14 Feb 2008 04:35:45 GMT
This toolkit aims to be a resource for community members who want to advance digital inclusion in their area where their local government is exploring a broadband/ high-speed Internet initiative.
The authors argue that whether via a wireless signal broadcast into the air, or a high-speed cable or fibre line running through a local neighbourhood, a connection to the Internet is an essential element of digital inclusion. Looking at lessons learnt in the United States, the authors state that many municipal broadband projects have stopped of ensuring residents get access, leaving them to fend for themselves when it comes to navigating the many remaining obstacles in order to make meaningful use of this new access.
A number of action steps are highlighted including:
08 Jan 2008 02:41:10 GMTThe Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation's strategic orientation in ICT4D is shaped by the overall goal of scaling-up poverty reduction and MDGs advancement through the effective and efficient use of the full range of ICTs. Current SDC activities concentrate on three key dimensions of ICT4D, which are:
10 Dec 2007 05:07:20 GMT
More than 25 countries currently engage in internet censorship practices such as blocking access to human rights organisations, news, blogs and web services that are seen to challenge the status quo or are deemed to be threatening or undesirable. Most states do not reveal what information is being blocked and it is rare to find review or grievance mechanisms for affected citizens and publishers. This is often done using commercial filtering software which can be prone to over-blocking as a result of faulty categorisation.
This manual is aimed at non-technical users and gives guidance on what internet circumvention technologies are available and deciding what is best suited to their needs.
Key advice includes:
[Adapted from the authors]
07 Dec 2007 10:45:34 GMT
This paper explores the effect of the introduction of cable television on gender attitudes in rural India. It finds that the introduction of cable television is associated with improvements in women's status. It argues that cable television, with programming that features lifestyles in both urban areas and in other countries, is an effective form of persuasion because people emulate what they perceive to be desirable behaviors and attitudes, without the need for an explicit appeal to do so.
It finds significant increases in reported autonomy, decreases in the reported acceptability of beating and decreases in reported son preference. Increases in female school enrollment and decreases in fertility (primarily via increased birth spacing) also occur.
The effects are large, equivalent in some cases to about five years of education in the cross section, and move gender attitudes of individuals in rural areas much closer to those in urban areas. In a sample in which the average education level was 3.5 years, introducing cable appeared to have the same effects on attitudes towards female autonomy as 5.5 years of education. Cable also increased the likelihood that a girl aged 6-10 would be enrolled in school, although it had no effect for boys, and cut the yearly increase in the number of children or pregnancies among women of childbearing age.
The authors argue that the results are not driven by pre-existing differential trends.
[Please note: this article is accessible online, free of charge to residents of nearly any developing country or transition economy, whose internet-access address can be automatically recognised by the NBER website. If you are in a developing country/transition and still have access problems, email email@example.com for support]
05 Dec 2007 04:15:42 GMT
For more than a decade the Internet has helped to gradually reshape the American political environment. This manual offers a guide to using technology techniques to engage in advocacy and promote the quality of life and access to opportunity for everyone. It provides case studies, resources, tips, and best practices to help readers plan and implement campaigns that use various combinations of online and offline tools to effectively engage their constituencies. The guide is organised as follows:
26 Nov 2007 10:51:17 GMT
This paper argues that the processes that shape the aid environment - the approaches to development - are inherently problematic. It claims that the existing incentive structure does not encourage good performance or efficiency. The author suggests that the system is in a desperate need of an overhauling transformation because of the contradicting incentives and objectives that are doomed to result in a coordination problem, making the effort to improve aid effectiveness more difficult.
On top of these inherent problems, it argues, the autocatalytic progression of globalisation is pressing for unification and universal values; while the progress of technology is making us more capable of doing so. It suggests that the enabling technology will empower the transformation of aid and, given a purposeful design, establish more constructive incentives for efficiency.
The paper discusses particular sectors and problems pertaining to aid in light of three themes:
26 Nov 2007 10:34:02 GMT
The Philippines are a leader in the use of mobile telephones for access to a range of services from m-Banking to m-Education and m-Governance. The Phillipines experience shows that it is possible to increase access to mobile phones, not only for the wealthiest in society but also for the poorer segments of the society. This publication looks at this experience and attempts to identify best practices and lessons learned for application in the similar market conditions which exist in Africa
The report finds that the Philippines’ success was due to:
The report also identifies some barriers to success:
12 Nov 2007 12:02:30 GMT
Sustainable mobility as the ability to meet the needs of a society to move freely, gain access, communicate, trade and establish relationships without sacrificing other essential human or ecological value today or in the future. This ‘Facts and Trends’ briefing provides an overview of key issues and data related to the challenge of developing sustainable mobility solutions to enable economic and human development. The paper highlights trends while providing specific statistics on mobility in developing countries.
