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ICTs for Education


A Reference Handbook
Part 1: Decision Makers Essentials

Wadi D. Haddad

The purpose of ICTs for Education: A Reference Handbook is to provide decision makers,
planners, and practitioners with a summary of what is known about the potential and
conditions of effective use of ICTs for education and learning by drawing on worldwide
knowledge, research, and experience.

The handbook has four parts, each of which addresses different users and serves
different functions. These parts are organized in a parallel manner for ease of use and to
allow cross-referencing.

Part 1: Decision Makers Essentials


Part 2: Analytical Review
Part 3: Resources
Part 4: PowerPoint Presentation

This part (Part 1) presents decision makers with a summary of:


• Challenges facing decision makers
• Characteristics and uses of ICTs
• Options and choices for leveraging the potential of ICTs in achieving national and
educational goals and solving educational problems
• Prerequisite and corequisite conditions for effective integration of ICTs into the
educational process
• Processes to integrate ICTs into education

Part 2 of the handbook:


• Analyzes the rationales and realities of ICTs for education,
• Examines the options and choices for leveraging the potential of ICTs in achieving
national and educational goals and solving educational problems, and
• Outlines the prerequisite and corequisite conditions for effective integration of ICTs
into the educational process

Part 3 provides resources in the form of case studies, experiences, examples and
demonstrations of the potential of ICT-enhanced policies and interventions outlined in
Part 2. There resources are referenced in the respective sections of Part 2.
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Table of Contents

1 INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................................... 3
2 CHALLENGES FACING DECISION MAKERS ........................................................................... 3
2.1 NATIONAL CHALLENGES ............................................................................................................ 3
2.2 EDUCATIONAL CHALLENGES ..................................................................................................... 3
2.3 IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATION ................................................................................................ 4
3 THE QUESTION OF ICTS ............................................................................................................... 4
3.1 WHAT TECHNOLOGIES ARE WE TALKING ABOUT? ..................................................................... 5
3.2 TO WHAT USE ARE WE PUTTING ICTS? ...................................................................................... 5
4 IS THE POTENTIAL OF ICTS PROPERLY EXPLOITED?....................................................... 6
4.1 EXPANDING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES ................................................................................ 6
4.2 INCREASING EFFICIENCY .............................................................................................................. 7
4.3 ENHANCING QUALITY OF LEARNING............................................................................................ 8
4.4 ENHANCING QUALITY OF TEACHING............................................................................................ 8
4.5 FACILITATING SKILL FORMATION ................................................................................................ 9
4.6 SUSTAINING LIFELONG LEARNING ............................................................................................... 9
4.7 IMPROVING POLICY PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT .................................................................. 10
4.8 ADVANCING COMMUNITY LINKAGES......................................................................................... 10
5 ARE THE CONDITIONS FOR ICT EFFECTIVENESS MET?................................................. 11
5.1 EDUCATIONAL POLICY ............................................................................................................... 11
5.2 APPROACH TO ICTS ................................................................................................................... 11
5.3 INFRASTRUCTURE ...................................................................................................................... 12
5.4 ICT-ENHANCED CONTENT ......................................................................................................... 12
5.5 COMMITTED AND TRAINED PERSONNEL..................................................................................... 12
5.6 PILOTING AND EVALUATION ...................................................................................................... 12
5.7 FINANCIAL RESOURCES.............................................................................................................. 12
6 INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY INTO EDUCATION ............................................................. 13
Reference Handbook Part 1: Decision Makers Essentials Page 3 of 13

1 Introduction

Thomas Edison, the father of electricity and inventor of the motion picture, predicted in
1922 that “the motion picture is destined to revolutionize our educational system
and...in a few years it will supplant largely, if not entirely, the use of textbooks.”

Since then high levels of excitement and expectation have been generated by every new
generation of information and communication technologies (ICTs): compact discs and
CD-ROMs, videodiscs, microcomputer-based laboratories, the Internet, virtual reality,
local and wide area networks, instructional software, Macs, PCs, laptops, notebooks,
educational television, voice mail, e-mail, satellite communication, VCRs, cable TV,
interactive radio, etc. The list of “hot” technologies available for education goes on and
on.

In 1984, Seymour Papert, when he was at the MIT Technology Lab, predicted that, “there
won’t be schools in the future…. I think the Computer will blow up the school, that is,
the school as something where there are classes, teachers running exams, people
structured in groups by age, [who] follows a curriculum—all of that” (“Trying to Predict
the Future,” Popular Computing 3(13), pp. 30-44.).

Where are we today?

2 Challenges Facing Decision Makers

Decision makers face two types of challenges that have significant implications for
education development.

2.1 National Challenges


• Countries are experiencing significant shifts in the global economic environment
characterized by changing patterns of trade and competition, technological
innovation, and globalization of information. Together, these developments are
producing a new worldwide economy that is global, high speed, knowledge driven,
and competitive.
• At the national level, all facets of modern society are becoming knowledge
dependent, and without the essential knowledge and skills for modern living, people
will remain on the margins of society, and society itself will lose their vast potential
contributions.
• There is a digital divide between and within countries. The challenge is to bridge this
divide and extend access information and technological skills.

2.2 Educational Challenges


Despite the dramatic progress in education achieved so far at the national and school
levels, much remains to be done:
• Each country, to varying degrees, continues to struggle with issues of children out of
school and illiterate youths and adults.
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• Inequities in educational opportunities, quality of educational services and level of


learning achievement persist by gender, rural/urban locality, ethnic background, and
socioeconomic status.
• The quality of learning and the capacity to define and monitor this quality is lacking
in most developing countries.
• The means and scope of education continue to be narrow and confined to historical
models of delivery, and the use of other channels continues to be ad hoc and
marginal.
• The increase in quantitative and qualitative demand for education is not matched by
an increase in resources.

2.3 Implications for Education


These challenges pose serious questions for planning education and training systems
and force rethinking in the way education is perceived, delivered, and managed. Where
does this leave education development? With six far-reaching implications:

1. Holistic Education Structure. Each country needs a whole spectrum of


knowledge and skills to deal with technology and the globalization of knowledge
and to adjust to continuous economic and social changes.
2. Focus on Learning. The ancient objective of education, to teach how to learn,
problem solve, and synthesize the old with the new, is now transformed from
desirable to indispensable.
3. Education for Everyone. Modern economic, social, political, and technological
requirements demand that all members of society have a minimum level of basic
education.
4. Education Anytime. The need for continuous access to information and
knowledge makes education lifelong to help individuals, families, workplaces,
and communities to adapt to economic and societal changes, and to keep the
door open to those who have dropped out along the way.
5. Education Anywhere. To cope with the diversity and complexity of and the
changing demands for education services, learning cannot be confined to the
traditional classroom. It is unrealistic and unaffordable to continue to ask
learners to come to a designated place every time they have to engage in
learning.
6. Preparation for the Future. The future is changing so dramatically and quickly
that it poses a nightmare for educational decision makers, strategists, and
planners. We are educating students for the unknown, so the best we can do is
to equip them with the necessary conceptual, cognitive, attitudinal, and social
tools to continue learning anytime, anywhere, on demand.

3 The Question of ICTs

It is going to be very difficult—if not impossible—for countries to meet the objective of


effective learning, for all, anywhere, anytime. Our inability to meet this challenge,
however, is self-inflicted because we tend to think of linear scaling, that is, using the
same model of education (a school constrained by space and time) but more of it and on
a larger scale. What we really need is to think radically and differently.

Here ICTs are offered as a solution to this dilemma. Almost every decision maker in
every school system is under tremendous pressure to provide every classroom (if not
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every student) with technologies, including computers and their accessories and
connectivity to the Internet. The pressures are coming from many directions:
• Vendors who wish to sell the most advanced technologies
• Parents who want to ensure that their children are not left behind in the
technological revolution
• Businesses that want to replicate in schools the dramatic impact that ICTs have
had in the worlds of commerce, business, and entertainment
• Technology advocates who see ICTs as the latest hope for reform education
The question that many decision makers are asking is: If technologies have the potential
to significantly improve the teaching/learning process and revolutionize the education
enterprise, in the same manner in which they revolutionized business and
entertainment, why haven’t we experienced such drastic effects consistently? If
technologies are the solution they claim to be, then where is the problem?

Research and experience have shown that the answer to this question is embedded in two
critical explorations of the nature and use of ICTs and in two crucial applications of the
potential of ICTs and the conditions for their effectiveness.
1. What technologies are we talking about?
2. To what use are we putting ICTs?
3. Is the potential of ICTs properly exploited?
4. Are the conditions for ICT effectiveness met?

The first two questions are discussed below; the second two are elaborated in the next
sections.

3.1 What Technologies Are We Talking About?


Decision makers frequently talk about technology in the singular. Technologies differ in
their properties, scope, and potential. An audio technology can only capture sound,
while a video technology depicts sound and motion. A CD provides multimedia digital
content, while a Web version adds interactivity.

Under pressures to be fashionable and adopt the latest educational innovations, the
temptation is to limit ICTs to the Internet and exclude other technologies such as radio
and television. These technologies use reception equipment that is readily available in
homes, have proven to be effective and inexpensive in packaging high-quality
educational materials, reach “unreachable clientele,” and overcome geographical and
cultural hurdles.

Additionally, it is important to distinguish among three types of technologies:


instrument technologies, instructional technologies, and dissemination technologies.
For instance, a video is an instructional technology, a TV or DVD is an instrument, and a
TV broadcast is a dissemination technology. Similarly, a multimedia module is an
instructional technology, the CD or Web is a dissemination technology, and a computer
is an instrument. In planning for, implementing, and assessing ICT-enhanced projects
we need to be clear about the types of technology we are talking about.

3.2 To What Use Are We Putting ICTs?


The impact of ICTs for education depends to a large extent on the purpose for which
ICTs are used. For example, if videos are talking heads and software is digital text, we
should not expect learning results significantly different from classroom lecturing or
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textbook use. However, these instructional technologies may extend educational


opportunities to situations where there is no lecturer or textbook.

Thus the selection of a technology and the way it is used is partially determined by what
is expected of it in terms of educational, learning, or teaching objectives. Educational
objectives are discussed further in Section 4 below. Learning objectives expected from
technologies range over the following spectrum:

Storage and Display → Exploration → Application → Analysis → Evaluation → Constructing a Project

Teaching objectives expected from technology use range over the following spectrum:

Presentation → Demonstration → Drill & Practice → Animation/Simulation → Research → Collaboration

The selection of a technology is also determined in part by whether it is meant to be


used
• on location or at a distance, or
• for enrichment, an integral part of a school program, or stand-alone (e.g., virtual
course or program).

4 Is The Potential Of ICTs Properly Exploited?

Research and experience have demonstrated that different ICTs have the potential to
contribute to different facets of educational development and effective learning:
expanding access, increasing efficiency, enhancing quality of learning and teaching, and
improving policy planning and management. ICTs also offer possibilities in facilitating
skill formation, sustaining lifelong learning, and advancing community linkages.
Planning for effective use of ICTs for education necessitates an understanding of the
potential of technologies to meet different educational objectives and, consequently, to
decide which of these objectives is pursued. This decision affects the choice of
technologies and modalities of use.

4.1 Expanding Educational Opportunities


It is unrealistic to assume that conventional delivery mechanisms will provide educational
opportunities for all in affordable and sustainable ways. ICTs have the potential to help reach this
objective. They can overcome geographic, social, and infrastructure barriers to reach populations
that cannot normally be served by conventional delivery systems. Additionally they provide
feasible, efficient, and quick educational opportunities. The potential of ICTs to reach large
audiences includes the following mechanisms.

Radio
Radio has the potential to expand access to education. It is almost universally available,
inexpensive, reliable, easy to use and maintain, and usable where there is no electricity
infrastructure. Radio can offer many educational advantages, but it also has some drawbacks,
including:
• Radio programs are restricted to the audio dimension of knowledge.
• Radio programs follow a prearranged schedule, to which listeners have to adjust.
• There is no interactivity with broadcast programs. Since there is no explicit response from
students, it is difficult to know how effective the program is.
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There are mechanisms to deal with this last issue, however, such as Interactive Radio Instruction
(IRI). IRI is a methodology that requires learners to stop and react to questions and exercises
through verbal response to radio characters, group work, and physical and intellectual activities,
all while the program is on the air. Short pauses are provided throughout the lessons after
questions and during exercises to ensure that students have adequate time to think and respond.

Television
TV programs can bring abstract concepts to life through clips, animations and simulations, visual
effects, and dramatization. They can also bring the world into the classroom. However, TV
broadcast shares with radio programs’ rigid scheduling and lack of interactivity.

Experience has shown that TV can be successful in expanding educational opportunities at a


national large scale by:
• targeting young adults who have left primary or secondary schools before graduation,
allowing them to follow the curricula by watching television, and
• facilitating effective installation and implementation of schools in sparsely settled rural
areas.

Virtual High Schools and Universities


Virtual institutions generally provide all the services that a conventional institution does except for
physical facilities. It is important, though, to distinguish between Websites that provide individual
courses and those that offer a complete online program through which a student can obtain a
diploma.

4.2 Increasing Efficiency


The capacity of ICTs to reach students in any place and at any time has the potential to
promote revolutionary changes in the traditional educational model.

• ICTs eliminate the premise that learning time equals classroom time. To avoid
overcrowded classrooms, a school may adopt a dual-shift system without
reducing its students’ actual study time. Students may attend school for half a
day and spend the other half involved in educational activities at home, in a
library, at work, or in another unconventional setting. They may be required to
watch an educational radio/television program and complete related activities or
work on an online lesson at the school technology lab or in a community
learning center.
• ICTs can make multigrade schools in areas with low population density viable
institutions rather than a necessary evil. While the teacher attends to certain
students who need individual attention, other students can listen to an
educational program on the radio, watch a television broadcast, or interact with
multimedia computer software.
• ICTs can provide courses that small rural or urban schools cannot offer to their
students because it is difficult for those institutions to recruit and retain
specialized teachers, particularly to teach mathematics, science, and foreign
languages. Schools that do not need a full-time physics or English teacher can
use radio, TV, or online instruction, using already developed multimedia
materials and sharing one “teacher” among several schools. Alternatively, retired
or part-time teachers who live hundreds of miles away can teach the online
courses.
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4.3 Enhancing Quality of Learning


Research and experience have shown that ICTs, used well in classrooms, enhance the
learning process, in the following ways:

• They motivate and engage students in the learning process. Students are
motivated only when the learning activities are authentic, challenging,
multidisciplinary, and multisensorial. Videos, television, and computer
multimedia software can be excellent instructional aids to engage students in the
learning process. In addition, sound, color, and movement stimulate the
students’ sensorial apparatus and bring enjoyment to the learning process.
• They bring abstract concepts to life. Teachers have a hard time teaching, and
students have a hard time learning, abstract concepts, particularly when they
contradict immediate intuition and common knowledge. Images, sounds,
movements, animations, and simulations may demonstrate an abstract concept
in a real manner.
• The foster inquiry and exploration. The inquiry process is a source of affective
and intellectual enjoyment. This sense of adventure is taken away in a traditional
classroom, where questions and answers are established a priori and are
unrelated to students’ interests, and where research is reduced to a word in the
textbook. ICTs have the potential to let students explore the world in cost-
effective and safe ways. Videos and computer animations can bring movement to
static textbook lessons. Using these tools, students can initiate their own inquiry
process, develop hypotheses, and then test them.
• They provide opportunities for students to practice basic skills on their own time
and at their own pace.
• They allow students to use the information they acquire to solve problems,
formulate new problems, and explain the world around them.
• They provide access to worldwide information resources.
• They offer the most cost-effective (and in some cases the only) means for
bringing the world into the classroom.
• The supply (via the Internet) students with a platform through which they can
communicate with colleagues from distant places, exchange work, develop
research, and function as if there were no geographical boundaries.

4.4 Enhancing Quality of Teaching


Teaching is one of the most challenging and crucial professions in the world. Teachers
are critical in facilitating learning and in making it more efficient and effective; they hold
the key to the success of any educational reform; and they are accountable for
successful human development of the nation and for preparing the foundation for social
and economic development. Obviously, teachers cannot be prepared for these unfolding
challenges once and for all. One-shot training, no matter how effective and successful,
will not suffice. A new paradigm must emerge that replaces training with a lifelong
continuum of professional preparedness and development of teachers.

ICTs can contribute significantly to the main components of this continuum:

• First, ICTs and properly developed multimedia materials can enhance the initial
preparation of teachers by providing good training materials, facilitating
simulations, capturing and analyzing practice-teaching, bringing world
experience into the training institution, familiarizing trainees with sources of
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materials and support, and training potential teachers in the use of technologies
for teaching/learning.
• Second, ICTs open a whole world of lifelong upgrading and professional
development for teachers by providing courses at a distance, asynchronous
learning, and training on demand. ICTs’ advantages include ease of revisions and
introduction of new courses in response to emerging demands.
• Finally, ICTs break the professional isolation from which many teachers suffer.
With ICTs, they can connect easily with headquarters, colleagues and mentors,
universities and centers of expertise, and sources of teaching materials.

