ICT in Education
Given the limited resources available in educational systems in the developing world, and the lack of any great will to change the situation, is it better to invest in known teacher aids like textbooks, chalkboards, or basic school supplies or do new technology options, like ebooks, smart boards, computers really offer a paradigm shift in educational efficiencies?
It would be churlish to claim that ICTs are the best educational investment. After all, take away the teachers and the schools and there is not a lot left. On the other hand, taking away the ICTs would only take a school back a few decades, but it would keep functioning. Nevertheless, ICTs represent a [...]
“If you can read this, thank a teacher” – that’s a popular bumper sticker in educational circles, and one that I think best illustrates where educational investment should be focused on. Rather than pimping out classrooms with fancy information and communication technologies, let’s invest in better teachers and teaching systems. They are the true technology of education.
John Daly’s post about the value of “traditional” ICTs (e.g., TV, radio etc) in capturing the attention of kids reminded me of my own experiences as a child ….
In many educational systems, there is a shameful lack of capacity to administer the resources currently allocated to teach students. Waste and fraud combine to drain away funds before they get near to the classroom, or to the classroom teacher – historically one of the most underpaid positions in the world. How would adding expensive, desirable, and complicated technology into this system achieve anything but lost opportunity on a massive scale?
At the beginning of this month, we initiated a discussion around ICTs in education with the open question: Are ICTs the best investment for scarce educational funding, or should investments be made first in the familiar tools and methodologies that are already being used?
In the lively debate that followed, we’ve had a number of key points put forward, as much by Tim Kelly and Wayan Vota, the designated discussants, as the varied commenters replying to each post and each other. From this conversation, I’ve distilled four key points that I feel can be at least a partial answer to the original question.