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July 2009

Extending Reach and Increasing Impact

Michael Trucano's picture

ICD09The recent release of the World Bank's new flagship publication on ICT for development (ICT4D) contains much food for thought for educational policymakers. IC4D 2009: Extending Reach and Increasing Impact takes an in-depth look at how ICT, and particularly broadband and mobile, are impacting economic growth in developing countries.

How can education systems help develop the type of workers increasingly needed for jobs that increasingly require familiarity (and in some cases mastery) of ICTs -- a challenge complicated by the fact that many of these jobs may not yet even exist?

How to measure technology use in education

Michael Trucano's picture

one way to measure ... | courtesy of the Tango Desktop Project via the Wikimedia Commons ICTs are increasingly being used in education systems around the world. How do we know what the impact of such use is? How should we monitor and assessment the use of ICTs in education? How can, should and might answers to these questions impact the policy planning process?

Tweet tweet -- Twitter in education

Michael Trucano's picture

this one tweets instinctively ... | image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, used according to terms of the GNU free documentation license

Some Professors' Jitters Over Twitter Are Easing, announced an article in The Washington Post last week, reflecting the explosion of interest that this relatively new communications tool is experiencing this year.  As with discussions of any new technology, reporting on Twitter is a often a combination of breathless enthusiasm and snarky criticism, as well as a fair amount of befuddlement and misunderstanding.

(For those unfamiliar with Twitter, the related Wikipedia article might be helpful.)

While discussions about the use of a tool like Twitter are now, suddenly, quite mainstream in many places, educators have been exploring the tool for awhile.  Search Google and you'll find lots of useful references, like this one from way back <grin> in 2007.  (Or better yet, search on Twitter itself!)  As occurs with any potential new innovation in education, response to this exploration and experimentation has at times been rather heated (have a look at the comments to the article from U.K.'s Guardian newspaper in March when it announced, with just a touch of hyperbole,  Pupils to study Twitter and blogs in primary schools shake-up).

So what, you might ask, does all of this have to do with the use of ICTs in education in developing countries?