4.5 Facilitating Skill Formation


There was a time when planning for vocational and technical training was a
straightforward exercise, but this is no longer the case. Sectoral needs, job definitions,
skill requirements, and training standards are changing faster than the life cycle of a
training program. Traditional training programs cannot address these new realities
adequately; they are costly in terms of travel and lost time on the job, disruptive, slow to
be modified, and incapable of responding to new needs and provisions in a timely
fashion.

ICTs have the potential to contribute to skill formation in the same way that they
enhance the quality of learning and teaching in general. Additionally, network
technologies have the potential to deliver the most timely and appropriate knowledge
and skills to the right people, at the most suitable time, in the most convenient place.
E-training allows for personalized, just-in-time, up-to-date, and user-centric educational
activities.

ICT-enhanced solutions that advance educational opportunities, efficiency, quality of


learning, and quality of teaching are also applicable for improving skill formation.
Certain solutions, however, have been particularly effective in this area. Examples
include simulations, competency-based multimedia, video and interactive media, and
workplace e-training—providing synchronous and asynchronous opportunities through
the Internet, video conferencing, videos, CDs, television, etc.

4.6 Sustaining Lifelong Learning


The modern demands on countries, societies, and individuals necessitate lifelong
learning for all, anywhere and anytime. Some of the reasons for such a need are:

• The fast–changing, technology-based economy requires worker flexibility to


adjust to new demands and the ability to learn new skills.
• The increasing sophistication of modern societies demands constant updating of
the knowledge and skills of their citizens.
• The escalating knowledge makes the “educated” obsolete unless they
continuously update their knowledge.
• As society evolves, we are unlikely to continue the present life-cycle pattern of prolonged
education at the beginning of life and an extended retirement period at the end.
• Lifelong learning provides opportunities for those who are unemployed to reenter the workforce.

Certainly, formal, traditional systems cannot cope with this demand, even if they are
well financed, run, and maintained. It is not possible to bring learning opportunities to
all of the places where adult learners are. Likewise, it is not feasible to accommodate all
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learners in adult education centers and offer them programs that meet their many
needs. The diversity of requirements and settings calls for a diversity of means.

ICTs may provide their most valuable contribution in this domain. They are flexible,
unconstrained by time and place, can be used on demand, and provide just-in-time
education. They have the potential to offer synchronous as well as asynchronous
learning opportunities. Above all, if well prepared, they can pack a wealth of expertise
and experience in efficient packages that can be modified and updated in response to
feedback, new demands, and varied contexts. Possibilities fall in a wide range of
technologies, including videos, correspondence, Internet, and e-learning superstructure.

Many of the specific solutions cited for expanding education opportunities and for skill
formation are equally relevant for providing and sustaining lifelong learning. Two
additional solutions are increasingly adopted:

• Open universities provide opportunities for lifelong learning, not only through
degree programs but also through nondegree offerings to enhance knowledge and
skills for occupational, family, and personal purposes.
• “Third Age” universities for persons aged 60 and over—the University of the Third
Age in China has been one of the most successful programs in promoting lifelong
learning.

4.7 Improving Policy Planning and Management


Many educational institutions and systems have introduced simple management and
statistical information systems, but this should be only the beginning. More specifically,
technology for management can be the underpinnings of reform in two areas:
• Management of Institutions and Systems: At the school/institution level,
technologies are crucial in such areas as admissions, student flow, personnel,
staff development, and facilities. At the system-wide level, technologies provide
critical support in domains such as school mapping, automated personnel and
payroll systems, management information systems, communications, and
information gathering, analysis, and use.
• Management of Policy Making: Here ICTs can be valuable in storing and
analyzing data on education indicators, student assessment, educational physical
and human infrastructure, cost, and finance. More important, they can assist in
constructing and assessing policy scenarios around different intended policy
options to determine requirements and consequences and to help select those
that are the most appropriate. During policy implementation, ICTs can facilitate
tracer studies and tracking systems as well as summative and formative
evaluation.

4.8 Advancing Community Linkages


Every country experiences disparities in the spread and use of ICTs. Modern ICTs have
not corrected the divide between technology-rich and technology-poor areas. The
technology gap is not the result of the choices made by individual households, but poor
neighborhoods and rural communities lack the necessary infrastructure available in
affluent and more populated areas.

Access to ICTs opens vast opportunities for individuals and communities to improve
their economic and social well-being, and to bring them from the margins into the
mainstream of society.
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Where there is a technological gap, a digital divide, there is also a gender divide. This
divide cannot be attributed to inherent female characteristics, as evidenced by the high
percentage of female ICT users in the industrialized world and by the thousands of
offices around the world where women are frequently more competent in dealing with
computers and the Internet than are men. Where access to ICTs is limited, there seem to
be extra barriers hindering women’s access to and use of ICTs. Some of the barriers
have to do with disadvantages that women have in terms of education, social value, and
economic status. Other barriers include ambivalence, technophobia, lack of training
opportunities, and uninviting ICT environments for women.

Community Telecenters
Despite the importance of access to ICTs, achieving such access at the home or
individual levels in poverty-stricken areas is untenable because of barriers of
infrastructure, ICT literacy, and costs. The community telecenter, one answer to this
problem, is a public facility that allows individuals within the served community to have
access to ICTs on demand for free or at low cost. Also, some centers provide training in
the use of ICTs and others provide educational opportunities via ICTs.

Women and Telecenters


Many telecenter projects have carefully and creatively crafted outreach efforts to attract
women. The most successful are those designed with adequate attention to the needs,
capacities, and preferences of local communities in general and of women in particular.

5 Are The Conditions For ICT Effectiveness Met?

It is essential to distinguish between potential and effectiveness. No ICT potential is


realized automatically. Placing a radio and a TV in every school, putting a computer in
every classroom, and wiring every building for the Internet will not solve the problem
automatically. The problem is not strictly technological; it is educational and contextual,
so constraints must be alleviated and conditions met. Experience points to seven
parameters necessary for the potential of ICTs to be realized in knowledge
dissemination, effective learning and training, and efficient education services.

5.1 Educational Policy


Technology is only a tool: no technology can fix a bad educational philosophy or
compensate for bad practice. Therefore, educational choices have to be made first in
terms of objectives, methodologies, and roles of teachers and students before decisions
can be made about the appropriate ICT interventions. (See section 2.2 above.) The
effectiveness of different levels of sophistication of ICTs depends to a large extent on
the role of learners and teachers as practiced in the educational process and on the
purposes behind using ICTs for student learning and for teaching.

5.2 Approach to ICTs


Classrooms are constrained environments, and conventional instructional materials are
static. If technology-enhanced education programs are taped classrooms, digital texts,
and PowerPoint transparencies, then we are missing out on the tremendous potential of
technologies that can animate, simulate, capture reality, add movement to static
concepts, and extend our touch to the whole universe. Movies and TV programs are not
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replicas of theater-packaged theater plays; they tell the same story in a more dramatic
and multifaceted manner. So should ICT-enhanced education.

5.3 Infrastructure
It is important to identify the most appropriate, cost-effective, and sustainable
technology and level of application for the different educational objectives. Then, the
whole prerequisite hardware infrastructure needs to be in place with the supporting
elements, such as electricity, maintenance, and technical services. It is not realistic to
expect teachers, who will be struggling with a new role and pedagogy, to assume
technical responsibility for the hardware.

5.4 ICT-Enhanced Content


ICT-enhanced instructional content is one of the most forgotten areas, but evidently the
most crucial component. Introducing TVs, radios, computers, and connectivity into
schools without sufficient curriculum-related ICT-enhanced content is like building roads
but without making cars available. Acquisition and development of content software that
is integral to the teaching/learning process is a must.

5.5 Committed and Trained Personnel


People involved in integrating technologies into the teaching/learning process have to
be convinced of the value of the technologies, comfortable with them, and skilled in
using them. Therefore, orientation and training for all concerned staff in the strategic,
technical, and pedagogical dimensions of the process is a necessary condition for
success.

5.6 Piloting and Evaluation


The strong belief in the potential of technology, market push, and enthusiasm for
introducing technology into schools creates the temptation to implement it immediately
and full scale. Integrating technologies into education is a very sophisticated,
multifaceted process, and, just like any other innovation, it should not be introduced
without piloting its different components on a smaller scale. Even technologies we are
sure about need to be piloted in new contexts. No matter how well an ICT project is
designed and planned for, many aspects need to be tested on a small scale first. Among
these aspects are appropriate technologies, suitability of instructional materials,
production process, classroom implementability, learning effectiveness, and cost-benefit
ratio.

Depending on the results of the evaluation of a pilot scheme, the elements of


implementation or the ICT-intervention policy itself may need modifications. Then plans
need to be drawn for scaling up the ICT intervention. At this stage more care needs to
be given to implementation planning because of the higher risks, larger scope, and
more intricate application issues.

5.7 Financial Resources


Acquiring ICTs, no matter how hard and expensive, may be the easiest and cheapest
element in a series of elements that ultimately could make these technologies
sustainable or beneficial. Educational authorities need to budget sufficiently for all of
the parameters outlined earlier, including maintenance.
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6 Integrating Technology into Education

The challenges facing education will escalate, and the struggle between needs and
resources will deepen. The quest for radical solutions will intensify, and the pressure on
decision makers to “do something” with ICTs will keep mounting. The temptation is to
introduce ICTs immediately and full scale. Since the potential is great and the stakes are
high, decision makers should be bold but not reckless, cautious but not slow, and
calculating but not procrastinating.

The worst that could happen is for each country to deal with these issues in isolation by
reinventing the wheel and failing to learn from the experiences (and mistakes) of others.
It is essential therefore for decision makers, planners, and practitioners to be well aware
of the wealth of worldwide knowledge, research, experience, and thinking. This
awareness should not lead to transplantation of ideas and experiences but, rather,
should enlighten, guide, and inspire locally conceived and implemented decisions and
plans.

Experience has consistently taught us that integrating technology into the educational
process is not a simple, one-step activity. It is an intricate, multifaceted process that
involves a series of deliberate decisions, plans, and measures:

• Mapping of the present situation in terms of national goals, educational context,


ICTs in education, and the dynamics of change
• Identification of educational areas for ICT intervention and formulation of
corresponding ICT-in-education policies
• Planning for implementation— infrastructure, hardware, ICT-enhanced content,
personnel training, and cost
• Evaluation of ICT intervention and subsequent adjustments and follow-up actions

Technologies have great potential for knowledge dissemination, effective learning, and
efficient education services. Yet, if the educational policies and strategies are not right,
if ICT-in-education policies are not well thought out, and if the prerequisite conditions
for using these technologies are not met concurrently, this potential will not be realized.
Version 2.0

ICTs for Education


A Reference Handbook
Part 2: Analytical Review
Wadi D. Haddad

The purpose of ICTs for Education: A Reference Handbook is to provide decision


makers, planners, and practitioners with a summary of what is known about the
potential and conditions of effective use of ICTs for education and learning by drawing
on worldwide knowledge, research, and experience.

The handbook has four parts, each of which addresses different users and serves
different functions. These parts are organized in a parallel manner for ease of use and
to allow cross-referencing.

Part 1: Decision Makers Essentials


Part 2: Analytical Review
Part 3: Resources
Part 4: PowerPoint Presentation

Part 1 presents decision makers with a summary of:


• Challenges facing decision makers
• Characteristics and uses of ICTs
• Options and choices for leveraging the potential of ICTs in achieving national and
educational goals and solving educational problems
• Prerequisite and corequisite conditions for effective integration of ICTs into the
educational process
• Processes to integrate ICTs into education

This part (Part 2: Analytical Review):


• Analyzes the rationales and realities of ICTs for education,
• Examines the options and choices for leveraging the potential of ICTs in achieving
national and educational goals and solving educational problems, and
• Outlines the prerequisite and corequisite conditions for effective integration of ICTs
into the educational process

Part 3 provides resources in the form of case studies, experiences, examples and
demonstrations of the potential of ICT-enhanced policies and interventions outlined in
Part 2. There resources are referenced in the respective sections of Part 2.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 2 of 63

Table of Contents

1 INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................................... 4
2 ICTS: MYTHS AND REALITIES .................................................................................................... 6
2.1 MYTH 1: ICTS ARE ONE MONOLITHIC ENTITY .............................................................................. 6
2.2 MYTH 2: THE EFFECTS OF ICTS ARE DEFINITE............................................................................. 6
2.3 MYTH 3: ICTS MEAN COMPUTERS AND THE INTERNET ................................................................. 7
2.4 MYTH 4: ICTS ARE A SUBSTITUTE FOR SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS ................................................. 7
3 CHALLENGES TO EDUCATION SYSTEMS ............................................................................... 8
3.1 UNFINISHED BUSINESS ................................................................................................................. 8
3.2 GLOBAL CHALLENGES ................................................................................................................. 8
3.2.1 Globalization of the Economy ................................................................................................ 8
3.2.2 Globalization of Knowledge ................................................................................................... 8
3.2.3 “Marketization” of Educational Services............................................................................... 9
3.3 NEW DEMANDS ............................................................................................................................ 9
3.4 FINANCIAL RESOURCES.............................................................................................................. 10
3.5 IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATION ................................................................................................. 10
4 THE ROLE AND NATURE OF ICTS............................................................................................ 12
4.1 NECESSITY OF ICTS ................................................................................................................... 12
4.2 ICTS FOR INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES ..................................................................................... 12
4.3 ICTS AND LEARNING LOCATION ................................................................................................ 15
4.4 ICTS AND THE SCHOOL .............................................................................................................. 15
5 THE POTENTIAL OF ICTS: ENHANCEMENT OF EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES ......... 17
5.1 EXPANDING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES .............................................................................. 17
5.1.1 The Objective........................................................................................................................ 17
5.1.2 The Potential ........................................................................................................................ 17
5.1.3 Specific Solutions.................................................................................................................. 18
5.1.3.1 Radio.......................................................................................................................................... 18
5.1.3.1.1 Broadcast Radio.................................................................................................................... 18
5.1.3.1.2 Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI)........................................................................................ 19
5.1.3.2 Television................................................................................................................................... 20
5.1.3.3 Virtual High Schools.................................................................................................................. 20
5.1.3.4 Virtual Universities .................................................................................................................... 22
5.2 INCREASING EFFICIENCY ............................................................................................................ 23
5.2.1 The Objective........................................................................................................................ 23
5.2.2 The Potential ........................................................................................................................ 24
5.2.3 Specific Solutions.................................................................................................................. 25
5.3 ENHANCING QUALITY OF LEARNING.......................................................................................... 25
5.3.1 The Objective........................................................................................................................ 25
5.3.2 The Potential ........................................................................................................................ 27
5.3.3 Specific Solutions.................................................................................................................. 28
5.3.3.1 Radio and Television Programs ................................................................................................. 28
5.3.3.2 Electronic Multimedia Learning Modules.................................................................................. 28
5.3.3.3 Virtual Labs ............................................................................................................................... 29
5.3.3.4 Connecting with the World ........................................................................................................ 29
5.3.3.5 Designing and Creating Things.................................................................................................. 30
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 3 of 63

5.4 ENHANCING QUALITY OF TEACHING.......................................................................................... 30


5.4.1 The Objective........................................................................................................................ 30
5.4.2 The Potential ........................................................................................................................ 31
5.4.3 Specific Solutions.................................................................................................................. 32
5.4.3.1 Multimedia Training and Support .............................................................................................. 32
5.4.3.2 Videos for Training.................................................................................................................... 32
5.4.3.3 Teacher Development Portal...................................................................................................... 32
5.4.3.4 Internet Resources for Teachers................................................................................................. 33
5.5 FACILITATING SKILL FORMATION .............................................................................................. 33
5.5.1 The Objective........................................................................................................................ 33
5.5.2 The Potential ........................................................................................................................ 34
5.5.3 Specific Solutions.................................................................................................................. 35
5.5.3.1 Simulations ................................................................................................................................ 35
5.5.3.2 Competency-Based Multimedia................................................................................................. 35
5.5.3.3 Video and Interactive Media ...................................................................................................... 36
5.5.3.4 Workplace Training ................................................................................................................... 36
5.6 SUSTAINING LIFELONG LEARNING ............................................................................................. 36
5.6.1 The Objective........................................................................................................................ 36
5.6.2 The Potential ........................................................................................................................ 38
5.6.3 Specific Solutions.................................................................................................................. 38
5.6.3.1 Expansion of Educational Opportunities and Skill Formation ................................................... 38
5.6.3.2 Open Universities....................................................................................................................... 38
5.6.3.3 Universities for the “Third Age”................................................................................................ 39
5.7 IMPROVING POLICY PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT .................................................................. 39
5.7.1 The Objective........................................................................................................................ 39
5.7.2 The Potential ........................................................................................................................ 40
5.7.3 Specific Solutions.................................................................................................................. 41
5.7.3.1 Education Management Information System (EMIS) ................................................................ 41
5.7.3.2 Simulations for Policy Analysis and Formulation...................................................................... 42
5.8 ADVANCING COMMUNITY LINKAGES......................................................................................... 43
5.8.1 The Objective........................................................................................................................ 43
5.8.1.1 The ICT Gap .............................................................................................................................. 43
5.8.1.2 The Need for ICT Access........................................................................................................... 45
5.8.1.3 The Gender Divide..................................................................................................................... 46
5.8.2 The Potential ........................................................................................................................ 46
5.8.3 Specific Solutions.................................................................................................................. 48
5.8.3.1 Radio.......................................................................................................................................... 48
5.8.3.2 Community Telecenters ............................................................................................................. 48
5.8.3.2.1 What Are Telecenters?.......................................................................................................... 48
5.8.3.2.2 Types of Telecenters............................................................................................................. 49
5.8.3.2.3 Participation in Telecenters: Obstacles and Strategies.......................................................... 50
5.8.3.2.4 Women and Telecenters........................................................................................................ 51
6 FROM POTENTIAL TO EFFECTIVENESS ............................................................................... 54
6.1 EDUCATIONAL POLICY ............................................................................................................... 54
6.2 APPROACH TO ICTS ................................................................................................................... 56
6.3 INFRASTRUCTURE ...................................................................................................................... 57
6.4 ICT-ENHANCED CONTENT ......................................................................................................... 58
6.5 COMMITTED AND TRAINED PERSONNEL..................................................................................... 59
6.6 FINANCIAL RESOURCES.............................................................................................................. 60
6.7 INTEGRATION ............................................................................................................................. 61
6.8 PILOTING AND EVALUATION ...................................................................................................... 62
7 CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................................. 63
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 4 of 63

1 Introduction

Thomas Edison, the father of electricity and inventor of the motion picture, predicted in
1922 that “the motion picture is destined to revolutionize our educational system and ...
in a few years it will supplant largely, if not entirely, the use of textbooks.”