The paper makes the following observations:
25 Sep 2007 03:54:59 GMT
Open educational resource (OER) initiatives encourage transparency and can stimulate more quality control and competition. Universities and colleges are encouraged to join the OER movement due to the risk involved in doing nothing when developments are so rapid. The existing copyright regime however is a serious barrier to the growth of the OER movement. Increased awareness and clear policies on copyright should be a priority on the agenda of every higher education institution. There is also a need to increase access to and the usefulness of existing resources.
Policy recommendations outlined in the study include:
24 Sep 2007 03:30:15 GMT
This report presents the assessment findings of the Interagency Working Group (IWG) collaborative capacity-building effort. The assessment includes the field perspectives of IWG emergency operations in Pakistan and Sudan.
Key findings include the following:
The report concludes that Information alone will not sustain an emergency response, but it should be considered the starting point for nearly all activities and IWG need to begin treating it as the critical resource that it is.
19 Sep 2007 12:36:03 GMTThis guide is aimed at staff and volunteers from voluntary and community organisations (VCOs) who want to manage their information communication technology (ICT) better. It is intended particularly for staff and volunteers from small and medium-sized organisations and especially for those people who don’t have
12 Sep 2007 10:11:55 GMT
This paper presents a case study evaluation of Nepal Wireless Networking Project. With the aim of overcoming the digital divide, the project aims to increase communication facilities in the mountainous areas, thereby increasing educational opportunities in the community, helping villagers to buy and sell products and creating jobs.
This project is described as one of few tangible examples of success in fulfilling the promise of ICT in the field of international development. The report calls for Government of Nepal to bring liberal ICT policies and to use wireless technology to make the information technology within the reach of rural population of Nepal.
Key lessons highlighted include:
17 Aug 2007 04:19:54 GMT
This document presents an edited paper containing the work of twelve experts on e-government and e-participation. It aims to address the issues and challenges facing countries developing ICT for development and e-government programmes.
The editors point out that the information revolution has ushered in an era where the capabilities for participating in all aspects of the economy and society are changing with the diffusion of modern information and communication technologies (ICTs). In the industrialised world, countries are finding the initial use of ICTs to provide relevant public services has led to a renewed interest by citizens in the uptake of government services.
10 Aug 2007 01:15:38 GMT
The report focuses on the development of strategy for improving labour and environmental conditions in China’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector with a particular focus on Shenzhen’s ICT sector. The report argues that companies within ICT sector are increasingly requiring that their suppliers, many of whom are located in China, improve social and environmental standards and the Chinese ICT sector must therefore improve working conditions and environmental standards in order meet CSR expectations and maintain overall competitiveness.
This report includes recommendations for each group of stakeholders that plays an essential role in improving the overall social and environmental conditions in Shenzhen’s ICT sector.
Key findings and recommendations from the report include:
07 Aug 2007 12:35:17 GMT
UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report 2007 focuses on knowledge accumulation, technological learning and the ability to innovate as vital processes toward genuine productive capacity development for LDCs. The report argues that knowledge is becoming increasingly important in the global sphere of competition and production, and that LDCs will be increasingly marginalised if they do not enhance the knowledge content of their economies and achieve economic diversification through learning and innovation.
The Report shows that the current pattern of technology flows to LDCs through international trade, foreign direct investment and intellectual property licensing does not contribute to narrowing the knowledge divide. Sustained economic growth and poverty reduction are not likely to take place in countries where viable economic re-specialization would remain impossible in the absence of significant progress in technological learning and innovation capacity-building.
The Report suggests that national governments and development partners could meet this challenge, notably through greater attention to the following four key policy issues:
The Report is the first comprehensive insight into how to promote technological learning and innovation capacity-building in LDCs. It is intended to increase awareness of this issue and enrich the policy dialogue toward the new "paradigm shift" on poverty reduction through productive capacity-building.
