Technology in Schools: Education, ICT and the Knowledge Society

This document offers examples and insights on a number of issues that are relevant to policy- makers in developing countries. A particular effort has been made to demonstrate that introducing ICT into the schools, without a proper staff development plan and without a pedagogical perspective, is a low-return investment. Technology is still expensive and requires constant support at the school level for hardware and network repairs and software configurations, updates and management. Relevant digital educational content, both from the Internet and from CDs is an important consideration that needs careful attention, especially in terms of addressing learning needs, teaching practices and models that may become critical factors inside the classroom.

Implementing an ICT policy in education requires a long-term commitment from various levels of government; therefore, this report offers a few guidelines for program implementation in terms of management needs and program enhancement. A sound evaluation strategy of the ICT program, with achievement standards and performance indicators, will help in providing accountability. It will also be of great value for the program’s management team once it gets into its implementation stages. A special section is devoted to ICT for small rural schools, which are common in developing countries and which require, and deserve, special attention in terms of staff development, technical support and relevant content for their students. This is particularly important when local cultures are an issue. In the final section, a number of implementation priorities are analyzed, including the profile of the ICT management team, its alignment with other national educational priorities, and the importance of human capacitybuilding in terms of program scale, right from the beginning of the program. The paper ends with a resource base that can be used for further procurement of up-to-date information on ICT use in education.

The authors have been cautious to emphasize that there is no universal truth when it comes to applying ICT in education, and that there is no advice that can be directly applied without considering each country’s reality, priorities and long-term budgetary prospects and commitment. In a sense, this document represents the authors’ views and reflections, not just on “Enlaces” and other Latin American projects, but also, on the modifications they would make were they to redesign and implement an ICT program again.

PDF icon technology_in_schools.pdf1.72 MB
Thursday, January 1, 2004 (All day)
World Bank
Pedro K. Hepp, J. Enrique Hinostroza, Ernesto M. Laval, Lucio F. Rehbein
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