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Too many pilot projects ? not a problem, just gather them up, learn from them and design ONE model out of those to scale up. Knowledge sharing is one problem in developing countries. when it comes to country level there does not have to be “ONE Winning idea” but combined ideas that are results-based. Once governments realized this, it will be easy to build on existing resources that has been reshaped to serve the outcome ? some indicators are: economic growth (higher knowledge-based GDP) and job creation on the outcome side. …higher standards of living.
To attempt to answer your question: are there types of 'pilot' projects featuring the use of ICTs in education that might be more likely to scale? You are well aware of one model of ICT-based teachers’ training. I applied this model on the level of 1000 teachers 200,000 students, but when I saw that MENA countries have teachers numbers that can reach to 500,000 (in Saudi Arabia) up to 1.2 Million in Egypt I realized that 20 countries x 200,000 students in nothing. Only one country accepted to scale up the model from 1000 to 10,000 teachers in one go, i.e. millions of students. It worked. But time is our enemy as you know Mike…..
Here is where time and effort is more precious that money.
As for the ‘amount’ of technology to use, it’s more of how and when to use it. Optimal results have been reached with min. technology. Students with the right skills set can create their own. So, once the right mind-set is in place, a laptop per student would pay back. Blended-learning (i.e. face-to-face) plus use of technology is of the essence specially in the first phases when one is introducing technology to render e-readiness for e-learning.
Where to start ? I visited many countries. In ideal situations we’d go country-wide scale heeding geographical distribution and reaching remote areas. But if resources are scares, many counties selected few governorates and few areas.
School-based systems are also very helpful. Dr. Bob Kozma placed one such model (our last WB-2010 Jordan’s Policy).
I like your words on ‘down and out’ first before up and in…actually, one of the ways for me to go forward was going backwards deep into the root of the matter to solve problems with the model before reaching sturdy grounds.