[adapted from author]
07 Aug 2007 04:33:30 GMT
The Global Information Society Watch 2007 report - the first in a series of annual reports- looks at state of the field of information and communication technology (ICT) policy at local and global levels and particularly how policy impacts on the lives of people living in developing countries.
Studies of the ICT policy situation in twenty-two countries from four regions are featured:
The report concludes that when it comes to ICTs for development, there are some conspicuous similarities between the countries. Excluding Spain, the other twenty-one countries each show obvious evidence of the “digital divide” which impacts on the majority of people negatively. According to Brazilian authors RITS, the absence of a people-orientated policy framework in Brazil runs the risk of condemning the vast majority of people to “eternal disconnection.”
The report also includes provocative, analytical essays on five international institutions (including ICANN and the World Intellectual Property Organisation) questioning the extent to which they allow all stake-holders to participate in their processes.
[adapted from author]
30 Jul 2007 02:53:00 GMT
This book examines the problem of inadequate access to information and communication technology (ICT) and the need to develop appropriate pro-poor ICT policies within the Latin American and Caribbean context. It reveals that, while market reforms have led to infrastructure investments and service expansion, they have failed to ensure that the benefits of the Information Society spread across the many social and economic divides that characterise the region.
The authors explain and support the formulation of a new perspective on ICT access, and seek to develop an analytical framework for examining what variables are important for effective ICT adoption in developing countries. They suggest that a new set of policy reforms are needed, which build on the achievements of market liberalisation efforts, but at the same time address the realities of digital poverty – a concept that seeks to grasp the multiple dimensions of inadequate levels of access to ICT services by people and organizations, as well as the barriers to their productive use.
The book is the first publication of the Regional Dialogue on the Information Society (DIRSI), a regional network of leading researchers concerned with disseminating knowledge that supports the participation of marginalized communities using ICTs in LAC. Chapters reflect a diverse set of studies undertaken by DIRSI members and cover the following issues:
05 Jun 2007 06:14:00 GMTMobile GSM operators in Sub-Saharan Africa are rapidly covering most populated areas with telephone services. This report makes an inventory of existing transmission backbones in 18 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, and discusses issues related to solutions for improved utilization of such networks.To reach new areas, the operators keep expanding their transmission links, and the result is the emergence of new telecommunication backbone networks. 23 percent of the Sub-Saharan countries have more or less countrywide coverage, but 40 percent still have major gaps in transmission links. The mobile operators now own and control the bulk of transmission backbone capacity. However, regulation and competition between operators have largely prevented shared use of these emerging backbones.A number of issues are raised in the report: The lack of open access: Open Access implies that backbone facilities should be provided to all interested parties on equal, transparent terms and that access charges should be cost based. Optical fibre cables are often assumed to be transmission media, and the general opinion is that the costs of fibre would be very low. In business terms, Open Access essentially means that all operators agree to compete only on the service layer and not on the infrastructure layer. While this might be possible in the EU countries, the report questions the applicability of these solutions to the African environment. None of the preconditions in Europe apply to Sub-Saharan Africa. A key issue is whether fixed and mobile operators are willing to give up their dominant position on backbone transmission in favour of joint national backbones operating on Open Access principles. the dominating position of the GSM operators and the pricing of transmission services: since the mobile operators would be the largest single customer group for any national backbone network, their own costs can be used as guidance in establishing the market prices for transmission capacity. The current prices charged for transmission are often many times higher than the opportunity cost of building their own capacity. It will be a major challenge to get the fixed incumbents to agree to drastic price reductions (they have already lost substantial market shares both for voice and transmission services). fibre or microwave transmission: ICT services are not likely to take off in Sub-Saharan Africa unless there is ample supply of bandwidth at low costs. Most governments in Sub-Saharan Africa that have developed ambitious national ICT policies and plans hold this view. Some governments even have aspirations of constructing national fibre backbone networks, often forgetting that telecommunications are in the hands of private companies. The report concludes that fibre cables will be very slow to appear unless the mobile operators get involved. The latter generate the bulk of demand, without which the fibre cables would be uneconomical. Market prices must be dramatically reduced to interest the mobile operators and to increase demand. regulation: a liberalization of the telecommunications market is rapidly taking place in Sub- Saharan Africa. The regulatory restrictions imposed on mobile operators regarding resale of transmission capacity have mostly been removed. Regulation no longer seems to hamper the efficient use of mobile backbone networks. A much bigger regulatory issue needs urgent attention, namely the lack of appropriate legislation and regulation for addressing the mobile operators’ dominant position. This applies both to the domestic and to the regional marke[...]