Since then high levels of excitement and expectation have been generated by every new
generation of information and communication technologies (ICTs): compact discs and
CD-ROMs, videodiscs, microcomputer-based laboratories, the Internet, virtual reality,
local and wide area networks, instructional software, Macs, PCs, laptops, notebooks,
educational television, voice mail, e-mail, satellite communication, VCRs, cable TV,
interactive radio, etc. The list of “hot” technologies available for education goes on and
on.

Twenty years ago, Seymour Papert, when he was at the MIT Technology Lab, predicted
that, “there won’t be schools in the future…. I think the Computer will blow up the
school, that is, the school as something where there are classes, teachers running
exams, people structured in groups by age, [who] follow a curriculum—all of that.” 1

Where are we today?

ICTs have definitely revolutionized business processes and organizations, created a


worldwide network of e-commerce, and turned the domain of entertainment into a
fascinating experience. But can ICTs have a similar impact in education?

There are the believers, the skeptics, the agnostics, and the pragmatists.

• Believers think that under the right conditions technologies can have a monumental
impact on the expansion of learning opportunities to wider populations, beyond the
confines of teaching institutions and over the lifetime of the individual. Also,
technologies can improve the teaching/learning process, enhance higher levels of
cognition, and facilitate institutional management.
• The skeptics have been told many times before that certain technologies, from
filmstrips to tape-recorders to television, would remake their world. Why is it any
different this time?
• The agnostics are not sure. They have an open mind but do not think that there is
enough evidence to incorporate ICTs into educational systems. They think that our
empirical knowledge of the effectiveness of different ICTs is spotty, and that our
experience with what works and does not is still tentative.
• The pragmatists are holding back. The technologies are changing so fast and prices
are dropping so rapidly, that they are waiting for the technologies to stabilize and
prices to hit bottom.

Yet almost every decision maker in every school system across the world is under
tremendous pressure to provide every classroom (if not every student) with
technologies, including computers and their accessories and connectivity to the Internet.
The pressures are coming from vendors who wish to sell the most advanced

1
Seymour Papert. 1984. “Trying to Predict the Future.” Popular Computing, 3(13), pp. 30-44.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 5 of 63

technologies; from parents who want to ensure that their children are not left behind in
the technological revolution; from businesses that want to replicate in schools the
dramatic impact that ICTs have had in the worlds of commerce, business, and
entertainment; and from technology advocates who see ICTs as the latest hope to
reform education.

The challenges facing education worldwide will escalate, and the struggle between
needs and resources will deepen. The quest for radical solutions will intensify, and the
pressure on decision makers to “do something” with ICTs will keep mounting. The
temptation is to introduce ICTs immediately and full scale.

Experience has consistently taught us, however, that integrating technology into the
educational process is not a simple, one-step activity. It is an intricate, multifaceted
process that involves a series of deliberate decisions, plans, and measures:

• Rigorously analyzing educational objectives and changes. This step may involve rethinking
educational policies and strategies to accommodate the new challenges and to
exploit the potential of ICTs.
• Determining which educational objectives are best pursued for ICT application. This decision
affects the choice of technologies and modalities of use.
• Understanding the potential of different ICTs for different applications.
• Examining the appropriateness of specific technologies in light of educational objectives, desired roles
of teachers and learners, and country realities and prospects.
• Sustaining a program of investment in the necessary human, physical, and instructional
infrastructures.
• Implementing the pre- and corequisites of effectiveness of ICTs for education within the dynamics of
educational change and reform.
• Continuous program evaluation and adjustment.

Where does this leave decision makers and planners?

Questions about the potential of ICTs and their effectiveness will continue to linger, yet
some decisions have to be made. The next set of questions has to do with how to
rationally and realistically maximize the contribution of ICTs to the realization of
effective learning and other educational goals.

The worst that could happen is for each country to deal with these issues in isolation by
reinventing the wheel and failing to learn from the experiences (and mistakes) of others.
It is therefore essential for decision makers, planners, and practitioners to be well aware
of the wealth of worldwide knowledge, research, experience, and thinking. This
awareness should not lead to transplantation of ideas and experiences but, rather,
should enlighten, guide, and inspire locally conceived and implemented decisions and
plans.

This analytical review draws on this worldwide body of knowledge and summarizes
what is known about the potential and conditions of effective use of ICTs for education
and learning.

More specifically, this review

• Analyzes the rationales and realities of ICTs for education,


Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 6 of 63

• Examines the options and choices for leveraging the potential of ICTs in achieving
national and educational goals and solving educational problems, and
• Outlines the prerequisite and corequisite conditions for effective integration of ICTs
into the educational process

2 ICTs: Myths and Realities

In the environment surrounding the potential and use of ICTs, many myths and
misconceptions have developed and are being promoted across countries and
institutions. It is important for decision makers to be aware of these myths to avoid
making decisions based on them.

2.1 Myth 1: ICTs are one monolithic entity

Decision makers frequently question the potential of technology in the singular. Such
inquiry is unanswerable for two reasons:

1. Technologies differ in their properties, scope, and potential. An audio technology


can only capture sound, while a video technology depicts sound and motion. A CD
provides multimedia digital content, while a Web version adds connectivity.
2. Different technologies can be used for different purposes. The potential of
technologies is influenced by what we use them for. There are different levels at
which technologies may be used, including:

• Presentation of a piece of information


• Demonstration of a concept, idea, phenomenon, law, or theory
• Drill and practice to gain competence in applying knowledge
• Research for certain topics or projects using multiple sources
• Interaction—manipulation of variables to reach generalizations or to draw
implications from a law or theory
• Collaboration on projects with other students in the school or in other schools in
the country or elsewhere or with scientists in the field
• Production of educational materials

The questions here become:

• Which technology and what level of use? For instance, if technology is to be used
for presentation and demonstration only, investment in computers and
connectivity may not be justifiable. On the other hand, the potential for
interactive and collaborative learning can best be achieved by networked
computers and connectivity to the World Wide Web.
• What is the value added for using one technology compared to a simpler and
cheaper one? For instance, why use a video instead of a photo, a digital text
instead of a textbook, or a simulation instead of an animation?

2.2 Myth 2: The effects of ICTs are definite

Technology is only a tool: no technology can fix a bad educational philosophy or


compensate for bad practice. In fact, if we are going in the wrong direction, technology
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 7 of 63

will only get us there faster. Likewise, distance learning is not about distance, it is about
learning. Just as we can have bad education face to face, we can have bad education at a
distance. Similarly, if teaching is demonstrating and telling, and if learning is
memorizing and reciting, using learning technologies and multimedia programs for this
purpose will not have the desired impact. Also, if students are not asked to search and
work collaboratively, and if teachers function independently, investment in connectivity
will not be cost effective.

Many of the factors that constrain the expansion and effectiveness of on-site education
also work against ICT-enhanced education—sometimes more intensely. These factors
include availability of affordable physical infrastructure, quality ICT-enhanced content,
financial resources, and acceptability by the educational establishment, parents, and
teachers. Additionally, in many countries the main hurdle is the legal frameworks. ICT-
enhanced systems, with their ability to reach beyond political boundaries, defy many of
the national and international legal frameworks that were created for a world with
frontiers. Solutions, albeit necessary, have been difficult to find and implement.
Distance education providers have to deal with telecommunication monopolies and
restrictive regulations, accreditation and certification, and intellectual property.

2.3 Myth 3: ICTs mean computers and the Internet

Under pressures to be fashionable and adopt the latest educational innovations, the
temptation is to limit ICTs to the Internet and exclude other technologies such as radio,
television, and print. These technologies use reception equipment that is readily
available in homes, have proven to be effective and inexpensive in packaging high-
quality educational materials, reach “unreachable clientele,” and overcome geographical
and cultural hurdles.

Experience is proving, to our surprise, that acquiring the technologies themselves, no


matter how hard and expensive, may be the easiest and cheapest component in a series
of elements that ultimately could make these technologies sustainable or beneficial.
Effectively integrating technology into learning systems is much more complicated. It
involves a rigorous analysis of educational objectives and changes, a realistic
understanding of the potential of technologies, a purposeful consideration of the pre-
and corequisites of effectiveness of ICTs for education, and the prospects of this
process within the dynamics of educational change and reform.

To "tech" or not to "tech" education is, therefore, not the question. The real question is
how to harvest the power of ICTs to make education relevant, responsive, and effective
for school settings and lifelong learning.

2.4 Myth 4: ICTs are a substitute for schools and teachers

ICT-enhanced education activities should not be perceived as a substitute for


conventional schools. Despite its shortcomings, the school system has been remarkable
in its contribution to fulfilling basic learning needs, to skill formation, and to the
preservation and evolution of cultures. We have reached the limits of this model,
however, in providing high-quality education for all, anytime, anywhere, in an affordable
and sustainable manner. ICTs can expand the potential of a conventional delivery
system, complement its existing elements, and empower instructors to become better
teachers. (See section 5.)
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 8 of 63

3 Challenges to Education Systems

3.1 Unfinished Business

Despite the dramatic progress in education achieved so far at the national and school
levels, much remains to be done:

• Each country, to varying degrees, continues to struggle with issues of children out of
school and illiterate youths and adults.
• The quality of learning and the capacity to define and monitor this quality is lacking
in most developing countries.
• Inequities in educational opportunities, quality of educational services, and level of
learning achievement continue to persist by gender, rural/urban locality, ethnic
background, and socioeconomic status.
• The means and scope of education continue to be narrow and confined to historical
models of delivery, and the use of other channels continues to be ad hoc and
marginal.
• The increase in quantitative and qualitative demand for education is not matched by
increase in resources.

3.2 Global Challenges

3.2.1 Globalization of the Economy


The world is faced with significant shifts in the global economic environment
characterized by three major developments:

• Changing patterns of trade and competition


• Technological innovation
• Globalization of information

Together, these developments are producing a new worldwide economy that is global,
high-speed, knowledge-driven, and competitive. Countries have to meet the
competitiveness challenge in terms of agility, networking, and learning, and to arrange
production to achieve quality, productivity, and flexibility. The good news is that, with
the potential of human development and advanced technologies, developing countries
can leapfrog. The bad news is that this process is not automatic. On the contrary, unless
conscious efforts are made, countries are unlikely to be able to adapt to the demands of
a globalized economy. They may even experience, on one hand, displacement of
workers who lack the necessary skills and the prerequisite general education to learn
new skills rapidly, and, on the other hand, a shortage of qualified workers for the new
industries and modes of production.

3.2.2 Globalization of Knowledge


Generation, selection, assimilation, and application of knowledge are fundamental to the
economic growth and well-being of any modern society. Economic growth today is a
combination of capital accumulation and knowledge accumulation. Knowledge also
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 9 of 63

plays a crucial role in resolving social problems related to areas such as health
(including HIV/AIDS), water supply and conservation, energy generation and use, food
security, and environmental protection.

In fact, all facets of society are becoming knowledge dependent. The very participation
in a modern technological world necessitates a significant level of scientific and
technological understanding. This applies to all areas of everyday living, including
banking, business transactions, health services, transportation vehicles, home
appliances, utilities, communication, and information exchange. Without the essential
knowledge and skills for modern living, people will remain on the margins of society,
and society itself will lose their vast potential contributions.

Knowledge, both basic and applied, is being generated very fast and is growing
exponentially. As rapidly as knowledge is being generated, there are growing means by
which to disseminate that knowledge through printed, audio, video, and electronic
media. The revolution in ICTs has made access to information less expensive, more
feasible, and nearly universal. Unfortunately, though, most developing countries are
behind on both generation of and access to knowledge. While modern technologies are
broadening the knowledge base in high- and middle-income countries and transforming
their economies and societies, they also are increasing the marginalization of low-
income countries and communities. The digital divide among and within nations is real
and intensifying.

3.2.3 “Marketization” of Educational Services


The relationship among the marketplace, the state, and the education sector is evolving
significantly.

Education is no longer a monopoly of the state or a “protected industry.” Local and


transnational private entities have entered this field as a result of expanding economic
liberalism, increasing political pluralism, and rising demand for education. Government
funding has not been able to cope with the evolving demands, and new providers have
entered the market in large numbers. In fact, the growth of private tertiary education
institutions in developing countries has been more rapid than it has been in
industrialized countries. A large number of the new providers are private,
nongovernmental institutions, many of them established in partnership with American
or European institutions of higher learning, and most are profit-driven and, therefore,
accessible only to those who can afford them.

ICTs, which have facilitated this trend, allow for flow of information and educational
services across borders and over geographic and social barriers. Open and virtual
universities and high schools as well as Internet-based lifelong educational programs
have simultaneously internationalized and decentralized education. Education and
training can now be practiced by anyone, anytime, anywhere.

3.3 New Demands

The demands for providing educational opportunities are escalating.

• Modern economic, social, political, and technological requirements demand that all
members of society have a minimum level of basic education; no country can afford
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 10 of 63

to leave anyone behind. But the biggest challenge continues to be reaching


individuals and groups that are historically underserved with physically feasible,
economically viable, and socially and culturally acceptable educational services.
• As countries achieve higher levels of basic education, there will be more demand for
secondary, technical, and tertiary education. Providing such education across the
country through efficient and affordable means is the next challenge, after the
challenge of “Education for All.”
• Similar pressures are coming from the workplace and the population at large for
continuous learning to update existing knowledge and skills and stay current with
advancements in knowledge and developments in technologies.

3.4 Financial Resources

As the demand for more and different tertiary education increases, financial resources
are not increasing in the same proportion. Part of this constraint is self-inflicted because
some of the conventional models for education are not sustainable.

3.5 Implications for Education

The above challenges pose serious questions for the planning of education and training
systems and force rethinking in the way education is perceived, delivered, and managed.
Where does this leave education development? With six far-reaching implications:

1. Holistic Education Structure. The workforce of the future will need a whole
spectrum of knowledge and skills to deal with technology and the globalization
of knowledge. It also will need to be agile and flexible, and to be able to adjust
to continuous economic and social changes. This means that countries must
embrace a holistic approach to education, investing concurrently in the whole
pyramid of basic education, secondary education, skill training, and tertiary
education.
2. Focus on Learning. The ancient objective of education, to teach how to learn,
problem solve, and synthesize the old with the new, is now transformed from
desirable to indispensable.
3. Education for Everyone. Modern economic, social, political, and technological
requirements demand that all members of society have a minimum level of basic
education.
4. Education Anytime. The need for continuous access to information and
knowledge makes learning lifelong and the traditionally neat distinction between
learning and work unreal. Education thus becomes a continuum, with no marked
beginning and end, which provides opportunities for lifelong learning to help
individuals, families, workplaces, and communities to adapt to economic and
societal changes, and to keep the door open to those who have dropped out
along the way.
5. Education Anywhere. To cope with the diversity, complexity, and changing
nature of demands for education services, learning cannot be confined to the
traditional classroom. It is unrealistic and unaffordable to continue to ask
learners to come to a designated place every time they have to engage in
learning. Delivery must extend beyond the face-to-face institutional modality to
include distance education, enrichment mass media, and nonformal settings.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 11 of 63

6. Preparation for the future. We are moving out of the industrial age into the age
of free trade, information systems, knowledge economy, and technological
innovations. The best and most efficient of our past and present schools have
served a different age. Schools of the future have to meet the needs of the
future. But what is the future, and can we predict it?

