Toolbox 2.2: Design Theory of Change, Analyse Gaps Between ICT Readiness and Strategic Objectives

When the Planning Team has a clear picture of the current situation, it is ready to envision the future and decide how to get there. This tool uses the Theory of Change (TOC) to develop the masterplan’s vision and identify its main programme areas.

What is the Theory of Change?
What is Theory of Change?
Theory of Change is essentially a comprehensive description and illustration of how and why a desired change is expected to happen in a particular context. It is focused in particular on mapping out or “filling in” what has been described as the “missing middle” between what a program or change initiative does (its activities or interventions) and how these lead to desired goals being achieved. It does this by first identifying the desired long-term goals and then works back from these to identify all the conditions (outcomes) that must be in place (and how these related to one another causally) for the goals to occur.

 

theory

Singapore journey on ICT in Education (see picture below)

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To picture your country’s own ICT in Education journey, use these two resources as possible frameworks.

Knowledge Ladder
The Knowledge Ladder: Education Reform, ICT and Economic and Social Development
  Basic Education Knowledge Acquisition Knowledge Deepening Knowledge Creation
Policies Policy goals are to increase primary school participation, to increase the number of people that enter the formal economy, and to provide the skills that would improve health and welfare. Policy goal is to prepare a workforce capable of taking up new technologies and contributing to economic productivity. Education policies focus on increasing quality and secondary level enrolments, providing students with ICT skills, and increasing student scores on standardised tests, primarily in reading and math. The policy goal is to upgrade the productivity of the workforce so that they can add value to economic output. Education policies focus on improving the understanding and problem solving skills of students and connecting school learning to real world problems and contexts. The policy goal is to increase innovation and knowledge creation to drive the knowledge economy. Education policies are focused on the research, development, the generation and sharing of new knowledge, and continuous learning. Schools, teachers and students participate in these endeavours.
Professional Development Supply the education system with a corps of teachers with at least minimum subject matter knowledge and teaching skill. Teachers are expected to have a comprehensive knowledge of their field. Teacher training emphasizes the comprehensiveness and accuracy of teacher subject knowledge. Teachers may be tested on this as part of certification. Continuing professional development may not be required if mastery is achieved. Teachers are expected to have a deep understanding of their field and principles of pedagogy. Professional development emphasizes both the deepening of teachers’ subject knowledge as well as their understanding of student learning processes. This is done through a combination of continuing formal and informal experiences. Teachers are model learners. As experienced professionals, they are primarily responsible for their own and each others’ development, as colleagues and mentors. They collaborate with each other and with outside experts to build a professional community. They are engaged in creating and sharing their own body of professional knowledge and best practices.
Pedagogy Class sizes with large student-to- teacher ratios, teaching relies on lecture. Teaching is focused on information delivery. Lectures are common but information may be presented in a variety of forms. Alternatively, instruction can be individualised and self-paced. Teaching is conducted in the context of complex, open- ended questions and problems and it is anchored in real world contexts. Classroom activities involve the application of key concepts and principles to analyze systems and solve problems across subjects. Internships and apprenticeships can be an important way to connect school leaning to the real world. Teaching consists of challenging students build on their knowledge and explore new topics. Collaborative projects and investigations involve searching for information, collecting and analysing data, generating knowledge products, and communicating with outside experts and audiences to share results.
Curriculum Curriculum centers on basic literacy and numeracy skills. The curriculum enumerates a large number of facts and concepts within school subjects and emphasizes their acquisition. ICT in included as a subject in the curriculum. The curriculum identifies key, interrelated concepts and principles that organizes the subject area. It emphasizes deep understanding of these within and across subjects and their application to solve complex real world problems. Curriculum implementation is responsive to local contexts. The curriculum is flexible and responsive to student goals and local contexts. It emphasizes the development of collaboration, inquiry, information management, creativity, and critical thinking skills. Learning how to learn is essential.
