Learning to Realize Education’s Promise: An EdTech Commentary

World Bank recently published its World Development Report 2018 on ‘Learning to Realize Education’s Promise’ – with a great assessment of the current education landscape, the problems that plague it and the interventions that must be acted upon immediately to make learning work for the world. While the entire report is available for consumption on the Internet, this post aims to give an overview from a ‘digital learning’ perspective. What role does technology have to play in this scenario?

The report defines the problem along three dimensions: (Figure 1)

  1. Learning Outcomes
  2. Immediate Causes (in school systems)
  3. Deeper Systemic Issues (social, political, economical)
Problem_Part1
Figure 1: 3-dimensional problem of learning vs. education today

It is a known and accepted fact that technology is key to solving a problem at global scale. Some grass root level attempts are being made today in India  through some inspiring examples like Central Square Foundation, Teach for IndiaFirki, MOOCs, Khan Academy, Plan India, etc. Digital, as a channel for providing scaleable solutions, has immense potential, as seen in Figure 2.

Technology_Part2
Figure 2: How Edtech/Digital Can Help

The World Bank Report recommends well-thought-through orchestrated execution of a three-dimensional solution that can make learning effective:

  1. Assess Learning
  2. Act on Evidence
  3. Align Actors

If we overlay technological interventions along each piece of the problem puzzle, then we can make these recommendations work for India and the world. (Figure 3)

Solution_Part3.png

Share your thoughts on how you think technology can/ cannot play a substantive role in making learning work for our learners.

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