We cannot predict the future. The only thing we can predict is that it will be
beyond our wildest imaginations. The future is changing so dramatically and
quickly that it poses a nightmare for the traditional educational strategist and
planner. We can no longer draw occupational pyramids or do manpower
planning. We are educating students for the unknown; the best we can do is to
equip them with the necessary conceptual, cognitive, attitudinal, and social
tools to continue learning anytime, anywhere, on demand. The skills include:

• A conceptual open-ended foundation of the physical, human,


environmental, and cultural world
• Skills to access knowledge, assess it, and apply it.
• Skills to analyze, critique, and apply knowledge to generate solutions and
test options.
• Interpersonal skills to interact and work collaboratively
• Social skills to exercise good citizenship, tolerate diversity, and respect
other perspectives and rationalities
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 12 of 63

4 The Role and Nature of ICTs

4.1 Necessity of ICTs

These five far-reaching implications pose a daunting challenge for the education
strategist. On one hand, there is a backlog that must be fulfilled, a set of global
challenges that must be faced, and an escalating demand for education in both
traditional and uncharted territories. On the other hand is the need to provide the whole
spectrum of education services to everyone, anywhere, anytime, with a focus on learning
acquisition—all under conditions of an ever-expanding base of education clientele and
limited physical and human resources.

It is going to be very difficult—if not impossible—for countries to meet the objective of effective
learning, for all, anywhere, anytime. Our inability to meet this challenge, however, is self-
inflicted because we tend to think of linear scaling, that is, using the same model of education (a
school constrained by space and time) but more of it and on a larger scale. What we really need
is to think differently and radically. Through the advancement of ICTs, the world is experiencing a
real revolution in the dissemination of knowledge and the enhancement of instruction. This is the
third revolution in learning, the first being the invention of the written language and the second
being the development of moveable type and books. ICTs make both the content of learning and
the interactions of high-quality (and other) instruction affordable and available anytime, anywhere.

Section 5 of this paper describes in detail, supported by case studies and specific
experiences, the potential of ICTs in:

1. Expanding educational opportunities


2. Increasing efficiency
3. Enhancing quality of learning
4. Enriching quality of teaching
5. Facilitating skill formation
6. Establishing and sustaining lifelong learning
7. Improving policy planning and management
8. Advancing community linkages

4.2 ICTs for Instructional Objectives

Learning objectives differ in scope, level and complexity. They relate to hierarchical
levels of thinking and cognitive processing. When we design teaching/learning activities
and experiences, as well as ICT interventions, we must plan explicitly for the type of
cognitive processing that we hope to foster.

The Taxonomy of Educational Objectives was created by Benjamin Bloom in the 1950s to
describe these levels. During the 1990s, Lorin Anderson (a former student of Bloom’s)
led a team of cognitive psychologists in revisiting the taxonomy to examine the
relevance of the taxonomy as we enter the 21st century. Table 4.2.1 is a summary of the
Revised Taxonomy. (For a full description with examples, see Resource 4.2.1 - Revised
Bloom's Taxonomy.)
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 13 of 63

Table 4.2.1 Revised Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning Objectives

1. REMEMBERING
Recognize, list, describe, identify retrieve, name....
Can the student RECALL information?

2. UNDERSTANDING
Interpret, exemplify, summarize, infer, paraphrase....
Can the student EXPLAIN ideas or concepts?
3. APPLYING
Implement, carry out, use...
Can the student USE the new knowledge in another familiar situation?
4. ANALYZING
Compare, attribute, organize, deconstruct...
Can the student DIFFERENTIATE between constituent parts?
5. EVALUATING
Check, critique, judge hypothesize...
Can the student JUSTIFY a decision or course of action?
6. CREATING
Design, construct, plan, produce...
Can the student GENERATE new products, ideas, or ways of viewing things?

Selection of a technology and the way it is applied should be driven by the nature and
level of the learning objective it is meant to stimulate and enhance. Table 4.2.2
translates the above taxonomy into ICT-fostered learning objectives. The lowest level of
this taxonomy involves using technology simply to store or display material for students
to use; it places them in a passive role. The highest taxonomic level represents active
students synthesizing material and using ICTs to construct projects such as hypermedia
presentations.

Table 4.2.2 ICT-Fostered Learning Objectives

ICT-Fostered Learning Description


Objective
1. Allow the storage or display This level involves the passive hearing or viewing of stored
Information information, individually or as a group.
2. Foster exploration of At this level, the learner is engaged in the conscious pursuit of
materials and ideas information that will lead to a better understanding of an
existent issue, question, or concept.
3. Enable the application of At this level, ICTs can provide a powerful tool for applying a
understanding concept or understanding to a new situation.
4. Organize materials or ideas Here ICT tools allow individuals to analyze materials or ideas by
to foster analysis organizing and manipulating them as a means of understanding
their relationship to one another.
5. Support evaluation and This level represents the use of ICTs to support the process of
problem solving evaluation. This can be done by compiling information and
resources into a digital repository, developing simulations that
will immerse students in an environment that will help them
evaluate relevant dimensions and solve the problems that are
posed, and collaborative Web-based environments that support
or foster evaluation and problem-solving.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 14 of 63

6. Facilitate constructing or At the highest level, ICTs are used to foster the design or
designing projects construction of integrating projects, whereby students must
explore wide range of ideas and resources, analyze and evaluate
them, and synthesize them in a project. ICTs can fully utilize the
multimedia environment to support this process.
For further information, visit http://education.ed.pacificu.edu/aacu/workshop/reconcept2B.html.

Similarly, there are teaching objectives for the use of ICTs, such as
• Presentation of a piece of information
• Demonstration of a concept, idea, phenomenon, law, or theory
• Drill and practice to achieve student competence in the application of knowledge
• Simulations and animations to abstract reality and offer an efficient and inexpensive
environment to reach generalizations or to draw implications from a law or theory
• Research for professional development and preparation of lessons
• Collaboration on projects with other teachers in the school or in other schools in the
country or elsewhere, or with scientists in the field
• Management of student learning

Tables 4.2.3 and 4.2.4 depict the potential of use of different technologies to foster
different learning and teaching objectives.

Table 4.2.3 Learning Objectives vs. Technologies

Learning Objective Technology


Text Audio Video Computer Internet
Storage or display x x x x x
Exploration x x x x x
Application x x x
Analysis x x
Evaluation x x x
Constructing or design of x x x x x
project

Table 4.2.4 Teaching Objectives vs. Technologies

Teaching Objective Technology


Text Audio Video Computer Internet
Presentation x x x x x
Demonstration x x x x x
Drill & practice x (e.g., x x
language lab)
Animation and simulation x x
Research x x x x x
Collaboration/communication Networked x
Management of student x x x
learning
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 15 of 63

Considering the variety and levels of learning objectives and teaching goals, the
question for each objective becomes: What is the most appropriate technology, and
what is the best way to apply it to get the best results in achieving the particular goal? If
technology is to be used for presentation and demonstration only, investment in
computers and connectivity may not be justifiable. On the other hand, the potential for
interactive and collaborative learning can best be achieved by networked computers and
connectivity to the World Wide Web.

Since there is no one-to-one correspondence between instructional objectives and


technologies and their application, the next question becomes: What is the value added
for using one technology compared to a simpler and cheaper one? For instance, why use
a video instead of a photo, a digital text instead of a textbook, or a simulation instead
of an animation?

4.3 ICTs and Learning Location

Technologies may be used to support learning and teaching on location or at a distance.


In most cases though, technology-enhanced materials used on location can be used at a
distance as well, using the appropriate dissemination technology. This makes it possible
to invest in materials that may be used on location and at a distance, thus widening the
circle of users and lowering the unit costs (see Table 4.3.1).

Table 4.3.1 Technologies on Location and at a Distance

Technologies on Location Technologies at a Distance


Printed matter Correspondence
Slides, transparencies
Scanners
Digital notepads and white boards
Audiotapes Radio
Films and videos TV broadcasts
Digital books Web pages
CDs Web: Internet, intranet
Computer projection Webcast

It is also important to distinguish between instructional technologies and dissemination


technologies. Instructional technologies (print, audio, video, digital) foster learning and
teaching in any location. Dissemination technologies foster the distribution of
instructional technologies via media such as print, correspondence, radio, broadcast
television, CDs, and the Internet.

4.4 ICTs and the School

ICTs do not substitute for the school or diminish its role. On the contrary, ICT tools can
improve performance of conventional schools by improving teaching, learning, and
management. More important, ICTs can broaden the concept of the school beyond the
traditional confines of space and time, by evolving its components into the
corresponding components of an enhanced model (see Table 4.4.1).
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 16 of 63

Table 4.4.1 Evolution of an Enhanced School Model

From To
A school building A knowledge infrastructure (schools, labs,
radio, television, Internet, museums…)
Classrooms Individual learners
A teacher (as provider of knowledge) A teacher (as tutor and facilitator)
A set of textbooks and some audiovisual aids Multimedia materials (print, audio, video,
digital...)

Education will not be a location anymore, but an activity: a teaching/learning activity.


This is the ultimate raison d’être of ICTs for education. The foundation of this
“educational system” is a knowledge infrastructure that includes the traditional school,
broadcast television, digital radio, virtual courses, Internet chat rooms, Web portals,
telecenters, and other information and communication technologies that have not yet
been conceived. In this learning structure, students will learn through a variety of ways:
face-to-face, in groups, or in a synchronous or asynchronous online course. They will
pursue expeditions with scientists on the Web, follow space flights, perform simulated
experiments, take virtual archeological and geographic tours, do research in digital
libraries, and perform collaborative projects with students in other schools in their
country and all over the world.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 17 of 63

5 The Potential of ICTs: Enhancement of Educational Objectives

5.1 Expanding Educational Opportunities

5.1.1 The Objective


Decision makers and beneficiaries alike now recognize that education is crucial for
economic development, human welfare, societal advancement, and environmental
protection. Looking into the future, the demand for education is going to escalate.

Countries have entered the 21st century with a basic education deficiency gap—in terms
of children out of school and illiterate youths and adults. Equally pressing is the demand
for higher levels of education, triggered by more completers of first-level education,
higher ambitions of parents and students, and more sophisticated requirements of the
marketplace. As developing countries are forced to contend with more developed
countries in a competitive knowledge-based global economy, they find themselves
behind in providing educational opportunities beyond the basic levels. Moreover, the
fast changes in knowledge and skills require further education, upgrading, and
reorientation of a significant segment of the population. If only 10% of the adult
population needs such educational services, we are talking about a significant segment
of the population.

The biggest challenge is to reach individuals and groups that are historically
underserved:

• girls and women, who face cultural and physical obstacles to educational
institutions;
• rural populations that are too thinly dispersed to populate “regular” schools with
reasonable class sizes;
• adult workers who have no time to attend regular courses; and
• persons who cannot come to learning centers because of security hazards.

Here we need to be innovative and think radically. In some situations, we may need to
go “over” the hurdles and provide education where these potential learners are—
anywhere and everywhere.

5.1.2 The Potential


It is unrealistic to assume that conventional delivery mechanisms will provide
educational opportunities for all in affordable and sustainable ways. ICTs have the
potential to contribute to the realization of this objective. They can overcome
geographic, social, and infrastructure barriers to reach populations that cannot be
normally served by conventional delivery systems. Additionally, they provide feasible,
efficient, and quick educational opportunities.

The potential of ICTs to reach large audiences was tapped initially in the late 1800s,
when correspondence courses became an alternative means to educate individuals who
could not attend regular schools due to geographical, social, or cultural barriers.
Experiments with radio broadcast started in the early 1900s, and, in 1924, the British
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 18 of 63

Broadcast Corporation (BBC) began to air educational programs. Since then, radio has
been instrumental in reaching scattered and rural populations.

Although experiments with televised broadcast began in the 1930s, it took another 20
years for television to become popular. Two of the most prominent examples are
Telecurso in Brazil and Telesecundaria in Mexico (see section 5.1.3.2).

Computer-related technologies, which began to make inroads 30 years ago, are


changing the concept of time and space rapidly. There are now virtual high schools,
virtual universities, and virtual programs provided by campus-based universities. About
60% of U.S. universities provide virtual education programs. In addition, open
universities expand opportunities to populations that traditionally have been excluded
from education due to geographic, cultural, and social barriers: minorities, girls, rural
populations and the elderly.

5.1.3 Specific Solutions

5.1.3.1 Radio
In the age of computers and the Internet, we tend to forget about simpler and less
expensive technologies. Radio, almost universally available, has the potential to expand
access to education. All countries have radio stations, and almost all households in
developing countries have at least one radio. Radio is an inexpensive, reliable
technology; it is easy to use and maintain, and it can be used where there is no
electricity infrastructure.

Radio can offer many educational advantages:

• Stations may broadcast programs prepared by specialists in instructional design and


production.
• Well-designed educational packages may use sound effects, drama, and other audio-
enhancement mechanisms.
• Programs may be aired more than once without additional development costs.
• Radio breaks the isolation of schools by offering educational news, directives,
pedagogical guidelines, etc.

Radio does have some drawbacks, however:

• Radio programs are restricted to the audio dimension of knowledge.


• Radio programs follow a prearranged schedule, to which learners have to adjust.
• There is no interactivity with broadcast programs. Since there is no explicit response
from students, it is difficult to know how effective the program is. There are,
however, mechanisms to deal with this issue, such as Interactive Radio Instruction
(see Section 5.1.3.1.2 below).

5.1.3.1.1 Broadcast Radio


Broadcast programs usually entail an audio lecture or lesson, with printed materials for
the students to follow. In this way, a “general” teacher or an underqualified subject-
matter teacher can use the radio program as a main instructional source with his or her
students. Broadcast programs follow the traditional model of education and can cover
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 19 of 63

every subject in many different languages, depending on the target audience. They also
can be geared toward adults for lifelong learning.

Advantages of broadcast radio

• Programs prepared by specialists


• May use sound and other effects
• Programs aired again with no additional development cost
• Breaks the isolation of schools

Disadvantages of broadcast radio

• Restricted to audio dimension


• Pre-arranged schedule
• No interactivity

For specific cases, see Resource 2.1.1 Broadcast Radio Cases

5.1.3.1.2 Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) 2


Interactive radio instruction (IRI), developed in the early 1970s, turns a typically one-way
technology into a tool for active learning inside and outside the classroom. It requires
that the learners stop and react to questions and exercises through verbal response to
radio characters, group work, and physical and intellectual activities while the program is on
the air. For both teacher and student, the lesson becomes an immediate hands-on,
experiential guide. Short pauses are provided throughout the lessons after questions
and during exercises to ensure that students have the time to think and respond
adequately. Interaction is also encouraged within the learning environment among the
teacher and learners as they work together to conduct short experiments, do activities,
and reach objectives using local resources and imaginative situations and stories.

IRI episodes guide learners through the learning process by means of a progression of
activities related to measurable learning objectives. Educational content is organized
and distributed across lessons so that learning builds on previous knowledge and new
learners can construct an understanding of the subject being taught more easily.
Activities and objectives are first modeled by radio characters so that the teacher and
learners have an idea of the process they are undertaking and the skills and support that
may be required. All of these elements are knit together through storylines, music,
characterization, and other attributes available through the audio medium.

Advantages and disadvantages:


IRI has the same advantages and disadvantages as broadcast radio with two exceptions.
Unlike broadcast radio, IRI allows for limited interaction between the scripted program
and the learner and teacher. Also radio can be combined with other technologies, if
available, to provide synchronous opportunities for interaction with tutors and students
through e-mail and chat rooms
For specific cases, see Resource 2.1.2 Interactive Radio Instruction.

2
Excerpted from: Andrea Bosch. March/April 2001. “Interactive Radio Instruction for Mathematics:
Applications and Adaptations from Around the World.” TechKnowLogia. Available at
www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 20 of 63

5.1.3.2 Television
Television, like radio, is widely available in households. There is also an abundance of
national, regional, and satellite TV stations on which to piggyback. TV educational
programming enjoys the same benefits of radio programming with the additional
benefit of video. TV programs can bring abstract concepts to life through clips,
animations and simulations, visual effects, and dramatization. They can also bring the
world into the classroom. However, TV broadcast shares with radio programs rigid
scheduling and lack of interactivity.