Assessment Tests of basic literacy and numeracy skills. Assessments are composed of a large number of brief tasks that require the recall of facts and the application of principles to solve simple, one-part problems. Accuracy is emphasised. Students are tested frequently and receive regular feedback on progress. Assessments are composed of a few extended, open-ended, multi-part problem-based projects that embed key concepts and principles and correspond to real world situations. These tasks are integrated into the learning experience. Assessment tasks consists of investigations, reports, presentations, creative works, and other knowledge products. These products are evaluated through self, peer and public review, as well as expert review. Assessments also emphasize student goal setting and self monitoring.
School Organization Schools are hierarchically structured around the standardised delivery of content. Schools are hierarchically structured with a high level of accountability and little autonomy or flexibility. Curriculum inspectors assure the curriculum is covered as prescribed. School and teacher performance is measured and rewarded by student test score gains. Teachers have flexibility over implementing the curriculum and making it responsive to student interests, community needs, and contemporary issues. Structural flexibility allows teachers to adjust student groups or the class schedule to allow more time for projects, planning and collaboration. Schools are learning organizations and teachers are engaged in continuous innovation. Administrators, community members, teachers, and students create a shared vision and goals for their learning community. Within this vision, teachers have autonomy in implementing goals and accountability for results.
ICT Use Minimum use of technology; some stand alone computing for administrative purpose. Potential of minimum networked technology to provide access to remote resources for administration and teacher professional development. Technology is used primarily to deliver instruction and management. The ratio of students to computer may be low, if used by teachers for delivery, or high, if used by students for individualised instruction. Networking is used to support management and accountability. Networks are used to support collaborative projects and connect students and teachers to outside contexts. Simulations and multimedia are used to support deep understanding of interrelated concepts, address misconceptions, explore systems, and solve problems. Pervasive technology and social networks are used to support knowledge production, collaboration, and knowledge sharing by students and teachers. Networks are used to help teachers and students build knowledge communities.
Stages of ICT Integration
ICT Integration Stages
Emerging Stage
  • School has just begun to introduce computers
  • School administrators and teachers are beginning to explore potential of ICT for school management and classroom teaching
  • Focus in the classroom is learning the basic ICT skills
  • Teachers use ICT equipment for professional purposes (word processor to prepare lesson plans, spreadsheet for class lists, computing grades, Internet for sending email and searching teaching resources)
  • Classroom practice is teacher-oriented
Applying Stage
  • School has been using computers for at least 10 years
  • School administrators regularly use ICT for organizational and management tasks
  • Teachers begin to adapt the curriculum to increase the use of ICT in different subject areas, applying specific software tools such as drawing, designing, modelling and simulations in teaching
  • Teachers dominate learning activities in the classroom. ICT is used to improve their subject teaching. They enrich how they teacher with a range of ICT applications.
Infusing Stage
  • School incorporates/ integrates/ embed/ infuses ICT across the curriculum
  • Almost all classrooms are equipped with computers
  • Internet is available in school offices, library and entire school
  • ICT is infused in the work of teachers from student learning to management of learning
  • School encourages teachers to be creative to stimulate and manage learning of students. Teachers are allowed to use a range of preferred teaching/ learning styles to achieve their goals with their students
  • Teachers easily integrate different knowledge and skills from other subjects into project-based curricula
  • Curriculum begins to merge subject areas to reflect real-world applications
  • Teachers use ICT to assist their students to assess their own learning
Transforming Stage
  • ICT tools are routinely used to assist learning and fully integrated in all classes
  • ICT is fully integrated in all regular classroom activities
  • ICT is used to rethink and renew the institution in creative ways
  • ICT is part of the daily personal productivity and professional practice of the teachers
  • Focus in classrooms has moved from teacher-oriented to learner-centred and related subject-areas to real-world application
  • The whole ethos of the institution is changed: teachers and other support staff regard ICT as a natural part of the everyday life in their institution, which have become centers of learning for their communities

Develop vision statement

What is a vision statement?

Your vision is your dream. It's what your organization believes are the ideal conditions for your community; that is, how things would look if the issue important to you were completely, perfectly addressed. It might be a world without war, or a community in which all people are treated as equals, regardless of gender or racial background.

