Transforming education: The power of ICT policies

The dissemination and use of information and communications technologies (ICT) in schools has come to be seen by education policy-makers as a significant opportunity. They are attracted to the prospect that ICT can improve student achievement, improve access to schooling, increase efficiencies and reduce costs, enhance students’ ability to learn and promote their lifelong learning, and prepare them for a globally competitive workforce. As the power and capability of computers have increased, as they have become interconnected in a worldwide web of information and resources, as they provide a conduit for participation and interaction with other people, as they have become linked to other devices, and as their costs have come down, policy-makers, particularly those in developing countries, have come to see ICT as a viable, and even dramatic, way of responding to the multiple challenges that they face.

Once policy-makers consider making significant investments in ICT, a host of questions emerge: How many computers are needed in a school? Where should they be located? How should the network architecture be structured? How should the computers be distributed equitably? What additional resources are needed to support their use? What kind of training do teachers need to take advantage of these resources? How can they use them in their teaching? Are these uses effective? Are these even the right questions?

The position taken in this book is that while these questions represent important implementation issues, they are not the questions that should frame ICT policy. ICT can have a greater impact when the policies and programmes designed to implement them are crafted in the broader context of social and economic goals and when they are implemented in support of coordinated change of all the components of the education system, aligned to a vision of economic development and social progress – that is, when ICT policies and programmes support educational transformation. 

PDF icon 211842e.pdf2.95 MB
Saturday, January 1, 2011 (All day)
Robert Kozma
No votes yet