Experience has shown that TV can be successful in expanding educational opportunities


through:
• Targeting young adults who left primary or secondary schools before graduation,
allowing them to follow the curricula by watching television.
(See Telecurso in Brazil in Resource 2.1.3 - Television)
• Facilitating effective installation and implementation of lower secondary schools
in sparsely settled rural areas, whereby a complete curriculum can be covered
cost effectively because:
o most of the teaching is done through TV programs, and
o one teacher covers all of the subjects rather than having specialized teachers
for each one. (See Telesecundaria in Mexico in Resource 2.1.3 - Television)

5.1.3.3 Virtual High Schools


Virtual learning multimedia packages are excellent instructional aides to engage
students in the learning process. They use the best specialists and experts who develop
and make them available to learners anywhere, anytime; they provide opportunities for
independent pursuit of knowledge on demand; they can connect learners with other
learners to exchange information and perform collaborative programs; and they may be
the most cost effective (and in some cases the only) means of bringing the whole world
into the realm of the learner.

Potential and Characteristics


Virtual education covers a variety of approaches:

• Full self-study program provided via the Internet and may be supplemented by
printed materials
• Full self-study program supplemented by interaction with a tutor and other
students through e-mail and chat rooms.
• Structured program of Internet-based materials and tutors, plus physical study
centers where students can meet with tutors and other students and use library
facilities

A virtual school can serve many clienteles:

• Students who are unable to attend regular schools for a wide range of reasons,
including travel, medical conditions, or careers
• Students who have been suspended from their regular schools for long periods
because of serious violation of the rules
• Students who need remedial work during summer vacations as a condition for
promotion to the next grade level
• High achievers and gifted students by offering them enriched courses and advanced
self-study programs
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 21 of 63

Because of their nature and cost, virtual schools need a large clientele to achieve
reasonable unit per student costs. In such case, a collective effort by many countries to
establish and support virtual institutions has many advantages:

• The developmental upfront component of virtual education is high. Distributing the


initial cost across countries achieves linear economies of scale. Moreover, serving all
of the countries increases the size of the clientele and thus lowers the unit per
student cost.
• The development of multimedia materials—the backbone of virtual programs—
requires highly specialized expertise, equipment, and software. Working together,
countries will need only one team of experts, spread among them, and will not
duplicate the required physical facilities.
• Students served by a regional virtual institution will interact and collaborate across
country boarders, thus strengthening their regional ties.

General characteristics of virtual schools


Virtual schools generally provide all the services that a conventional school provides
except physical facilities. Students enroll in courses, have teachers, do homework, and
interact with other students and teachers. Teachers manage the learning process
through a learning management system, address questions, give feedback, evaluate
homework, tutor, confer with parents, etc.

There are presently hundreds of virtual schools, predominantly in the U.S., but also in
Canada, Australia, and the UK. They are run by states, colleges and universities, and
profit and nonprofit entities. It is important to distinguish between Websites that
provide individual courses and entities that offer a complete online program through
which a student can obtain a diploma.

Existing virtual schools vary in terms of scheduling and interaction.

• Some schools offer scheduled synchronous courses at particular times. These


schools use new technologies to provide real-time interaction between teacher and
students.
• Most virtual schools offer unscheduled asynchronous courses that are available on
the Web. In these classes, exchanges between students and teacher and among
students take place through e-mail, in a chat room, or on a dedicated listserv.

Issues with virtual schools


Virtual schools have great potential, but basic issues must be faced and dealt with
during planning and implementation.

• Online courses require high expertise to develop. To exploit the potential of ICTs
fully, online courses must combine good instructional design, multimedia tools, and
interactive techniques. They must be developed by highly trained and specialized
teams to achieve economies of scale and expertise.
• Online instruction requires special skills. Teachers who are effective in face-to-face
teaching are not automatically capable of facilitating an online course. They need to
be trained in the specialized area of online teaching, which includes understanding
the technology that supports the course and the various tools that can to enhance it,
such as video, audio, use of online chats and discussion spaces, groupware for
common work on documents, etc.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 22 of 63

• Online learning requires self-discipline. Without the physical environment of the


classroom, students should be intrinsically motivated and able to exercise self-
discipline and time management. Many may have difficulty functioning without face-
to-face peer interaction and teacher feedback.
• Virtual schools require management and support systems. Virtual schools have
management needs similar to those of conventional schools, with the exception of
management of physical facilities. But they require additional management and
support systems to develop and run the online environment. Above all, they need to
maintain and support the technical infrastructure needed for instruction,
interactivity, and management of the learning portfolios.
• Virtual schools cost money. Although virtual schools may be less costly than
campus-based ones, they still require money to create a virtual platform, develop
and test courses, train teachers and pay their salaries, manage and maintain the
system, and continue updating the content, the human resources, and technology.

For examples of virtual schools, see Resource 2.1.4.

5.1.3.4 Virtual Universities


A virtual university provides a significant supplement to the existing campus institutions
by broadening learning opportunities, offering more flexible options, and serving a
clientele whose needs are difficult or impossible to meet through on-site learning.
Virtual universities are not a substitute for on-site, campus-based institutions. On-site
institutions that are vibrant with research, exploration, and intellectual discourse are
irreplaceable. The personal contact with peers and teachers in a good on-site institution
is incomparable in its richness. Libraries also still serve as an unmatched resource for
investigation and learning. Virtual learning, on the other hand, provides opportunities
for those who cannot attend courses on campus because of cost and time constraints.
Virtual learning increasingly provides rapid and personal interaction; can offer more
reliable learning materials than inferior institutions; is generally far lower in terms of
cost to the student; and often offers more for lower capital and recurrent costs.

There are at least three institutional models to explore:

• dual-mode, which offers both classroom instruction and virtual education programs;
• single-mode, which is a wholly dedicated virtual learning institution; and
• international partnership mode, under which an external provider of virtual
education programs enters into partnership with local tertiary institutions to offer
these programs jointly. This model offers many advantages to the local partner
institution, among them it starts with a set of already developed courses and with
the experience and expertise of the external partner.

Virtual universities face similar issues that virtual high schools face, and these must be
taken into consideration during planning and implementation.

For some examples that demonstrate distinctive characteristics of different models of


virtual universities, see Resource 2.1.5.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 23 of 63

5.2 Increasing Efficiency

5.2.1 The Objective 3


The internal efficiency of an educational system is measured by its ability to deliver
quality education in cost-effective ways. The traditional model for providing primary
through tertiary education, adopted across the world, relies on three basic principles.

• Learners must congregate in a building where the teaching/learning process takes


place.
• There must be a predetermined path, divided into grades, that leads to a diploma,
and students must follow this path.
• There must be a hierarchical structure where the instructor is the provider of
knowledge and the students are the recipients.

The traditional school is, therefore, a physical entity organized into classrooms where
learners congregate according to a grade structure and that is constrained by the limits
of space and time. If a school serves students from grades 1 through 12, it must have at
least 12 classrooms to accommodate each grade separately. Each classroom must have
at least one teacher. A certain number of teachers requires a principal and, often,
administrative and teaching support. If the number of students or grades increases, so
must the number of classrooms, teachers, and support personnel. Generally, beginning
in the seventh grade, another dimension is added to the classroom/grade framework:
specialization. From then on, the number of teachers is related to the number of both
classrooms and specialties offered. Each school must have at least one mathematics
teacher, a science teacher, a social studies teacher, and so on. As the educational level
advances, classroom organizations rely more on specialization than grade levels, but the
framework is maintained.

To be cost-effective within this structure, the learning place must have a critical number
of students to justify school construction and maintenance, particularly personnel costs. In
areas of low population density, building and maintaining schools to serve the
traditional paradigm is economically prohibitive. The requirement of one specialist per
specialty makes secondary schools an even more expensive venture. Some countries
sidestep this objective by leaving the solution to individual families, with catastrophic
results. If the families choose to move to urban areas and ensure their children’s
education, they jeopardize their country’s fragile economic balance and further deplete
the economy of their native regions. If they decide to remain, they jeopardize the
children’s future.

Areas of high population density but weak economy are not free of objectives. In this
case, the traditional model encourages administrators to accommodate as many
students as possible in one classroom to control personnel costs, which leads to
overcrowded and unsafe environments that are unfit for learning.

3
This section and the next contain excerpts from: W. Haddad and S. Jurich. 2002. “ ICT for
Education: Potential and Potency.” In Wadi D. Haddad & Alexandra Draxler (Eds.), Technologies for
Education: Potential, Parameters, and Prospects. Paris: UNESCO, and Washington, DC: Academy
for Educational Development.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 24 of 63

In addition, to achieve efficiency, conventional educational systems offer limited


flexibility. For bright students, these systems offer little motivation. Eventually, a few
extraordinary students are able to skip a grade, but rushing through the system is not
encouraged, and early graduates may find obstacles when they attempt to gain access
to the next level.

For low-income students, the schools offer even less; the wealthier schools lure the best
teachers, leaving the least prepared for schools in poor and remote areas. When the
need to work interferes with school requirements, the student sees no reason to stay in
school. As a result, these systems perpetuate social inequalities, lose many excellent
students to boredom, increase the costs of education through high dropout rates and
grade retention, and pass on to employers or other systems the costs of training their
graduates.

5.2.2 The Potential


The capacity of ICTs to reach students in any place and at any time has the potential to
promote revolutionary changes in the traditional educational model.

• First, ICTs eliminate the premise that learning time equals classroom time. To
avoid overcrowded classrooms, a school may adopt a dual-shift system without
reducing its students’ actual study time. Students may attend school for half a
day and spend the other half involved in educational activities at home, in a
library, at work, or in another unconventional setting. They may be required to
watch an educational radio/television program and complete related activities, or
work on an online lesson at the school technology lab or in a community
learning center.
• Second, ICTs can make multigrade schools, in areas with low population
density, viable institutions rather than a necessary evil. While the teacher attends
to certain students who need individual attention, other students may listen to
an educational program on the radio, watch a television broadcast, or interact
with multimedia computer software.
• Third, ICTs can provide courses that small rural or urban schools cannot offer
to their students because it is difficult for them to recruit and retain specialized
teachers, particularly to teach mathematics, science, and foreign languages.
Schools that do not need a full-time physics or English teacher can use radio, TV,
or online instruction, utilizing already developed multimedia materials and
sharing one “teacher” among several schools. Alternatively, retired or part-time
teachers who live hundreds of miles away can be used to teach the online
courses.

ICTs have the potential to bring the products of the best teachers to classrooms
anywhere in the world. For self-motivated, disciplined students, ICTs can speed the path
toward a degree and expand their learning options through self-study. Students can
“shop” courses on the Internet and choose their own program of study and schedules.
Students in virtual schools can take extra online courses to graduate earlier or fulfill
specific interests and curiosity. For those who need to balance studies with work and
family obligations—full- or part-time workers, parents of small children, homebound
individuals—this flexibility may be most cost effective for them.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 25 of 63

5.2.3 Specific Solutions


The same solutions discussed at length for the expansion of educational opportunities
apply here. Broadcast radio, interactive radio instruction, educational TV, and virtual
online courses provide the necessary supplements for dual-shift and multigrade schools,
remedial offerings, accelerated programs, and flexible scheduling.

5.3 Enhancing Quality of Learning

5.3.1 The Objective


“Whether or not expanded educational opportunities will translate into meaningful
development—for an individual or for society—depends ultimately on whether people
actually learn as a result of those opportunities, i.e., whether they incorporate useful
knowledge, reasoning ability, skills, and values.” (Jomtien Declaration, article 4). This
statement clearly has implications for how success is measured. High enrollments and
efficient student flow, while necessary, do not indicate by themselves whether a country
is achieving an acceptable level of education. Actual learning achievement is the real
measure.

But what is learning? Studies in cognitive psychology and brain science are challenging
the traditional model of learning as a matter of transmission and mastery of facts and
concepts. They have identified several principles for effective learning: 4

• Learning engages the entire physiology, and some aspects of how the brain is
wired are affected by experience.
• Learning is influenced and organized by emotions and mindsets based on
expectancy, personal biases and prejudices, degree of self-esteem, and the need for
social interaction.
• Memory is organized both spatially (allowing for “instant” memory of experiences
that build on one another) and through a set of systems for rote learning.
• Humans need to make sense of the environment, and they understand and
remember best when facts and skills are embedded in natural, spatial memory or in
ordinary experiences. Further, the search for meaning takes place by “patterning,” or
attempts to organize and categorize information meaningfully.
• The brain downshifts under perceived threats and learns optimally when
appropriately challenged.
• Concepts are learned best when they arise in a variety of contexts, when they
are represented in a variety of ways, and when students have a chance to use the
concepts on authentic tasks.
• Learning to do well involves practice in doing. Students cannot learn to think
critically, analyze information, communicate scientific ideas, make logical
arguments, work as part of a team, and acquire other desirable skills unless they are
permitted and encouraged to do those things over and over in many contexts.

The implication of these understandings is that learning is an active process in which


people construct their understandings, concepts, and ideas of the world around them

4
Caine, G., Caine, R.N., & Crowell, S. (1994). Mindshifts: A Brain-Based Process for Restructuring
Schools and Renewing Education. Tucson: Zephyr Press.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 26 of 63

through active and personal exploration, experimentation, and discussion. To enhance


such learning, the instructional environment should enjoy the following characteristics:

• Hands-on: Students are actually allowed to perform science, math, history, etc.
(directly and vicariously), as they construct meaning and acquire understanding.
Such activity takes these subjects out of the realm of the magical or extraordinary.
• Minds-on: Activities focus on core concepts, allowing students to develop higher-
order thinking processes and skills, and encouraging them to question and seek
answers that enhance their knowledge and thereby acquire an understanding of the
world in which they live.
• Reality-on: Students are presented with problem-solving activities that incorporate
authentic, real-life questions and issues in a format that encourages drawing on
multidisciplinary knowledge, collaborative effort, dialogue with informed expert
sources, and generalization to broader ideas and application. The objective is to
promote students’ insight into the real scientific, technological, business, social,
cultural, and everyday world, along with the skills needed to live and work
effectively.

A shift in objectives. The globalization of the economy and its concomitant demands
on the workforce requires a shift in objectives: an education that enhances the ability of
learners to access, assess, adopt, and apply knowledge; think independently; exercise
appropriate judgment; and collaborate with others to make sense of new situations. The
objective of education is no longer simply to convey a body of knowledge, but to teach
how to learn, problem solve, and synthesize the old with the new. It is worth noting,
also, that the emerging economy will no longer be centrally created and controlled by
national governments. This environment, which will be dominated by private sector and
not government jobs, will place a premium on creativity, initiative, and
entrepreneurship. In addition, society is looking to the school of the future to produce
good citizens. To meet these objectives, education must be engaging and authentic:
engaging in the sense that students are involved in the learning process, and not viewed
simply as “receptacles” for knowledge, and authentic in the sense that what they are
learning has meaning to them as individuals, members of society, and workers in the
marketplace.

The hard reality. This focus on a broader concept of learning is constrained by the
limitations of the educational environment in most schools.

• The world that the student has to understand is multidimensional and dynamic,
including sound and motion. Yet the learning environment is usually restricted to
lectures, cluttered chalkboard presentations, static texts, and rote learning.
• Some subjects, notably science and languages, cannot be taught without interaction
with and manipulation of their elements through sound, animation, and simulation—
activities that are rarely provided for.
• In many schools, teachers are not well qualified to translate the curriculum into
teaching/learning activities or to be the chief mediators between knowledge and
learners. Their initial training, often all the training they receive, generally does not
include preparation of teaching materials or use of contemporary technologies for
teaching. Most teachers are reluctant to invest substantial amounts of their own time
and resources in bringing their knowledge and competencies up to date in these
areas, and few school systems provide time or incentives for this to take place.
• Students in any one class are at different levels—intellectually and academically—
and they learn at varied speeds and paths. Research has shown that the most
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 27 of 63

effective way to allow for these individual differences is to have tailored instruction—
tutoring individuals one-on-one. In conventional setups, tutoring is neither feasible
nor affordable. Alternatively, teachers tend to focus on the average students in a
class and leave the slower and faster students to take care of themselves.