22 May 2007 10:54:55 GMT
Why is it important to view women as information and communications technology (ICT) producers, developers and decision makers and not only as consumers? This publication, with a foreword by Executive Director of UNIFEM, Noeleen Heyzer, looks at ICT for development through a gender lens and discusses ICT within a gender equality framework.
This extensive paper examines why it is necessary to view women as ICT producers, developers and decision makers, in order to ensure further equal participation of women in the Information Society. Recognising the importance of integrating a gender perspective as a cross- cutting area in ICT and development, the paper provides a gender perspective on issues of ICT policies, access and control, education, training and skill development, and content development. Furthermore, the authors introduce a framework to integrate gender in ICT for development and women's empowerment.
The authors highlight that, if governments are indeed committed to integrating a gender perspective into their national ICT policies, they would need to:
29 Apr 2007 11:00:00 GMTElectronic publishing has six key advantages over print - its international reach, speed of publications, additional capabilities, lower cost, new publishing opportunities and sustainability. This primer discusses the efforts, expenses and challenges involved in online publication.
Topics addressed include licensing considerations, hosting and archiving issues, as well as appropriate editorial, production, marketing and sales procedures. The report concludes that the decision to publish a journal online depends on an organization's main objectives, what information it wants to disseminate and to whom.
17 Apr 2007 11:00:00 GMTHow can we ensure that women have equitable access to the benefits and opportunities made possible by Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and how can ICTs be leveraged for women’s empowerment and the promotion of gender equality? This paper presents a study on gender and e-business in Malaysia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea and Thailand. It offers a comparative gender analysis of each country's level of infrastructure development and ICT penetration, their level of recognition of gender issues in general and in relation to ICT in particular, and their level of readiness and capacity for e-business development. The study finds that gender-sensitive ICT policies must be applied to e-business given the rapid integration of ICTs into the business environment.
The study concludes with recommendations for developing a gender-responsive e-business environment. These policy recommendations are based on the experiences of the four countries, and from three broad perspectives premised on the nature of the digital divide. These are:
Policy-related lessons are also garnered from Malaysia’s wealth of experience in implementing preferential policies for poverty reduction that are based on ethnicity, since gender issues are not unlike racial issues as both are prevalent in social, political and economic institutions, and interact with each other as well as other forms of power of class, age, region and nation. These recommendations include:
12 Feb 2007 12:00:00 GMTThe paper gives an overview of the e- government scenario and identifies ten emerging e-government challenges. The ten challenges facing e-government are:
The paper concludes that there is enormous potential for the future of e-government in improving both internal processes of government as well as providing seamless public service delivery. However the author concludes that this potential remains largely unrealised and e-government may land up as yet another channel of public service delivery and not as an instrument of transformation within government.
09 Feb 2007 12:00:00 GMTThis document considers the state of emergency information and communications technology (EICT) in international disaster response, focusing on five regions of interest.
The document aims to provide a better understanding of the issues that currently impact the effectiveness of EICT in disaster response through the results of an online survey and telephone interviews. The survey was developed and distributed to a range of organisational representatives. This document outlines how the survey findings suggest that Latin and Central America are achieving greater states of readiness, while Africa remains poorly equipped to manage large scale emergencies without significant international assistance.
Taken together, the survey and interviews highlighted six key factors that currently impact the effectiveness of EICT disaster response:
02 Feb 2007 12:00:00 GMTCall for papers and sessions for DSA Conference 2007. The theme is "Connecting Science, Society and Development" and will be held at IDS, University of Sussex, UK on 18-20 September 2007.
Emerging patterns of scientific and technological change offer a new lens through which to consider major themes such as global inequality, power relations and governance, and the place of gender, social difference and culture. The conference will explore these issues by addressing topics such as agricultural biotechnologies, health technologies, climate change and citizen knowledge, and explore broader cross-cutting themes such as the relationship between learning and social change and relationships between science, knowledge and policy.
See link to full text for more details. Closing date for proposals for papers: 14 February 2007. Closing date for proposals for sessions: 4 April 2007.
