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Context matters: Experiences from education technology research in three countries

Tue, March 24, 8:15 to 9:45am, Hyatt Regency Miami, Floor: 3rd, Pearson II

Group Submission Type: Formal Panel Session (English)


This panel will draw on the “Equitable EdTech Ecosystem Framework” (Omidyar Network & RTI International, 2019) as a way to illustrate the importance of context and strategic planning in the design and deployment of education technology aimed at equitably improving teaching and learning. The framework stresses the importance of creating an effective ecosystem to scale the positive effects of meaningful application of technology - rather than simply scaling access or use. The framework was informed by case studies in China, Chile, Indonesia, and the USA and identified sixteen relevant components along four categories: (1) deploying an enabling infrastructure, (2) promoting viable educational technology (“EdTech”) supply and business models, (3) enacting effective educational policies, and (4) promoting strategic coalitions and developing relevant human capacity. The Equitable EdTech Ecosystem Framework will serve as a conceptual basis for all three panel presentations, which include country case studies and research that provide insight into technology deployed in low-resource, moderately resourced, and high-resource environments.

Emily Church from XPRIZE Foundation will share their experience from an 18-month field test of five different software applications aimed at improving early reading, writing, and numeracy of out of school children in Tanzania. This research took place under the umbrella of the recently awarded US$15 million Global Learning XPRIZE challenge. The related presentation will highlight design considerations and lessons learned from implementing a one-to-one technology program in a low-resource context and promising findings in improving learning.

Carmen Strigel from RTI International will present findings from a pilot study on continuous assessment in Jordan. This study is an example of the application of a modest level of technology in a moderately resourced context. The presentation will describe how RTI employed Tangerine:Teach, tablet-based open source technology, to support teachers’ adoption of systematic continuous assessments and differentiation instruction. The presentation will highlight findings especially from a lens of comparing experiences of early career teachers teaching predominantly children with refugee backgrounds and seasoned educators teaching predominantly Jordanian students in their adoption of the technology and differentiation practices.

Lastly, Mary Burns from Education Development Center will share experiences from a “last mile” technology integration effort in two high-income contexts aimed at improving student learning outcomes and higher-level thinking. The presentation, focused on technology rich environments, highlights the many tiers of enabling conditions necessary for effective integration and tackles the difficult question of whether we have conflated access to and use of sufficient amounts of technology with meaningful technology integration.

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