5.3.2 The Potential


Integrating ICTs into the teaching/learning process has great potential to enhance the
tools and environment for learning. Research and experience have shown that ICTs, well
used in classrooms, enhance the learning process in the following ways:

• They motivate and engage students in the learning process. Famed astronomer Carl
Sagan used to say that all children start out as scientists, full of curiosity and
questions about the world, but schools eventually destroy their curiosity. Research
shows that students are motivated only when the learning activities are authentic,
challenging, multidisciplinary, and multisensorial. Videos, television, and computer
multimedia software can be excellent instructional aids to engage students in the
learning process. In addition, sound, color, and movements stimulate the students’
sensorial apparatus and bring a sense of enjoyment to the learning process.
• They bring abstract concepts to life. Teachers have a hard time teaching and
students have a hard time learning abstract concepts, particularly when they
contradict immediate intuition and common knowledge. Images, sounds,
movements, animations, and simulations may demonstrate an abstract concept in a
real manner.
• They foster inquiry and exploration. The inquiry process is a source of affective and
intellectual enjoyment. This sense of adventure is taken away in a traditional
classroom, where questions and answers are established a priori and are unrelated
to students’ interests, and where research is reduced to a word in the textbook. The
problem for many educators is that inquiry and exploration require resources that
are unavailable in traditional classrooms, such as large databases and well-equipped
laboratories. ICTs have the potential to let students explore the world in cost-
effective and safe ways. Videos and computer animations can bring movement to
static textbook lessons. Using these tools, students can initiate their own inquiry
process, then develop hypotheses and test them. In a virtual reality setting, students
can manipulate parameters, contexts, and environments and try different scenarios.
• They provide opportunities for students to practice basic skills on their own time
and at their own pace.
• They allow students to use the information acquired to solve problems, formulate
new ones, and explain the world around them. For instance, computer applications
have the potential to store massive amounts of data, plot curves, conduct statistical
tests, simulate real-life experiments, build mathematical models, and produce
reports—all with speed and accuracy.
• They provide access to worldwide information resources.
• They offer the most cost-effective (and in some cases the only) means for bringing
the world into the classroom.
• They supply (via the Internet) teachers and students with a platform through which
they can communicate with colleagues from distant places, exchange work, develop
research, and function as if there were no geographical boundaries.

Research has shown that the difference in learning between tailored instruction
(tutoring) and conventional classroom instruction is very large. Perhaps the greatest
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 28 of 63

potential of ICTs is their ability to make such individualized learning feasible and
affordable. More specifically, research and experience have shown that:

• Technology-based instruction increases learning achievement by no less than one-


third.
• The level of interactivity found in technology-based instruction is comparable to one-
on-one tutorial instruction.
• ICT-enhanced programs allow materials to be presented in multiple media for
multichannel learning, so that students can learn according to their individual
speeds and paths.
• Overall, ICT-based instruction reduces the time it takes students to reach a variety of
learning objectives by an average of 30%.
• Savings in learning time reduce educational expenditures without the need to lower
student/instructor ratio.

For more information on the effect of technology-based tutoring on learning, see


Resource 2.2.1 - Value of Tailored Instruction.

5.3.3 Specific Solutions

5.3.3.1 Radio and Television Programs


Interactive radio instruction (IRI), broadcast television, and stand-alone audio and video
programs have the potential to enhance the quality of learning by enriching the learning
environment with sound, color, and motion and by injecting instances of the real world
into the classroom. They also bring variety that offers motivation and opportunities for
multichannel learning.

For examples of use of radio, TV and videos, see Resource 2.2.2.

5.3.3.2 Electronic Multimedia Learning Modules


Multimedia modules combine conceptions of effective learning with appropriate ICTs:
computer technologies (including text, graphics, digitized audio and video, and
interactive multimedia) and online technologies. They are multimedia (e.g., paper, video,
software, World Wide Web, etc.) units on focused topics where the unique advantages of
electronic technologies (including the ability to model, simulate, quantitatively analyze,
and so forth) may be leveraged. Some modules may provide linear video (on videotape,
CD-ROM, DVD, or, possibly, via the Web) to introduce the module (e.g., offering real-life
examples of a concept at work), to provide conceptual or operational instruction, or to
emphasize the outcomes from an experiment or application of a concept. Because the
modules must fit into existing instructional flows, each one should be designed carefully
to focus on a particular skill or knowledge.

To be effective, learning modules should be developed and used under a comprehensive


set of parameters:

• They have to be well connected to the curriculum and must supplement the
textbooks.
• They should be developed by specialized teams that include teachers, instructional
designers, software specialists, and graphic designers.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 29 of 63

• They should be tested for implementability and effectiveness before distribution to


schools.
• Teachers should be well trained in the use of modules as an integral part of the
teaching/learning process.
• They can be distributed over the Internet, but should also be available on CDs and
proxy server where the Internet is not available or is very slow or costly.

A representative case of this approach is the International Virtual Education Network


(IVEN) for the Enhancement of Science and Mathematics Learning, a pilot collaborative,
cross-country project in Latin America. For more information, see Resource 2.2.3 The
Case of IVEN.

5.3.3.3 Virtual Labs


All school systems want to provide labs because science is empirical. Few schools have
them, however, fewer have them equipped, and fewer yet are willing to risk using them.
Technology allows for video and digital demonstrations as well as digital simulations of
lab activities in a very real manner, but without the risks and costs associated with lab
experiments. Simulations of science lab experiments can also use real data. Datalogging
is a type of software that enables the use of actual sensors and probes connected to the
computer. Rather than an individual having to feed the information to the computer
manually, the sensor directly uploads the measurement, thus reducing the margin of
error and reproducing circumstances that are closer to an actual experiment.

Computer simulations are particularly helpful for learning science in the following situations:

• Experiments that are too risky, expensive, or time-consuming to be conducted in a school


laboratory, such as those involving volatile gases
• “Tidy” experiments that require precision so that students can see patterns and trends or ones
where students may not be able to achieve the necessary precision without simulation tools
• Experiments that break the laws of nature, such as exploring kinematics collisions that violate
conservation of momentum law
• When ethical issues are at stake, such as in the case of some biology experiments

Simulations should not replace hands-on activities totally. Rather, they should prepare
the learner to conduct real-life experiments—in the same manner that flight simulations
prepare the student-pilot for test flying.

For examples of science and math simulations, see Resource 2.2.4.

5.3.3.4 Connecting with the World 5


ICTs can take students on exciting journeys through time and space. Movies, videos,
audio technology, and computer animations bring sound and movement to static
textbook lessons and enliven children’s reading classes. They also enable social studies
and foreign language students to experience distant societies and bygone times
vicariously. The Internet offers virtual reality settings where students can manipulate
parameters, contexts, and scenarios.

5
Excerpted from: W. Haddad & S. Jurich. 2002. “ ICT for Education: Potential and Potency.” In Wadi
D. Haddad & Alexandra Draxler (Eds.), Technologies for Education: Potential, Parameters, and
Prospects. Paris: UNESCO, and Washington, DC: Academy for Educational Development.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 30 of 63

Videos and computer animations enable students to “witness” a volcano eruption to


learn about pressure, rock formation, or psychological and sociological responses to
crises. A simple radio or tape recorder can allow students in a foreign language class to
listen to native speech regardless of their teachers’ origin. Better yet, with interactive
technologies—such as two-way radios or videoconferencing—students can communicate
with native speakers without leaving their classrooms. Videos, DVDs, computer
software, and the Internet bring to schools anywhere in the world information that can
be obtained only through the use of powerful scientific instruments that no single
school can afford. For instance, at the Website of the Space Telescope Science Institute
(http://opposite.stsci.edu), students can observe planets and stars through the lens of
the Hubble space telescope, and at the Molecular Expressions Website
(http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu), they can examine tiny insects under fluorescence
microscopy or study details of DNA structure.

More than any other technology, the Internet opens new opportunities for collaborative
work. From group discussions to full collaborative research projects, the Internet has the
potential to connect classrooms to research centers and students to actual scientists.
For a description of some examples, see Resource 2.2.5.

5.3.3.5 Designing and Creating Things


Learners can use computers to design and create things—Web pages, music, simulated
environments and events, etc. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab and the
Boston Museum of Science have established a network of learning centers in economically disadvantaged
communities. At these centers, called Computer Clubhouses, young people use leading-edge software to
create their own artwork, animations, simulations, multimedia presentations, musical compositions,
Websites, and robotic constructions. For more details see Resource 2.2.6 MIT Clubhouses.

5.4 Enhancing Quality of Teaching

5.4.1 The Objective


Teaching is one of the most challenging and crucial professions in the world. Teachers
are critical in facilitating learning and in making it more efficient and effective; they hold
the key to the success of any educational reform; and they are accountable for
successful human development of the nation and for preparing the foundation for social
and economic development. Yet, they are usually ill-prepared and left on their own to
understand and address the needs of students, parents, administrators, society, the
economy, and the past, present, and future.

Modern developments may have eased some teaching burdens, but they certainly have
not made life easier for teachers:

• The objectives of education have become more complicated. It is no longer sufficient


to teach a certain body of knowledge and skills. Teachers are expected to help
students to acquire higher levels of cognitive skills—problem solving, creativity,
collaborative learning, synthesis, and, above all, the skill to learn new knowledge
and apply that knowledge to new situations.
• Our understanding of the nature of learning has evolved. For learning to take place,
learners have to be active, learning has to be meaningful and authentic, and the
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learning environment should be challenging but not stressful—all easier said than
done!
• Knowledge is expanding rapidly, and much of it is available to teachers and students
at the same time. This puts an unavoidable burden on teachers to continue updating
their knowledge and exposing themselves to modern channels of information.
• The social environment in many countries is making it more difficult for teachers to
manage classrooms and learning processes. Teachers’ authority is challenged and
their knowledge questioned continually. Students, in many instances, are becoming
less respectful and more belligerent, and in some extreme cases, teachers must
function in the face of physical threats and psychological duress.
• Information and communication technologies have brought new possibilities to the
education sector, but, at the same time, they have placed more demands on
teachers. They now have to learn how to cope with computers in their classrooms,
how to compete with students in accessing the enormous body of information—
particularly via the Internet, and how to use the hardware and software to enhance
the teaching/learning process.

Obviously, teachers cannot be prepared for these unfolding challenges once and for all.
One-shot training, no matter how effective and successful, will not suffice. A new
paradigm must emerge that replaces training with lifelong professional preparedness
and development of teachers, along the following continuum:

• Initial preparation/training that provides teachers with a solid foundation of


knowledge; proficiency in pedagogical, social, and organization skills; deep
understanding of the teaching/learning policies and materials they will deal with;
and broad familiarity with sources of educational materials and support. It is equally
crucial that candidates have a sophisticated grasp of continuous exploration,
assessment, and acquisition of new knowledge and competencies, according to
future demands.
• Structured opportunities for retraining, upgrading, and acquisition of new
knowledge and skills. Many professions require practitioners to renew certification
for practice. It is only logical for the critical profession of teaching to demand
recertification every two or three years based on evidence of professional upgrading,
and it is equally imperative for education authorities to ensure that opportunities
and facilities for such upgrading are available.
• Continuous support for teachers as they tackle their day-to-day responsibilities.

5.4.2 The Potential


Implementing the emerging paradigm with conventional measures and techniques faces,
in most countries, insurmountable financial, organizational, and institutional obstacles.
ICTs may make the difference and can contribute significantly to all three components
of the continuum:

• First, ICTs and properly developed multimedia materials can enhance teachers’ initial
preparation by providing good training materials, facilitating simulations, capturing
and analyzing practice teaching, bringing into the training institution world
experience, familiarizing trainees with sources of materials and support, and
training potential teachers in the use of technologies for teaching/learning.
• Second, ICTs open a whole world of lifelong upgrading and professional
development for teachers by providing courses at a distance, asynchronous learning,
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 32 of 63

and training on demand. ICTs’ advantages include ease of revision and introduction
of new courses in response to emerging demands.
• Finally, ICTs break the professional isolation from which many teachers suffer. With
ICTs, they can connect easily with headquarters, with colleagues and mentors, with
universities and centers of expertise, and with sources of teaching materials.

5.4.3 Specific Solutions


The above potential can be translated into a variety of ICT-enhanced interventions.
Among them are:

5.4.3.1 Multimedia Training and Support


See the cases of South Africa and Aula Mentor, Spain, in Resource 2.3.1.

5.4.3.2 Videos for Training


Videos can serve an important role in microteaching, demonstration of special
instructional techniques, on-demand training, and uncorrupted expert instruction—in
contrast with the cascade model (whereby training flows down through levels of less
experienced trainers until it reaches the target group; in the process, complex
information tends to be lost). See Resource 2.3.2.

5.4.3.3 Teacher Development Portal


Teacher development portals provide an integrated teacher development program using
the potential of ICTs. The portal can provide the resources, tools, and platform for all
three phases of the teacher development continuum: initial training at teacher training
colleges, in-service training opportunities, and continuous teacher support.

More specifically, a portal provides the following resources, tools, and collaborative
channels:

• Simulation and good practice. New technologies, both computer- and Web-based,
allow for simulation of specific skills through mini- and micro-lessons that can be
watched, manipulated, and tested. Also, demonstrations of real teachers in real
classroom settings, representing different subjects, approaches, and methodologies,
may be brought into the teacher education center without having to travel to
schools. More important, these good practices can be dissected, analyzed, watched
again, and assessed over time without disrupting an actual class.
• Multimedia modules. These are teaching/learning activities related to specific
pedagogical skills.
• Resource materials, including solutions to common teaching problems, innovations
in teaching specific concepts, lesson plans, and links to other portals developed by
centers of excellence and professional organizations. The portal site not only finds
and links to these other sites, it also provides a special directory or search engine to
help users find what they want and avoid the rest.
• Moderated and unmoderated chat room, bulletin boards, discussion forums, and
virtual conferences.
• Synchronous and asynchronous online seminars on specific topics, using Webcasting
and audio technology.
• Free e-mail and personalized Web space.
• Free educational software for downloading.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 33 of 63

• Policies and procedures can be posted on the portal for easy access by teachers and
administrators. This also allows revisions to be made inexpensively and distributed
immediately to all schools with Internet access. Furthermore, through the e-mail link,
teachers and administrators can provide feedback on the postings to policy makers.
• Resource teachers, assigned full-time or part-time, provide, through the portal,
advice to classroom teachers about problems and best practices. They can also
prepare and provide supplemental lesson plans to capitalize on learning
opportunities created by new developments. Furthermore, resource teachers can
help design lesson plans and curriculum when textbooks and other traditional
sources are unavailable. The resource teacher can be available by e-mail, portal chat
rooms, and bulletin boards. Chat rooms and bulletin boards allow easy archiving and
retrieval of earlier queries and answers, which can substantially reduce the number
of times the resource teachers have to respond to similar inquiries.

5.4.3.4 Internet Resources for Teachers 6


There are thousands of Websites for educators which provide assistance to teachers in a
wide range of needs, including lesson plans, instructional tools, student activities, and
professional development opportunities. Resource 2.3.3 contains a selective list of
Websites that are intended to provide assistance to a wide range of teachers in their day-
to-day classroom work. The sites have been selected to illustrate the variety of supports
that can be provided to teachers through the Web. Although most of the sites are in
English, they serve as models of the types of resources that can be prepared to serve
other language groups.

5.5 Facilitating Skill Formation

5.5.1 The Objective


There was a time when planning for vocational and technical training was a
straightforward exercise: manpower planners mapped out needs of the different sectors
of the economy with reasonable precision, classified corresponding jobs by level,
defined skill requirements for each job, and subsequently projected the manpower
needs. It was then fairly easy for educational planners to take this “dependable”
information and build technical and vocational education programs on it.

Life is not that easy anymore. Everything is changing faster than the life cycle of a
training program: sectoral needs, job definitions, skill requirements, and training
standards. Countries, firms and workers are all feeling the effects of the changing
patterns of trade and competition, technological innovation, and globalization of
information.

• First, producers of tradable goods and services now must operate in a global
marketplace. They are more interdependent, more susceptible to external economic
shocks, and more vulnerable to international changes in demand for types and
quality of products and services. The situation also makes it hard to predict the
skills that will be needed in the future.

6
Gregg Jackson & Nina de las Alas. November/December 2000. “WorthWhileWebs.”
TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechknowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 34 of 63

• Second, the production of manufacturing and high-valued services no longer filters


down “naturally” from high-income to middle- and low-income countries based on
labor costs alone. The location of manufacturing and high-value service depends on
the producer’s ability to control quality and manage flexible, information-based
systems.
• Third, the emerging economy will no longer be centrally created and controlled. As
countries become more open to international trade, production will reflect
international and not just national demand. This environment will place a premium
on entrepreneurship, or the ability of individuals and institutions to respond to
market changes through evolving their own businesses or creating new ones.

These facts change the rules of the game for economic success:

• Countries and firms can no longer rely on a low-wage edge; industry has to develop
and mature technologically and managerially and needs to place greater emphasis
on productivity, quality, and flexibility in production.
• Workers can no more be trained once for life. They need to acquire flexible training
to cope with the changing nature of their existing tasks and the requirements of new
tasks. Acquired skills have a short life, and many new skills are needed during an
individual’s lifetime.
• Learning new skills required by emerging jobs necessitates a solid scientific and
technological foundation as well as an array of higher-order cognitive and social
skills, such as problem solving, flexibility, agility, resourcefulness, collaboration and
teamwork, “how to learn,” and entrepreneurship.
• Everyday living is becoming more and more technologically sophisticated. Citizens
need technical skills to cope with home appliances, entertainment devices,
communication equipment, and marketplace processes. They need to continuously
update and upgrade these skills; otherwise, and in a very short time, they will find
themselves in a way “disabled” and outdated.