13 Dec 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis report explores how the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) – such as fixed-line and mobile phones and Internet services – can make a significant contribution to reducing poverty in Africa. The report:
The report recommends measures to promote ICT related capacity building through government, private and civil society collaboration. Mechanisms to promote such cooperation include:
The report also makes recommendations related to the private sector’s role, which include:
12 Dec 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis report looks at ICT policy options in a developing-country context and proposes a framework for national ICT policy reviews and for the design and assessment of pro-poor e-strategies.
The report analyses trends in core ICT indicators such as the use of Internet and mobile phone, as well as the role of broadband in promoting the information economy. It argues that:
The report also presents a model ICT policy review framework developed by UNCTAD which is illustrated with best practice examples from developing countries.
27 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis report assesses the likely changes to the global economy, to eight major industries and to corporate structures over the next 15 years.
The paper argues that the next 15 years will bring further massive changes to the shape of the world economy, to the landscape of major industries and to the workings of the company. The industries discussed include:
The principal research finding of the report suggests:
03 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis brief article, published in PLoS Medicine, describes the World Health Organization’s Blue Trunk Library (BTL) project, which aims to deliver printed information to health workers in developing countries. It notes that whilst there are a number of initiatives to deliver health information over the internet and on CD-ROMs, there are still many areas in the developing world that have neither computers nor a reliable electricity supply. The BTL is a collection of about 150 appropriate books and manuals, to suit the different education needs of health district workers at various professional levels. Each library costs around US$2000.
The article explains that the project has been funded by a variety of United Nations organisations, national development agencies, embassies, and nongovernmental organisations such as Save the Children. About 1500 BTLs have been distributed worldwide, including 850 in sub-Saharan African countries. Reaching Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa has been difficult because of the lack of training materials available in Portuguese, but collaboration with institutions in Brazil is likely to be a good strategy to address this. The article concludes by noting that although there has not yet been a formal evaluation of BTL, health workers have said that it has helped them to improve the quality of health care in rural areas.
02 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis report recommends ways to improve connectivity between the various actors working in conflict prone settings. The ultimate goal of enhanced connectivity is to enable local populations to prevent and mitigate conflict and help rebuild their country. This report is intended for civilians as well as the military, the public and private sectors, and Americans as well as international and national actors.
Four principles, proven true in a variety of settings and industries, form the basis of this report. If embraced the authors argue they have the potential to improve operations in conflict prone settings:
This report is organized into four sections. The first defines the nature of the problem and examines the constraints associated with operating in conflict-prone settings. The second describes how recent trends in information sharing can improve results. The third section outlines four principles and provides strategic guidelines for enhancing connectivity. The fourth section prioritizes steps for implementation and provides an extensive list of links to further information.
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTIn 1997, the World Bank initiated the World Links programme (www.worldbank.org/world links) in response to developing countries’ demand for strategies to prepare their youth to compete in a world increasingly driven by information, technology, and knowledge. Its principal capacity-building objective is to provide developing country schools and ministries of education with sustainable solutions for mobilising the necessary technologies, skills, and educational resources to prepare students and teachers to enter the Networked World.
Over the past four years, World Links has worked with twenty-one countries to bring underprivileged schools into a global school network. The network links thousands of students and teachers around the world for collaborative learning and helps ministries of education pilot and learn from this implementation of Networked Learning in schools. World Links is bridging the gap in skills, knowledge, and educational opportunities between students in industrialised and developing nations, as well as between rich and poor students within developing countries.
In developing its programme, World Links drew lessons from the successes and failures of technology education programmes throughout the world and designed customised pilots for each participating country. One of the key failures of many past programmes was that schools were provided with expensive equipment but with little or no support for teachers’ professional development, national ICT-in-education policies, or community involvement. Since World Links launched its first programme in Uganda almost five years ago, a number of lessons regarding the constraints, as well as the potential of integrating technology into education in the developing world, have been learned. While getting schools wired to the Internet is the first step, a whole host of other factors need to be considered, ranging from teacher training to assessment to sustainability. The following are ten lessons that World Links has learned in its efforts to help developing countries span the knowledge divide.
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis report reviews research studies on maths e-Learning software/content products available in the USA, that are aimed at improving the achievement of middle school students (6th to 10th grades).
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThe present study focuses on the use and impact of ICTs by slum children in Delhi. More specifically: how do their computer skills contribute to their future opportunities, security and empowerment. For this study OneWorld partner Deepalaya was selected as they provide computer classes to their students starting the age of 10 (6th grade) and also include computer training in their vocational programme.
