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Call for Topics: Educational Technology Debate in 2013

Wayan Vota

2013 ETD Topics Request

Thanks for making 2012 an amazing year for the Educational Technology Debate. We had great conversations every month with the following four posts leading all others in readership:

  1. Unesco’s Working Papers on Mobile Learning
  2. The results from IDB’s Randomized Control Trial in Peru
  3. A close look at Educational Management Information Systems
  4. International Council for Open and Distance Education – ICDE’s debate on Open and Distance Learning

Note the theme that unites all four – technology is amazing but not a cure-all. We should not forget that as we lust over the next shiny, flashy thing.

Yet, what should we be focusing on?

We have a list of future topics – are they still relevant? What are other ICT trends or topics that captivate? Tell us the education questions you ask that do not have a good answer,  the challenges faced by schools and educators in the developing world, and the thought leaders you think may have answers.

Please help make a better 2013. Go ahead, leave a comment and share a few ideas. We promise to look at each one and get back to you asap about your suggestions. The EduTechDebate is our cumulative effort and your input is not only welcomed – its required!

Wayan, Shabnam, and Roxana
ETD Moderators

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8 Responses to “Call for Topics: Educational Technology Debate in 2013”

  1. Given that computers cost less than printed textbooks, shouldn't we all be working on free digital learning materials (Open Educational Resources, or OERs) under Creative Commons licenses? That would let us greatly improve education at significantly lower cost, even counting the costs of electricity, Internet, OER development, teacher training, and all the rest.

  2. Hi Wayan – I'm thinking a that after all the buzz of winning the $1 million TED prize, that Sugatra Mitra's work should be interrogated to see if it really is relevent for all learners, or just specific cases.

    Another topic could be how online and mobile technology is 'breaking' the centralised control of education content and distribution of formal education in the same way it has democratised other industries in line with Chris Dixon's thinking http://cdixon.org/2013/02/10/the-computing-deploy


    Dear Sirs,
    Greetings. Thanks for having given me an opportunity to suggest topics for discussion. Of course, I have a few topics in mind for discussion. May I give them here for your kind perusal and further action.
    Satellite Mediated Interactive Classroom (Edusate for Education)
    Web-Based Learning for a Programme
    Online Testing: Objective Based and Discrptive Answers
    Online Tutoring/Counselling for a Graduate Programme
    Development and Validation of Media Based Instructional Materials(E-content)

  4. Imran Zualkernan

    I would suggest to also add either/and both "authenticity" and "cultural awareness" in addition to language for this topic. We are just completing a 10 school, 6-month longitudinal study of using 'localized' version and augmentation of "Khan Academy" content in semi-rural Pakistan and we found many issues that go beyond language. For example, even for Math, in Khan Academy's original content, some problems speak of "bran muffins" which carry little value for children in rural Pakistan. There were also issues related to curricular mapping and gaps etc. In fact, we were only able to use 30-40% of their localized-to-URDU content (just voice-over translation), and had to create the rest ourselves. This is a BIG issue because if one finds such anomalies in Grade IV and V Math content that typically tends to be semantically agnostic, other fields like social sciences, for example, will suffer a lot more from such problems.

  5. Ajitha Nayar

    The topics I suggest for Debate are

    1. High Tech Vs Low Tech
    2. Free and Open source Software Vs Proprietary Software
    3. Unintended Consequences for ICT

  6. Matthew Wennersten

    Tablet vendors and educators are talking up tablets and tablet apps. iPads are rolling out in large numbers. In the developing world, iPads are not cost-feasible. Are low cost tablets a practical alternative? Can tablets provide useful education tools without additional costly infrastructure such as servers, broadband, and desktop computers in the school? Where and in what use cases have low cost tablets provided strong educational value to children?

  7. Shabnam Aggarwal

    Do teachers need to be professional educators?

  8. Roxanna Bassi

    this is my list of ideas according to what I see are current hot topics… tell me what you think.

    MOOCs ( Massive Online Open Courses)
    what are the challenges and results of large scale open courses? Is the model sustainable?

    Large scale 1:1 deployments revisited
    what is happening with 1:1 projects in Uruguay, Peru, Rwanda? What do the latest reports tell us?

    Robotics in education
    Robotics has always been a hype in eduaction. What real applications exist out there? what pilots are being conducted? what are the costs involved?

    Languages in education
    teach in local languages or in french/english/spanish? How can ICT support language preservation?

    E-Citizen science
    Applications and examples of e-citizen science, the participation of citizens and students in massive science projects at all levels. case studies.

    Digital heritage preservation
    what is the role of schools in digital heritage preservation? case studies.


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