This situation calls for a high-quality and efficient training system to enhance the quality
and efficiency of product development, production, and maintenance. Ideally, this
system of skill training has the following characteristics:

• Train workers as quickly as possible and immediately place them in jobs that use
their skills.
• Have the technology and expertise to train in both traditional and newly emerging
skills.
• Immediately incorporate into training content changes in the economy and
marketplace.
Provide ordinary individuals with access to training opportunities to learn skills
necessary for them to lead active lives in modern society.

5.5.2 The Potential


Traditional training programs cannot address these new realities adequately; they are
costly in terms of travel and lost time on the job, disruptive, slow to be modified, and
incapable of responding to new needs and provisions in a timely fashion.

Historically, the technical and vocational training sector has been very innovative and
daring in the use of technology for instruction, training, and practice. In the face of the
emerging challenges facing countries, firms, producers, and consumers, the
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 35 of 63

advancements in ICTs offer real hope to meet these challenges in a timely, effective, and
sustainable manner. ICTs can be very powerful as an instructional and distributional tool
over the whole range of skill training: basic and advanced; synchronous and
asynchronous; individual and group; residential and at a distance; and virtual,
simulated, and hands-on.

ICTs have the potential to contribute to skill formation in the same way that they
enhance the quality of learning and teaching in general (sections 5.3 and 5.4 above).
Additionally, network technologies have the potential to deliver the most timely and
appropriate knowledge and skills to the right people, at the most suitable time, in the
most convenient place. E-training allows for personalized, just-in-time, up-to-date, and
user-centric educational activities.

E-training has been most popular (and successful) in the corporate world, probably due
to the culture of innovation and light bureaucracies, the feasibility of having limited and
clear educational objectives, and the existence of quantifiable trade-offs. Consumers
also use e-training for informal skill formation and for professional training and
upgrading in certain specializations; however, corporate and consumer e-training
modalities have opened new paths, raised new ideas, and generated new approaches.

5.5.3 Specific Solutions


Specific solutions described earlier to advance educational opportunities (section 5.1.3),
efficiency (section 5.2.3), quality of learning (section 5.3.3), and quality of teaching
(section 5.4.3) are also applicable for improving skill formation. Certain solutions,
however, have been particularly effective in this area:

5.5.3.1 Simulations
Simulation has long been used by trainers to facilitate skill formation. They offer a safe,
efficient, and economical “virtual reality” that replicates actual events and processes
under controlled conditions.

Perhaps the most notable example is the flight simulator, which offers a safe
environment to train pilots. This and other simulators allow training under virtual
hazardous and emergency scenarios and permit errors without expensive or devastating
consequences. Simulations have also been used in such areas as:

• Reproduction of the operation of numerically controlled machine tools (known as


CNC machines)
• Troubleshooting of electronic circuits
• Training for manual dexterity as in welding
• Use of computers to simulate electrical and electronic circuitry
• Use of software to emulate hardware

For more on simulations, see Resource 2.4.1.

5.5.3.2 Competency-Based Multimedia


Competency-based multimedia programs enhance the quality and efficiency of
classroom-based vocational and technical education. They provide an explicit link
between training and skill competencies and may lead to teaching methods that avoid
conventional lectures, as is the case at Francis Tuttle (see Resource 2.4.2 ), where all live
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 36 of 63

lectures have been eliminated. Videotaped lectures, written materials, and computers
are used instead.

5.5.3.3 Video and Interactive Media


Videos and interactive media are valuable for firms that want their employees to
upgrade their skills and for citizens who wish to learn new skills through “do-it-yourself”
or “how-to” mechanisms. Television and the Internet have created a new category of
programs, sometimes called “edutainment,” that combining education with
entertainment. These include programs on such skills as home design and building,
woodwork, and remodeling. For a sample of interactive media (videos and CDs) for skill
enhancement and training, see Resource 2.4.3.

Videos, CDs and DVDs have great potential for skill training in classrooms and at home.
They are now easy to produce with the introduction of digital camcorders which are
relatively cheap and user friendly.

5.5.3.4 Workplace Training


Training in the workplace has become a continuous need as firms find it necessary to
provide their staff with opportunities to upgrade their skills and acquire new ones to
adjust to new market demands. However, traditional face-to-face training is costly—
particularly in terms of trainees’ time and travel. Firms have introduced different levels
of e-training—providing synchronous and asynchronous opportunities through the
Internet, videoconferencing, videos, CDs, television, etc. For examples of e-training
applications in specific enterprises (Axa, Carrefour, Cisco, Lucent Technologies, and
corporate universities), see Resource 2.4.4.

5.6 Sustaining Lifelong Learning

5.6.1 The Objective


For many years, lifelong learning has been a permanent fixture in international
education pronouncements and national policies and strategies. How can anyone
disagree with the need for people to continue their learning to enjoy personal
fulfillment, economic advancement, and social development? As early as 1972, one of
the four basic assumptions that underpinned UNESCO’s classic report, Learning to Be,
was that:

Only an over-all, lifelong education can produce the kind of complete man the
need for whom is increasing with the continually more stringent constraints
tearing the individual asunder. We should no longer assiduously acquire
knowledge once and for all, but learn how to build up a continually evolving
body of knowledge all through life—“learn to be.”

In 1990, participants in the Jomtien World Conference on Education for All gave a
special focus to lifelong learning:

Every person—child, youth and adult—shall be able to benefit from educational


opportunities designed to meet their basic learning needs. These needs
comprise both essential learning tools (such as literacy, oral expression,
numeracy, and problem solving) and the basic learning content (such as
knowledge, skills, values and attitudes) required by human beings to be able to
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 37 of 63

survive, to develop their full capacities, to live and work in dignity, to participate
fully in development, to improve the quality of their lives, to make informed
decisions, and to continue learning.

Despite the radical pronouncements, investments, strategies, and measures to make


lifelong learning a reality, efforts have been static and marginal compared to those
made in expanding and improving schooling. Except for some targeted programs here
and there, lifelong adult learning has been assigned as the personal responsibility of the
individual—both organizationally and financially.

Section 3.5 pointed out that the modern demands on countries, societies, and
individuals further necessitate lifelong learning for all, anywhere and anytime. Some of
the reasons for such a need are:

• The fast–changing, technology-based economy requires from workers the flexibility


to adjust to new demands and the ability to learn new skills.
• The increasing sophistication of modern societies demands constant updating of the
knowledge and skills of their citizens.
• The escalating knowledge makes the “educated” obsolete unless they continuously
update their knowledge.
• As society evolves, we are unlikely to continue the present life-cycle pattern of prolonged education at
the beginning of life and an extended retirement period at the end.
• Lifelong learning provides opportunities for those who are unemployed to reenter the workforce.
• Given the importance of learning foundations, and of continued learning in knowledge-intensive
societies characterized by rapid change, those who miss out—either initially or later on—are
effectively excluded.

These needs give rise to a wide range of activities that come under the rubric of lifelong
learning—some formal, some workplace related, some informal, and some ad hoc and
spontaneous. This is a nightmare for the “rational” planners. It is for this very reason
that lifelong education cannot be considered another subsector of the educational
system, subject to the same dynamics and modalities. The weak record of formal adult
education attests to that.

The all-embracing nature of lifelong learning has many implications:

• Initial education is no longer a preparation for life and career but a preparation, in
terms of concepts, cognitive tools, attitudes, and values, for a lifelong learning
process.
• The learner and his or her needs are central, which puts the focus on the demand
side of educational opportunities.
• Learning cannot be constrained by time and place; it must take place in all settings
and at any time.
• Lifelong education cannot be restricted to predetermined delivery systems, no
matter how effective they are. Evolving needs and conditions should lead to new and
innovative delivery systems.

Clearly, adult learning involves a wide range of stakeholders and beneficiaries. Does that
mean that there is no role for public policy and input? Not so fast! The strong economic
and social rationale for lifelong learning justifies public involvement and support. Also,
leaving such learning to market forces alone creates obvious distortions that work
against the poor, the rural communities, the undereducated, and the poorly equipped.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 38 of 63

Public policies, strategies, and provisions must, therefore, redress these distortions and
seek to ensure that lifelong educational opportunities are available for all, and that
conditions are in place to encourage and enable everyone to participate.

Certainly, formal traditional systems cannot cope with this demand, even if they are well
financed, run, and maintained. It is not possible to bring learning opportunities to all of
the places where adult learners are. Likewise, it is not feasible to accommodate all
learners in adult education centers and offer them programs that meet their many
needs. The diversity of requirements and settings calls for a diversity of means.

5.6.2 The Potential


ICTs may provide their most valuable contribution in this domain. They are flexible,
unconstrained by time and place, can be used on demand, and provide just-in-time
education. They have the potential to offer synchronous as well as asynchronous
learning opportunities. But, above all, if well prepared, they can pack a wealth of
expertise and experience in efficient packages that can be modified and updated
constantly in response to feedback, new demands, and varied contexts. Possibilities fall
in a wide range of technologies, including videos, correspondence, Internet, and e-
learning superstructure.

This may be the first time in the history of the human race when lifelong learning is not
only desirable and urgent, but feasible as well. However, successful exploitation of
technology for lifelong learning for all depends on a number of factors:

• Adults need to have a minimum level of basic education, including literacy.


Technology should not blind us to the fact that there are still millions of adults who
cannot read or write, and, because of that, they cannot use educational programs
offered through information technologies, or even through classical correspondence.
• Schools should equip individuals with the necessary cognitive and technical skills to
pursue and manage their own continuous learning—how to search, assimilate,
define problems, apply knowledge to problem solving, etc.
• Technology literacy—the ability to use technology hardware and software—should
be part of basic education and a prerequisite for adults to make good use of ICTs
throughout their lives.

5.6.3 Specific Solutions

5.6.3.1 Expansion of Educational Opportunities and Skill Formation


Many of the specific solutions cited for expanding education opportunities (section 5.1)
and for skill formation (section 5.5.3.3) are equally relevant for providing and sustaining
lifelong learning. Two additional solutions are increasingly adopted:

5.6.3.2 Open Universities


In many countries, open universities provide opportunities for lifelong learning, not only
through degree programs but also through nondegree offerings to enhance knowledge
and skills for occupational, family, and personal purposes. (For specific examples see
Resource 2.5.1.)
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 39 of 63

5.6.3.3 Universities for the “Third Age”


The greatest social challenges of the 21st century will be the aging of human society.
By the year 2025, the number of persons age 60 and over (the “third age”) will increase
from today’s 590 million to 1.2 billion. In Japan, by 2020, more than 25% of the
population will be 60 or older. A few decades later, nearly every country in the world,
with the exception of sub-Saharan Africa (because of the AIDS epidemic), will have a
similar proportion of the population age 60 and over.

Lifelong learning for the “third age” will be an essential part of the new set of public
policies and programs for at least three reasons:

• Learning for individual health will help to reduce the human and financial burden of
chronic health problems.
• Lifelong learning will help the elderly to increasingly remain in the work force, as a
means of reducing poverty, increasing economic growth, and giving a stronger sense
of self value to the elderly themselves.
• Learning for self-enrichment and empowerment of the elderly will clearly lead to
better individual and social mental health. 7

Some countries have created special universities for the third age. The University of the
Third Age in China has been one of the most successful programs in promoting lifelong
learning (see Resource 2.5.2).

5.7 Improving Policy Planning and Management

5.7.1 The Objective 8


Compared with any other national activity, the education enterprise is huge and
intricate. It involves educational institutions all over the country, teachers and
administrators in large numbers, and students of every age, who can account for up to
30% of the population. For instance, the educational system of a middle-income country
of about 10 million people can easily encompass more than 11,000 educational
institutions, 140,000 teachers, and 3 million students. The budget of this enterprise
may reach 20% of the government budget and 3%–5% of the gross national product
(GNP). By any measure, this is an enormous enterprise to manage and maintain, and for
which to ensure quality of input, process, and output.

Recent reforms within the education enterprise have resulted in observable successes in
making educational opportunities more accessible and equitable and the
teaching/learning process more effective. Yet, these successes are making an already
unwieldy system even more complicated:

• Expanding educational opportunities means more schools in isolated rural areas and
more diversified modes of delivery.
• Aiming for education for all means including students from underserved populations
who require special measures to reach and have special needs that must be met.

7
Laurence Wolff. September/October 2000. “Lifelong Learning For the Third Age.” TechKnowLogia.
Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
8
This section and the next are excerpted from: Wadi D. Haddad. January/February 2001. “The
Education Enterprise: Is It Manageable?” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechknowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 40 of 63

• The accent on learning requires setting reliable and measurable standards and
attending to individual differences.
• Decentralization and devolution of decisions to district and local levels require better
information systems and management procedures.
• Involvement of more stakeholders in the education process (parents, employers,
unions, political parties, etc.) is resulting in more transparency and accountability.
These developments demand a consistent flow of information and force the
education enterprise to be managed better and more efficiently.

Any business that is even a fraction of the size and complexity of a country’s
educational enterprise and uses the management techniques of most educational
systems will go out of business in no time. Big businesses have discovered how
important management is to keep their companies well run, efficient, and competitive.
In so doing, they have used the potential of technology to restructure their procedures
and overhaul their production, distribution, training, feedback, maintenance, and
administration processes. However, education systems have been slow in exploiting the
power of technology.

5.7.2 The Potential


Many educational institutions and systems have introduced simple management and
statistical information systems. But this should be only the beginning. Two interrelated
measures are needed:

• First, education systems need to undergo structural reengineering of their


processes and techniques and to modernize their procedures and applications—
at different levels of decision making and administration.
• Second, communication and information technologies must be an integral part of
the restructuring design and application.

More specifically, technology for management may enhance reform in two areas:

Management of institutions and systems. The same elements of computing and


telecommunications equipment and services that made businesses more efficient and
cost effective can be applied to schools and school systems to enable principals and
superintendents to streamline operations, monitor performance, and improve use of
physical and human resources. Technology also promotes communication among
schools, parents, central decision makers, and businesses that fosters greater
accountability, public support, and connectivity with the marketplace. At the
school/institution level, technologies are crucial in such areas as admissions, student
flow, personnel, staff development, and facilities. At the system-wide level, technologies
provide critical support in domains such as school mapping, automated personnel and
payroll systems, management information systems, communications, and information
gathering, analysis, and use.

Management of policy making. The process of policy analysis and development is a


sophisticated and strategic exercise. It is, by necessity, an intricate, nonlinear process in
which a variety of people and organizations with diverse perspectives are actively
involved in the process through which issues are analyzed and polices are generated,
implemented, assessed, adjusted, and redesigned. Here ICTs can be valuable in storing
and analyzing data on education indicators, student assessment, educational physical
and human infrastructure, cost, and finance. Technology not only can help in diagnosis
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 41 of 63

but, more important, it can also assist in constructing scenarios around different
intended policy options to determine requirements and consequences. Each scenario
can then be systematically analyzed and evaluated, not only in terms of its educational
desirability but also in terms of financial affordability, feasibility, and sustainability over
a sufficient period to show results. During policy implementation, technology can
facilitate tracer studies and tracking systems as well as summative and formative
evaluation.

5.7.3 Specific Solutions

5.7.3.1 Education Management Information System (EMIS) 9


An Education Management Information System (EMIS) is a comprehensive system that
brings together people, process, and technology to provide timely, cost-effective, and
user-appropriate information to support educational management at whatever level is
needed.

Most educational establishments have some type of management information—even if it


is just a blackboard outside a school listing every week’s enrollment by grade.
Information is being provided to those who might want to use it. But a modern system
needs more than this on a supported basis. At a minimum, upgrading, modernizing, and
seizing on new approaches to improve education delivery using EMIS requires the
following:
1. Determine who the stakeholders are for education information.
2. Assess who needs information for what decisions.
3. Determine which functions need to be supported and at what level.
4. Assess available resources. This means not only financial, but also material,
personnel, time, and commitment. More EMIS efforts have failed because of the
unavailability of good personnel and commitment than for any other cause.
5. Set priorities (short-, medium-, and long-term), get some knowledgeable review,
and set a time frame.
6. Get multiple commitments.
7. Get sufficient resources for people, for the process, and then for the technology.
8. Stay clear about outcomes and monitor them.

EMISs have a technical element, but they are primarily about the use of information.
Using information is a highly specific, often personal activity that affects work habits,
work style, and work flow. Many old-style information systems have ceased to work, not
because they are obsolete, but because the people supporting them failed to maintain
them properly. EMIS will involve several elements that are critical to success:
1. Setting standards for information.
2. Setting timing for gathering and processing information. Information will vary
simply by being gathered at a different time; if you measure enrollment in
January, rather than April, the counts will be different—both accurate, but
different.

9
Excerpted from:
• Kurt D. Moses. January/February 2001. “Education Management Information System: What Is It
and Why Do We Not Have More of It?” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechknowLogia.org;
• Kurt Moses & Vivian Toro. January/February 2001. “Education Management Information
Systems (EMIS): Available Software and Guidelines for Selection.” TechKnowLogia. Available at
www.TechknowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 42 of 63

3. Defining the level of possible accuracy.


4. Defining formats early, so that people get used to and understand how
information is presented.
5. Ensuring that the providers of information quickly see the results of their work.
The quicker and closer information processing is to the source, the higher its
level of accuracy and speed of correction.
6. Measuring the cost of producing information.