Whatever your organization's dream is, it may be well articulated by one or more vision statements. Vision statements are short phrases or sentences that convey your community's hopes for the future. By developing a vision statement or statements, your organization clarifies the beliefs and governing principles of your organization, first for yourselves, and then for the greater community.

There are certain characteristics that most vision statements have in common. In general, vision statements should be:

  • Understood and shared by members of the community
  • Broad enough to include a diverse variety of local perspectives
  • Inspiring and uplifting to everyone involved in your effort
  • Easy to communicate - for example, they are generally short enough to fit on a T-shirt

 

Here are some examples of vision statements that meet the above criteria:

  • Caring communities
  • Healthy children
  • Safe streets, safe neighborhood
  • Every house a home
  • Education for all
  • Peace on earth

 

Source: https://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/structure/strategic-planning/vision-mission-statements/main

Click here to find out how to come up with a vision statement
What is a Vision Statement?

Your vision is your dream. It's what your organization believes are the ideal conditions for your community; that is, how things would look if the issue important to you were completely, perfectly addressed. It might be a world without war, or a community in which all people are treated as equals, regardless of gender or racial background.

Whatever your organization's dream is, it may be well articulated by one or more vision statements. Vision statements are short phrases or sentences that convey your community's hopes for the future. By developing a vision statement or statements, your organization clarifies the beliefs and governing principles of your organization, first for yourselves, and then for the greater community.

There are certain characteristics that most vision statements have in common. In general, vision statements should be:
- Understood and shared by members of the community
- Broad enough to include a diverse variety of local perspectives
- Inspiring and uplifting to everyone involved in your effort
- Easy to communicate - for example, they are generally short enough to fit on a T-shirt

Here are some examples of vision statements that meet the above criteria:
- Caring communities
- Healthy children
- Safe streets, safe neighborhood
- Every house a home
- Education for all
- Peace on earth

Source: https://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/structure/strategic-planning/vision-mission-statements/main

Click to see commentary on the vision of Singapore's ICT in Education Masterplan.
ICT in Education Policy Goals and Vision: Singapore

The ICT educational policy in Singapore aims at building the capacity of people through education, so as to maintain economic competitiveness of the country, develop lifelong learning as a national culture, and extend learning beyond schools to all life stages, especially among the workforces. The intention is to move the country towards a knowledge-based economy, be entrepreneurial and open to new ideas and be creative and innovative. In realizing these high-level goals, three Master Plans (MP1, MP2 and MP3) of five years each have been prepared. MP1 and MP2 have been implemented while MP3 started last year. Each of these three master plans has specific detailed objectives; however, they worked in cohesion and harmony to achieve the above mentioned described goals.

Source: Power of ICT Policies, p.192

The first ICT Master Plan (MP1) was driven by the vision of Thinking Schools, Learning Nation Vision, one that is underpinned with maintaining the country’s economic competitiveness and advantage through the development of human capital, in schools and in the whole nation. The first ICT Master Plan reinforced this message by stating its philosophy: “education should continually anticipate the future needs of society and work towards fulfilling these needs”. It is worth noting that although MP1 was politically driven, the focus is on improving education through the use of ICT.

Source: Transforming Education: The Power of ICT Policies, Chapter 3: Case Study: Singapore, p.54
Click to see commentary on the vision of Jordan's ICT in Education Masterplan.
ICT in Education Policy Goals and Vision: Jordan

The core goal in Jordan’s education policy is to provide Jordan’s citizens with knowledge, skills, and a lifelong learning capability to make the economy competitive in the global marketplace and to maintain and extend the security and stability of Jordanian society. To fulfill these goals, Jordan has set its long-term educational policy and strategic plan tuned to four main themes. These themes are: structuring the education system to ensure lifelong learning; ensuring responsiveness of the educational system to the knowledge-based economy; accessing and utilizing information and communications technologies to support effective learning and system management; and ensuring quality learning experiences and environments. Source: Power of ICT Policies, pp.195-196

In September 2002, His Majesty, King Abdullah II, issued the “Vision Form for the Future of Education in Jordan.” It set the scene for education development and placed a strong emphasis on the integration of information technology at all levels in order to increase the country’s human resource capital and to promote its role as an IT hub of the Middle East:

“The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has the quality competitive human resource development systems that provide all people with lifelong learning experiences relevant to their current and future needs in order to respond to and stimulate economic development through educated population and a skilled work force.”

