Toolbox 2.1: Identify Education Problems and Assess ICT Potentials Accordingly
Identify education problems
Before coming up with solutions, identify the problems first.
Policymakers, planners and stakeholders know the situation of education in their own country better than experts coming from outside. Usually, the problems in education are already documented in national education plan or education sector assessment report.
- See education challenges identified in the ICT in Education Masterplan of Finland.
- Varying inadequate standard of technological infrastructure at different schools
- Lack of technical and pedagogical support
- Low usage of pedagogical models and practices geared towards supporting learners’ active
- involvement and collaborative learning
- Availability, quality and dissemination of e-learning materials
- Challenges for the school’s operational culture
- Development of school management practices and change management
- Partnerships between businesses and schools in order to organize services
- Bringing teacher training up-to-date
Source: National Plan for Educational Use of Information and Communications Technology, p. 13
- See education challenges identified in the ICT in Education Masterplan of Uruguay.
- Teachers’ lack of ICT appropriation and the heterogeneous levels of ICT-related skills and competencies, which created an issue for training.
- Slow connectivity with some problems in some rural regions, and rapidly saturated bandwidth in the cities.
- The complex organizational structure associated to the delivery and operation of Ceibal requires high levels of fast and good quality communications procedures, oriented to satisfy the needs for articulation and coordination among the different groups, agencies and institutions. This is a critical issue that could negatively affect the next stages of the programme.
- There are still voices criticising the apparent lack of pedagogical grounds of the Plan, and asking for new and better ICT use models that link its contents and the national curriculum.
- Some criticize the insufficient training for teachers on the pedagogical use of ICT (in general) and regarding the didactic implications emerging from the 1:1 model.
- Ceibal was created as a policy for social inclusion, but it was not previously included in the government programme or in the former political agenda.
- Many of the strategies of Ceibal were designed during its implementation. This situation generates doubts about the possible risk that Ceibal could only bridge the digital divide (in terms of access and connectivity), but no other gaps, such as those represented by social, cultural or economic inequalities (Rivoir, 2008).
Source: Transforming Education: The Power of ICT Policies, Chapter 6: Case Study: Uruguay, p. 149
This part of the planning process is also called “Assessment of the Current Situation” or “Situational Analysis”. The objective is to gather information to have a clear understanding of the current situation before moving forward. This includes activities such as literature review, scanning the education landscape, review of performance of the education sector, and gathering the lessons learned from the previous masterplan.
Assess ICT potentials
After identifying education problems, ask the question: How can ICT help education?
The Qingdao Declaration encourages countries “to seize the digital opportunities to transform their education systems”. Policymakers around the world agree that “remarkable advances in ICT and the rapid expansion of Internet connectivity have made today’s world increasingly interconnected, and rendered knowledge and familiarity with ICT essential for every girl and boy, woman and man”.
To assess ICT potentials, use these documents to get ideas how ICT can be used to help the education sector.
- ICT in Education Essentials
- Qingdao Declaration
- Technologies and the Future of Learning and Education for All (UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination-CEB)
- Thematic Papers on ICT in Education
- The Age of Digital Interdependence Report (UN High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, 2019)
- Beijing Consensus on Artificial Inteligence and Education (UNESCO, 2019)
- Discuss and list education problems to address in the ICT in Education Masterplan (see template)
- Discuss and identify possible ICT potential solution or intervention to address education problems (see template)
Note: It is possible to come up with one ICT solution to solve several education problems. Or several ICT solutions to address an education problem.