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThe six case study schools, three post-primary and three primary, were identified by the Department of Education and Science (DES) and the names were notified to the research team. Field work was undertaken during the period November 2000 to February 2001.
This overview report deals with:
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis work is part of the ICT and the Learning Quality program of the Education for the Future project which the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), is developing in order to obtain empirical evidence that may offer orientation as to the options concerning educational policy for the 21st Century.
The case study of the Santa María Tlahitoltepec High School is one of the four case studies selected to represent Mexico, was elaborated according to the lineaments designed by CERI experts which, at an international level, seek to identify the conditions in which the ICT have been a catalyst for the innovation and improvement of schools.
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis paper argues that the smart use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in support of education can help solve the global problem of providing basic educational opportunities for all children. Deploying ICTs in schools can also have significant benefits for the communities in which the schools are located. Successful "eSchools" efforts in developing countries will, however, require hard work and cooperation from many players: in order to have real impact, it is essential to move beyond the pilot programs that are typical of most activity today and create coordinated initiatives which address all aspects of deploying and using ICTs successfully in schools.
The authors recommend a Global eSchools and Communities Initiative, with the critical mandate to catalyse national and regional initiatives in which all appropriate parties (including both local and global actors) step up to the challenge of using ICT to enhance education and empower local communities in developing countries.
This recommendation is based on a 4-month study conducted on behalf of the UN ICT Task Force. A team of 15 McKinsey consultants conducted interviews with over 300 people, including educators, ICT experts, executives in private sector companies, government officials, donors and foundation leaders. Educational needs and related ICT potential were determined in five representative developing countries: Bolivia, Ghana, India, Namibia and South Africa. [adapted]
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis study of Interactive Radio Instruction, or IRI, helps us appreciate the accessibility effectiveness of radio as a tool for active learning inside and outside of the classroom. It synthesizes the knowledge and experience accumulated over the past twenty-five years in the use of radio for instruction in more than twenty developing countries.
While IRI is the main focus of the study, as John Mayo points out in his introduction, it is by no means the only method for using radio successfully in education. However, IRI has been among the most widely used methods in the developing world, due in good measure to advocacy and funding by USAID. Indeed, virtually all the IRI projects listed in this study have benefited from some form of USAID support, with other agencies playing comparatively minor roles.
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThe paper estimates the relationship between students’ educational achievement and the availability and use of computers at home and at school in the international student-level PISA database. Bivariate analyses show a positive correlation between student achievement and the availability of computers both at home and at schools. However, once we control extensively for family background and school characteristics, the relationship gets negative for home computers and insignificant for school computers.
Thus, the mere availability of computers at home seems to distract students from effective learning. But measures of computer use for education and communication at home show a positive conditional relationship with student achievement. The conditional relationship between student achievement and computer and internet use at school has an inverted U-shape, which may reflect either ability bias combined with negative effects of computerized instruction or a low optimal level of computerized instruction.
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis research project was commissioned by the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta), on behalf of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), to investigate the effects of ICT on attainment, based on evidence from the published research literature.
The evidence from the literature shows a positive effect of specific uses of ICT on pupils’ attainment in almost all the National Curriculum subjects, the most substantial positive effects being in mathematics, science and English at all key stages. Evidence in other subjects has not yet been substantiated by enough independent studies. There is a strong relationship between the ways in which ICT has been used and the resulting attainment outcomes. This suggests that the crucial component in the use of ICT within education is the teacher and their pedagogical approaches.
There are many more uses being made of different ICT resources in mathematics, science, ICT and English than there are in other subjects. This means that there are a greater number of ICT resources available to these subject teachers, and there is a greater body of knowledge about educational practices for ICT in these subjects, and a greater body of evidence of the effects of ICT on these subjects.
The positive impact on attainment is greatest for those ICT resources which have been embedded in some teachers’ practices for a long time. There is an emerging body of knowledge about the effects of specific types of ICT, such as email or the World Wide Web, but the evidence of the effects of these on pupils’ attainment is not yet consistent and extensive.
There is substantial evidence from smaller focused studies of the contribution of specific uses of ICT to pupils’ learning. These include the use of simulations and modelling in science, ICT and mathematics, and the use of word processing in English. Many small studies have shown consistently positive results over the last 20 years, but this does not yet extend to all types of ICT use, nor does it exclude the input of the teacher.