This Vision provided the foundation for the Ministry of Education to set four policy directions for the formulation of its longer-term strategic plan as well as ERfKE 1 priorities. These policy directions were: (i) structuring the education system to ensure lifelong learning; (ii) ensuring responsiveness of the educational system to the economy; (iii) accessing and utilizing information and communications technologies to support effective learning and system management; and, (iv) ensuring quality learning experiences and environments. A key emphasis in each of these themes is to enable Jordan’s citizens to have the knowledge and skills, and a lifelong learning capability, to make the economy competitive in the global marketplace and to maintain and extend the security and stability of Jordanian society. Based on the Vision document, the Ministry re-articulated its own strategy documents (2003) and created new vision, mission and goals statements which provided the key guide to its policy formulation process.

Source:Transforming Education: The Power of ICT Policies, Chapter 3: Case Study: Jordan, p. 103

Suggested resources

It is tempting to say that the masterplan we want to develop would aim to bring the country to “Knowledge Creation” or “Transforming Stage”. But that is easier said than done. In the figure below, Singapore outlines its journey through three ICT in Education Masterplans. As the picture suggests, it is like climbing a ladder to reach the top.


When the future direction is clear, the Planning Team initiates a visioning exercise. Here are some suggestions for this activity:

  1. Learn what is important to the people in your country;
  2. Refer back to the situational analysis, Knowledge Ladder and ICT Integration stages to get ideas;
  3. Align the vision of the masterplan to the visions contained in the national development plan, national education plan, Incheon Declaration and Qingdao Declaration;
  4. Look at the visions of other ICT in Education Masterplans;
  5. Develop your vision statement;
  6.  Obtain consensus.
     

Suggested resources

We need to teach our children how to dream

A Model for the Future of Education

Manifesto for Digital Britain


Identify ICT in Education programme areas

After deciding on the vision statement, the Theory of Change suggests working backwards to find out the “missing middle”. The missing middle, in this case, is the set of programme areas to that a country should implement to achieve its goals and vision.

There is no standard way to identify the programme areas. The Planning Team has to decide the best approach based on the needs of the education sector and ICT situation or context in the country. Finland listed eight focus areas in its masterplan, while USA organized the masterplan’s interventions under four broad areas (see both lists below).

Finland's ICT in Education Masterplan: Eight focus areas

  1. National objectives and systemic change
  2. Learners’ future skills
  3. Pedagogical models and practices
  4. E-learning materials and applications
  5. School infrastructure, learning facilities, purchases and support services
  6. Teacher identity, teacher training and pedagogical expertise
  7. Operational culture and leadership at school
  8. Business and network cooperation
     

USA's ICT in Education Masterplan: Four areas

  1. Learning: Engaging and Empowering Learning through Technology
  2. Teaching: Teaching with Technology
  3. Leadership: Creating a Culture and Conditions for Innovation and Change
  4. Assessment: Measuring for Learning

The Planning Team must resist not to have too many programme areas all at once. Overloading the masterplan is setting up for implementation failure. The list of programme areas must consider the country or institution's ICT readiness, the capacity of the organization, specifically the capacity of the people in the organization, and availability of resources. 

Observe Singapore’s three masterplans (see table below). The number of programme areas are limited to four or five. The first masterplan focused on the basic items to build the foundation. This became the building block for the succeeding masterplans to seed innovations and scale-up the programs on a national scale.


Suggested resource

20 innovative edtech projects from around the world

Click here to see the Matrix of the Seven Thematic Papers


Activities

The Planning Team together with partners and stakeholders need to:

  1. Discuss and decide on the vision, goals and objectives of the masterplan (open template);
  2. Identify the main programmes of the masterplan (open template).

 
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Proposals for ICT in Education Vision Statement, Goals and Objectives Order
Suggested Programme Areas for the ICT in Education Masterplan Order
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