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Michael Trucano

Michael Trucano's picture
Sr. ICT & Education Specialist

Michael Trucano is the World Bank's Senior Education & Technology Policy Specialist and Global Lead for Innovation in Education, serving as the organization's focal point on issues at the intersection of technology use and education in middle- and low-income countries and emerging markets around the world.

At a practical working level, Mike provides policy advice, research and technical assistance to governments seeking to utilize new information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their education systems. Over the past 20 years, Mike has been advisor on, evaluator of, and/or working-level participant in, educational technology initiatives in over 50 middle- and low-income countries.

A frequent public speaker and interview subject on the use of technology in education around the world, and on ICT use for development (ICT4D) purposes more broadly, he is the principal voice behind the World Bank's influential EduTech blogYou can follow Mike on Twitter @trucano.

Current and recent areas of notable activity and attention include: ICT/education policy development; the development of national agencies leading educational technology initiatives; new directions in educational publishing and digital learning resources; the use of mobile devices (especially mobile phones) in education; online learning (including MOOCs) and assessment; developing standards for globally comparable data related to technology use in education; technology use to support teaching and teachers; assessing the impact of technology use in education; 'new economy skills'; child Internet safety; and low-cost 'ICT devices', especially those used in rural and poor communities.

On the research side, Mike leads the World Bank's related analytical work under its flagship Systems Approach for Better Education Results (SABER) initiative as it relates to information and communication technologies (SABER-ICT).

As part of his official duties, he leads the World Bank's global solutions group on 'innovation in education', which helps to maintain the organization's internal knowledgebase on related topics, provides technical support and guidance to national projects around the world, and sponsors numerous knowledge-sharing events each year.

In addition to his advisory work on projects funded by the World Bank and other international aid agencies and donors, he serves on a number of external advisory boards for non-profit groups, governments and prize committees and organizes off-the-record efforts to help groups learn from 'failed' projects and initiatives.


The World Bank EduTech Blog
Mike is the principal contributor to the World Bank's widely read EduTech blog ( His essays and posts on the World Bank EduTech blog have been collected into seven separate volumes, available for free download.

Popular posts from the World Bank EduTech blog include:
  [-] Worst practice in ICT use in education
  [-] Ten things about computer use in schools that you don't want to hear
  [-] Big educational laptop and tablet projects -- Ten countries to learn from
  [-] Questions to ask (and not to ask) when your president tells you to buy 100k (or a million) tablets for students
  [-] 10 principles to consider when introducing ICTs into remote, low-income educational environments
  [-] Textbooks of the future: Will you be buying a product ... or a service?
  [-] Ten trends in technology use in education in developing countries
  [-] Crowdsourcing, collaborative learning or cheating?
  [-] Education & Technology in 2025: A Thought Experiment
  [-] School computer labs: A bad idea?
  [-] Laptops for education: $10, $35, $100 and points in between (but not above!)
  [-] Searching for India's Hole in the Wall
  [-] Educational technology and innovation at the edges
  [-] Paying teacher salaries with mobile phones
  [-] A short note to the new philanthropist looking to support education and technology initiatives in the developing world
  [-] Promising uses of technology in education in poor, rural and isolated communities around the world

as well as pretty much anything written about the use of mobile phones in education.


Public speaking & events
Mike is a frequent interview subject and public speaker on the use of new technologies in education around the world, and on ICT use for development (ICT4D) purposes more broadly.

He also regularly serves as a 'master of ceremonies' or moderator at conferences and industry events, including the annual global symposium on ICT and education in Seoul, which he helped establish.

He has helped organize and lead a number of FAILFaires, exploring how can people and organizations can more openly talk about, and learn from, 'failed' projects and initiatives, in the hope that sharing lessons from 'failure' might make 'success' more likely in the future. As part of his official duties leading the World Bank's 'global solutions group' on 'innovation in education', he organizes and hosts two dozen knowledge-sharing events each year on related topics.


Previous work
Mike previously served as the ICT and Education Specialist at infoDev, the multi-donor 'ICT knowledge shop' housed within the World Bank's Global ICT Department (GICT), where he coordinated activities related to information and communication technologies and the Millennium Development Goals ("ICTs for MDGs"), especially as they related to education. He also led infoDev's work exploring the use of various low-cost ICT devices to meet developmental objectives in the social sectors, and managed the program's mobile banking work.

Highlights during his time at infoDev include Knowledge Maps: ICT and Education (what we know, and what we don't, about ICT use in education in developing countries), over 75 country-level surveys of ICT and education in Africa and the Caribbean, a handbook on Monitoring and Evaluation of ICT in Education Projects, and the ICT in Education Toolkit for Policymakers, Planners & Practitioners (with UNESCO, used in policy planning and implementation processes in over 30 countries).

Mike joined the World Bank Group in 1997, first working at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and, more notably, as part of the education team at the World Bank Institute, where he was a core member of the team that developed the World Links for Development Program, the pioneering effort in the late 1990s which introduced educational technologies into school systems in 22 developing countries.