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTImpaCT2 was one of a number of projects commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) to evaluate the gains associated with the introduction of the National Grid for Learning (NGfL), and identify the factors that contribute to raising attainment with ICT. A conclusion that can be drawn from ImpaCT2 is the difficulty of establishing an exact causal relationship between use of ICT and attainment. Ideally a direct link could be made between the use of a given system or software application, an aspect of the curriculum and learning, and an assessment of the particular form of attainment that the ICT is designed to have an impact upon. Even then a range of other environmental, pedagogical, institutional and resource factors may impact on the process.
Building on ImpaCT2, this study aims to design a measure or measures capable of tracking 'snapshot' data, such that it will be possible to monitor the development of ICT use to support attainment in institutions over time. This includes differences in management and classroom practices and their effects on ICT and attainment. Based on a study of a representative sample of schools, which are both high and low users of ICT, this study intends to ascertain those aspects of resourcing, content, practice and other factors that play a part in governing the likely impact that ICT may have on attainment.
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis note presents the results obtained after the first year of a two-year randomized evaluation of a computer assisted learning (CAL) programme in Vadodara, India.
The CAL programme, implemented by a NGO, took advantage of the donation of four computers to each municipal primary school in Vadodara by the state government. The programme provided each child in the fourth standard with two hours of shared computer time in which students played educational games that reinforced mathematics competencies ranging from the standard 1 to the standard 3 level.
The authors find the programme to be quite effective. On average, it increased mathematics scores by 0.37 standard deviations. The programme effect is slightly higher at the bottom of the distribution but persists throughout the distribution. The programme had no apparent spillover on language competencies.
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis paper reports the research findings from a national research program conducted in rural India. In this research, children were provided unconditional access to public, outdoor computer. Evaluation was conducted on the children’s ability to learn to operate the computer and the effect of such playground computing on educational outcome.
The results suggest that playground computers might have an important role to play in improving the outcomes of elementary education and in imparting critical life skills.
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThe aims of the study were to conduct:
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis primer is intended to help policymakers in developing countries define a framework for the appropriate and effective use of ICTs in their educational systems by:
The primer concludes with a discussion of five key challenges that policymakers in developing countries must reckon with when making decisions about the integration of ICTs in education,namely, educational policy and planning, infrastructure, capacity building, language and content, and financing.
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTA two-month pilot study comprised of 34 second through fourth grade Hispanic students from four bilingual education classrooms was conducted to compare the efficacy of the 2004 version of the Project LISTEN Reading Tutor against the standard practice of sustained silent reading (SSR). The Reading Tutor uses automated speech recognition to “listen” to children read aloud. It provides both spoken and graphical feedback in order to assist the children with the oral reading task. Prior research with this software has demonstrated its efficacy within populations of native English speakers. This study was undertaken to obtain some initial indication as to whether the tutor would also be effective within a population of English language learners.
The study employed a crossover design where each participant spent one month in each of the treatment conditions. The experimental treatment consisted of 25 minutes per day using the Reading Tutor within a small pullout lab setting. Control treatment consisted of the students who remained in the classroom where they participated in established reading instruction activities. Dependent variables consisted of the school districts curriculum based measures for fluency, sight word recognition and comprehension.
The Reading Tutor group out-gained the control group in every measure during both halves of the crossover experiment. Within subject results from a paired T-Test indicate these gains were significant for one sight word measure (p = .056) and both fluency measures (p < .001). Effect sizes were 0.55 for timed sight words, a robust 1.16 for total fluency and an even larger 1.27 for fluency controlled for word accuracy. These dramatic results observed during a one-month treatment indicate this technology may have much to offer English language learners.
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTFor fifteen years the Computer as Learning (CLP) partnership has studied how students learn science and how to make scientific knowledge accessible -- and relevant -- to them, not only for the time spent in the middle school or high school classroom but also for the rest of their lives.
This book relates CLP’s findings and provides an instructional framework that new partnerships can use to get a head start on curriculum design. The book advocates forming partnerships because the problems of science education require expertise from many disciplines and because large-scale efforts are needed in schools, districts, and states in order to have a serious impact.
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis paper argues that the inexorable advance of technology will force fundamental changes in the format and content of assessment. Technology is infusing the workplace, leading to widespread requirements for workers skilled in the use of computers. Technology is also finding a key place in education. This is occurring not only because technology skill has become a workplace requirement. It is also happening because technology provides information resources central to the pursuit of knowledge and because the medium allows for the delivery of instruction to individuals who couldn’t otherwise obtain it.
