable differences in both investment and plans to move towards EdTech solutions pre-Covid-19
  2. Rapid response was enabled by a range of factors
  3. Low-cost data “bundles” and smart-phone technology facilitated better access to technology for distance education
  4. Government agencies have relied mainly on just-in-time data when managing school closures and distance learning

Check out more in our summary blog here. You can also read the full case study reports here: China, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Jordan, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Ghana.

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