As technology becomes more central to schooling, assessing students in a medium different from the one in which they typically learn will become increasingly untenable. Education leaders in several states and numerous school districts are acting on that implication, implementing technology-based tests for low- and high-stakes decisions in elementary and secondary schools and across all key content areas.
While some of these examinations are already being administered statewide, others will take several years to bring to fully operational status. These groundbreaking efforts will undoubtedly encounter significant difficulties that may include cost, measurement, technological-dependability, and security issues. But most importantly, state efforts will need to go beyond the initial achievement of computerizing traditional multiple-choice tests to create assessments that facilitate learning and instruction in ways that paper measures cannot.
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTMeta-analyses were performed including 26 studies conducted between 1992–2002 focused on the comparison between k–12 students writing with computers vs. paper-and-pencil. Significant mean effect sizes in favour of computers were found for quantity of writing and quality of writing.
Studies focused on revision behaviours between these two writing conditions revealed mixed results. Other studies collected for the meta-analysis which did not meet the statistical criteria were also reviewed briefly. These articles indicate that the writing process is more collaborative, iterative, and social in computer classrooms as compared with paper-and-pencil environments.
For educational leaders questioning whether computers should be used to help students develop writing skills, the results of the meta-analyses suggest that, on average, students who use computers when learning to write are not only more engaged and motivated in their writing, but they produce written work that is of greater length and higher quality.
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis article analyses recently published quantitative studies in English and Dutch that dealt with the effectiveness of using computers to teach beginning reading to children aged 5 to 12.
Blok et al.’s meta-analysis found a small positive effect of computer-assisted beginning reading instruction compared to instruction without CAI. The effect was much larger for English language than for Dutch. The effect was also larger in studies where the CAI group began with an initial advantage over the control. No other study characteristics had a significant effect on student performance. The overall effect size (corrected for language and prior differences) was .19. That is, overall, CAI students scored about one-fifth of a standard deviation higher than non-CAI students. For the English-only studies, the effect size was .5. This range is similar to that reported in meta-analyses conducted on previous generations of CAI.
Major implications for educators/decision makers:
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThis article summarises a quantitative synthesis of studies of the effectiveness of interactive distance education using videoconferencing and telecommunications for K-12 academic achievement [in the USA].
Effect sizes for 19 experimental and quasi-experimental studies including 929 student participants were analysed across sample characteristics, study methods, learning environment, learner attributes, and technological characteristics. The overall mean effect size was 0.147, a small positive effect in favour of distance education. Effect sizes were more positive for interactive distance education programmes that combine an individualised approach with traditional classroom instruction. Programmes including instruction delivered through telecommunications, enhancement of classroom learning, short duration, and small groups yielded larger effect sizes than programs using videoconferencing, primary instruction through distance, long duration, and large groups. Studies of distance education for all academic content areas except foreign language resulted in positive effect sizes.
This synthesis supports the use of interactive distance education to complement, enhance, and expand education options because distance education can be expected to result in achievement at least comparable to traditional instruction in most academic circumstances. [author’s abstract]
01 Nov 2006 12:00:00 GMTThe main objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of the introduction of educational videogames into the classroom, on learning, motivation, and classroom dynamics. These effects were studied using a sample of 1274 students from economically disadvantaged schools in Chile.
The videogames were specifically designed to address the educational goals of the first and second years of school, for basic mathematics and reading comprehension. The sample was divided into experimental groups (EG), internal control groups (IC - students in the same school as the EG, but who did not play video games) and external control groups (EC - in schools which had no contact with the experiment). Students in the EG groups, used the experimental video games during an average of 30 hours over a 3-month period. They were evaluated on their acquisition of reading comprehension, spelling, and mathematical skills, and on their motivation to use video games.
Teachers' expectations of change due to the use of video games, their technological transfer, and handling of classroom dynamics, were assessed through ad hoc tests and classroom observations. The results show significant differences between the EG and IC groups in relation to the EC group in Math, Reading Comprehension and Spelling, but no significant differences in these aspects were found between the EG and the IC groups. Teacher reports and classroom observations confirm an improvement in motivation to learn, and a positive technological transfer of the experimental tool. Although further studies regarding the effects of learning through videogame use are imperative, positive effects on motivation and classroom dynamics, indicate that the introduction of educational video games can be a useful tool in promoting learning within the classroom.