Resource 2.6.1 is a sample list of single-function as well as integrated education-oriented


management software. The list is indicative and not exhaustive. As you review it, keep in
mind that software suitability is highly dependent on the local situation, particularly in
terms of functions, support, training, and cost.

5.7.3.2 Simulations for Policy Analysis and Formulation 10


Simulations offer a means by which to study situations of rapid change and high
complexity that conventional empirical research cannot handle. Suppose, for example,
that you want to assess the possible impact of new forms of education. A conventional
experiment will take years to deliver results, but simulation of critical elements in the
new forms may yield valuable insights into problems and promises.

Simulations for policy analysis can be sorted into two categories: structured and
unstructured.

• Structured simulations use algorithms to simulate how a system operates. Users’


choices and possible outputs are specified in advance. Operation of the simulation
points to a “best choice” policy. Early applications constituted single-step,
noninteractive simulations to estimate the feasibility of different kinds of policies in
the context of a national reform or to estimate the sensitivity of the (assumed)
situation to a series of policy decisions.

Multistep or interactive simulations are most appropriate when more than one
decision maker is involved in setting policy, that is, when the policy process is seen
as requiring political as well as technical inputs. Because such simulations can be
used to generate more than one feasible and likely outcome, they are used primarily
to identify alternative policy packages and a range of outcomes rather than to
identify a “best answer.” Exemplary of this kind of simulation are four models cited
in Resource 2.6.2.

• Unstructured simulations are based on transactions among several actors with


competing objectives; constraints become known through action. Policy is the result
of negotiation, a product of multiple decisions by several actors. The well-known
Delphi technique serves this purpose. The technique was developed originally by
the U.S. military to anticipate possible Soviet reactions to an accidental missile
launch by the United States. U.S. participants took the roles of Soviet officials and
responded within their roles to an extensive set of questions. Answers were collated
and presented to participants, and those with deviant responses were asked to
justify their position. This process was continued until participants reached a stable
set of positions.

10
Excerpted from: Noel F. McGinn. January/February 2001. “Computer Simulations and Policy
Analysis.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechknowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 43 of 63

Some Latin American countries recently applied the Delphi technique with respect to
educational policy alternatives. One study asked experts to comment on the
effectiveness, cost, and likelihood of implementation of a wide variety of policies for
primary education for which there is insufficient empirical research. Those who varied
from the central tendency on a given alternative had to explain their reasoning. The final
product is a set of simulated data, based on informed speculation. In this case, the
study produced several conclusions that contradict current policy initiatives. 11

5.8 Advancing Community Linkages

5.8.1 The Objective

5.8.1.1 The ICT Gap


The spread and use of ICTs (telephone, radio, television, computers, and the Internet)
have grown exponentially. Radio broadcasts cover vast areas; satellite television
encircles the globe; personal computers that were little known or used in the 1950s
have, within a generation, become essential tools for work and communication; and
Internet use has increased beyond imagination. Table 5.8.1.1 shows the growth over the
last 13 years in telephone lines, cellular subscribers, PCs, and Internet users.

Table 5.8.1.1 Growth in ICT Access


1400

1200

1000

800

600

400

200

0
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003

Main telephone lines (millions) Mobile cellular subscribers (millions) Personal computers (millions) Internet users (millions)

Source: Derived from data provided by International Telecommunications Union (ITU) http://www.itu.int/ITU-
D/ict/statistics/.

11
E., Schiefelbein, L. Wolff, & P. Schiefelbein. 1999. El Costo Efectividad de las Politicas de
Educacion Primaria en America Latina: Estudio basado en la opinion de expertos. Boletin del
PREALC, 49.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 44 of 63

Despite this phenomenal growth, access varies significantly across the world (Tables
5.8.1.2 and 5.8.1.3).

Table 5.8.1.2 Telephones, Cellular Phones, and PCs per 100 Inhabitants

140

120

100

Telephone subscribers/100 Inhabitants


80 Cellular subscribers/100 Inhabitants
PCs/100 inhabitants

60

40

20

Africa America US and Asia Europe Oceania WORLD


w/o US Canada
& Canada

Source: Derived from data provided by International Telecommunications Union (ITU)


http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/statistics/.

Table 5.8.1.3 Internet Hosts and Users per 10,000 Inhabitant


6000

5000

Internet Hosts/10,000 inhabitants


4000
Internet Users/10,000 inhabitants

3000

2000

1000

Africa America w/o US and Asia Europe Oceania WORLD


US & Canada Canada
Source: Derived from data provided by International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/statistics/.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 45 of 63

Cross-regional and cross-country differences manifest themselves in striking disparities


within a country. Modern ICTs have not corrected the already existing divide between
technology-rich and technology-poor areas. As before, ICT access is related positively to
economic development—the higher the income, the greater the ICT access. But income
is not the only variable that influences access to technology. There are documented
inequities across and within countries by location, gender, and age. More recently, the
limited access to ICTs by persons with disabilities and special needs has also been
highlighted.

The technology gap is not the result of the choices made by individual households,
rather, poor neighborhoods and rural communities lack the necessary infrastructure
available in affluent and more populated areas. This leads to a vicious circle. Businesses
and economic investments are not attracted to areas that are “underwired,” thus
maintaining the state of underdevelopment and poverty—which, in turn, is not
conducive to the use of ICTs.

Should this vicious cycle be broken? Underdeveloped areas within a country lack access
not only to ICTs but also to safe water, health services, and good education. Hunger and
disease are rampant, and war and civil strife still deprive millions of people of their basic
daily needs. In such a situation, is access to ICTs a necessity?

5.8.1.2 The Need for ICT Access


Although lack of ICTs does not constitute a dramatic component of poverty, access to
ICTs is increasingly recognized as a significant contributor to efforts to escape poverty.
Access to ICTs opens vast opportunities for individuals and communities to improve
their economic and social well-being, and to bring them from the margins of society into
the mainstream.

More specifically, community ICT linkages can contribute to a variety of objectives:

• Income generation. There is documented evidence on the utility of broadcast media


as a tool for improving incomes. The same is true of providing telephone centers.
Small manufacturers of traditional handicrafts are also discovering how ICTs can
assist in the marketing and distribution of their wares to a worldwide client base. In
Kenya, for example, the Naushad Trading Company 12 (http://www.ntclimited.com),
which sells local woodcarvings, pottery, and baskets, has seen revenue growth from
US$10,000 to more than US$2 million in the two years since it went online.
Consumers and shopkeepers can access constantly updated color pictures of NTC
Limited’s product line, place orders, and inquire about other types of handicrafts.
• Education and lifelong learning. ICTs are an increasingly important means of
providing educational opportunities to remote areas and offering a setting for
lifelong learning (see specifically sections 5.1 and 5.6 above).
• Improvement of health services. ICTs provide information about health issues and
good preventive practices.
• Reduction in the isolation of rural communities. ICTs offer opportunities for
communication and information sharing.
• Increased efficiency of management of government services in remote areas
using networked computers and the Internet.

12
Charles Kenny. July/August 2001. “Information and Communication Technologies and Poverty.”
TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 46 of 63

• Encouragement of small businesses. Communities with ICT access provide


incentives for individuals and companies to start small businesses, some of which
may involve provision of ICT services, such as telecenters (see section 5.8.3.2 below)
and cyber cafés.

5.8.1.3 The Gender Divide


Where there is a technological gap, a digital divide, there is also a gender divide. This
divide cannot be attributed to inherent female characteristics, as evidenced by the high
proportion of female users of ICTs in the industrialized world, and by the thousands of
offices around the world where women are frequently more competent in dealing with
computers and the Internet than are men.

Where access to ICTs is limited, there seem to be extra barriers that hinder women’s
access to and use of ICTs. Some of the barriers have to do with disadvantages that
women have in terms of education, social value, and economic status; others include the
following:

Psychological barriers, perhaps due to the perception of technology as a male


domain, include ambivalence and even fear—technophobia—accompanied by a
lack of information about the possibilities and potential of ICTs and a lack of
confidence about mastering them, even among women who might have access.
Of course, it is the most marginalized of women who are least likely to have
access—minorities, the poor, non-speakers of mainstream languages, the
elderly, and the disabled.

Training in the use of ICTs—by knowledgeable trainers—is a serious


shortcoming. For the most part, women have little or no previous experience
with technology, and many feel confused when confronted with the sudden
appearance of computers and the Internet. Merely getting access to the hardware
or connecting groups to the Internet without an adequate introduction to what it
is and how it works - and in the absence of policies or guidance about usage,
etiquette or communication techniques—is proving insufficient to promote
intelligent usage.

Outside of urban areas, women in developing countries are far less likely to
come into contact with ICTs and tend not to perceive a need for them. In some
places, this is due to a lack of telephones, electricity and infrastructure. In
others, it is because women often control indigenous, traditional and popular
forms of media which, many caution, should not be ignored in the rush to
embrace computer facilitated communication. 13

5.8.2 The Potential


The vision of ICTs for all communities is easy to justify but hard to achieve. An
implementation strategy must recognize the constraints and devise sustainable
mechanisms to overcome them.

• The first and obvious constraint is infrastructure. Until recently, most ICTs
depended on electric power and telephone lines. Other sources of energy (e.g.,

13
Mary Fontaine. March/April 2000. “A High-Tech Twist: ICT Access and the Gender Divide.”
TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 47 of 63

solar) and technologies (wireless, radio, and satellite) offer new opportunities for
access, bypassing the traditional technologies.
• Cost is another obvious constraint, despite reduction in unit costs of ICT
investments and services. ICT projects require start-up investments that may
challenge the limited resources of poor countries or locales. However, technologies
also offer solutions that help to defray costs without jeopardizing the quality of the
projects. Creativity is essential to overcome potential barriers. Also, public-private
partnerships should be explored and encouraged.
• Attention must be paid to laws and regulations that could facilitate or hinder ICT
plans. ICTs, with their ability to reach beyond political boundaries, defy many of the
national and international legal frameworks that were created for a world with
frontiers. Solutions, albeit necessary, are difficult to find and slow to implement. The
balance among national and global interests, rights of individuals, and freedom of
information is a challenge that must be faced if the potential of ICTs is to be
fulfilled.
• Ensuring access to ICTs is just one step; securing acceptance and use is equally
important. Cultural and political factors may promote or create obstacles to the use
of ICTs or limit their use to certain subgroups of society. Likewise, the structure and
organization of local educational systems may favor integration of technology, or it
may create a technophobe atmosphere that hinders efforts to change.

Despite these constraints, the potential to secure community linkages to ICTs is feasible
and attainable. Among the reasons for optimism are:

• Acceptance: ICTs have been well received worldwide, and it appears that older
technologies have opened the door for the more recent ones. To reach 50 million
users, the telephone took 74 years, the radio 38 years, the PC 16 years, the
television 13 years, and the WWW only four years. In India, places that did not have a
telephone now have Internet kiosks where families can e-mail their relatives abroad.
Likewise, homeless children in Asunción, Paraguay, are learning to read and surf the
Web at telecenters where commuters send e-mail messages while waiting for buses
on their way to or from work.
• Reduced costs: Increased use of ICTs is associated with reduced costs and improved
technology. Computer hardware prices have fallen, despite significant increases in
memory and speed. Likewise, Internet access growth has been accompanied by
some cost reduction.
• Simplification: ICTs strive for simplicity of use, even when the technology becomes
gradually more complex. The first disk operating system (DOS)-operated PCs
required some training for simple tasks. Nowadays, children have no problems
dealing with modern PCs. This concern with the user may explain, at least partially,
the rapid popularity of the medium.
• Efficiency: Perhaps more than any other technology, ICTs strive for efficiency: they
are getting faster, simpler, less costly, more user-friendly, and more productive.
Auto industries have relied on one source of fuel for the past 100 years, despite
warnings ranging from potential depletion of this sole source to environmental
disasters. In less than 50 years, telecommunications has experimented with simple
telephone lines, fiber optic cables, satellites, and wireless technologies, and the
search continues.

These trends encourage us not to think in terms of linear projections. Also, countries
and communities can leapfrog from pretechnology stages (e.g., the absence of
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 48 of 63

telephone lines) to state-of-the-art strategies (e.g., wireless technologies), thus


bypassing less efficient and generally more expensive alternatives.

5.8.3 Specific Solutions

5.8.3.1 Radio
In the rush to wire villages to the Internet, we sometimes forget that already well-
established and simple technologies, such as the radio, can be very effective and
efficient in connecting communities to the outside world. Broadcast radio has its
limitations, but it also has its advantages in terms of its coverage, simplicity,
acceptance, and availability.

Despite radio’s numerous advantages, many communities cannot use it because of lack
of sufficient access to electricity, and batteries are expensive. Alternatives in solar and
windup technology have been developed and are gradually making their way to the
village level (see Resource 2.7.1). Also, new technologies are making radio a truly two-
way system (see Resource 2.7.2).

There is a distinct radio broadcasting gap to the rural corners of many countries caused
by the lack of service by national broadcasters who in some cases have weak or
nonexistent signal coverage. The Commonwealth of Learning has sponsored
development of a portable FM radio system. The station configurations range in price
from US$3,000 to US$5,000, including all elements: antenna, transmitter, console,
mixer, microphones, and CD and tape decks The stations can be powered by 12 V DC or
120/240 AC. Where electricity is not available, the station can be powered by solar
energy (see Resource 2.7.3).

5.8.3.2 Community Telecenters

5.8.3.2.1 What Are Telecenters?


Despite the importance of access to ICTs, achieving it at the home or individual levels in
poverty-stricken areas is untenable because of barriers of infrastructure, ICT literacy,
and costs. The community telecenters, one answer to this problem, is a public facility
that allows individuals within the served community to have access to ICTs on demand
for free or at low cost to the user.

A telecenter may offer a combination of the following tools and services:

• Telephoning and faxing


• Basic computer applications, including word processing and spreadsheets
• Internet access
• E-mail accounts to allow in-country and international linkages
• Printing, copying, and scanning
• A digital camera and/or a video camera
• A television with VCR and/or DVD player
• Meeting rooms

Also, some centers provide training in the use of ICTs, and others offer educational
opportunities through the use of ICTs.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 49 of 63

Figure 5.8.3.2.1 below, depicts what a telecenter may look like in Thailand.

Source: Royboon Rassameethes. Community Telecenter. NECTEC, Thailand. Available at


http://www.hpcc.nectec.or.th/PNC/presentation/Telecenter.pdf.

5.8.3.2.2 Types of Telecenters


Public ICT access centers are diverse, varying in the clientele they serve and the services
they provide. Types of telecenters include NGO-sponsored, municipal, commercial,
school-based, and university-related. Each type has advantages and disadvantages when
considering attempts to link communities with ICTs and to bridge the digital divide.

• NGO-sponsored telecenters are hosted by an NGO, which manages the center and
integrates it, to one degree or another, into the organization’s core business;
• Municipally sponsored telecenters seek to further local development; they often
disseminate information, decentralize services, and encourage civic participation, in
addition to providing public ICT access.
• Commercial telecenters, launched by entrepreneurs for profit, with “social good”
services offered as well, have limited capacity to benefit low-income populations with
little education.
• School-based telecenters can be structured to involve community members during
off-school hours, but costs need to be shared by the school system and the
community.
• University-related telecenters can offer social outreach to disadvantaged and
community groups, provide training, develop locally relevant content, and establish
and facilitate virtual networks.

For examples of telecenters of different types, see Resource 2.7.4.


Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 50 of 63

Telecenters now exist in most parts of the world. There are several efforts to capture
experience with telecenters and offer suggestions for the establishment and evaluation
of such centers; see Resource 2.7.5.

5.8.3.2.3 Participation in Telecenters: Obstacles and


Strategies 14
Providing telecenters is not sufficient; participation of individuals and communities is
crucial to their success; therefore, it is important to identify obstacles to participation
and devise strategies to encourage community and individual involvement in these
centers.

What are the obstacles to use of telecenters?

• Economic obstacles. Can the community pay for the services? If we are considering a
business model for a telecenter, for projects targeted at the most disadvantaged
areas, it is important that the planners have in mind poverty demographics: are the
villagers able to pay for the services offered? If not, is the community at large, or are
other groups, willing to pay?
• Physical obstacles. Do community members have problems in accessing the center?
Where is the telecenter located? It is clear that if the telecenter is away from the
usual community meeting points, it might hinder participation.
• Social obstacles. Are there any social (including gender and age) or ethnic reasons that
impede the participation of some community members in telecenter activities? How
can we identify these differences, and how can we deal with them?
• Political obstacles. Are there political reasons hindering the participation of some
people? If a telecenter is politicized, it can create power struggles.
• Educational obstacles. Are we going to deal with technophobia and literacy problems?
Technophobia is one of the obstacles that prevent the community from getting
involved in the activities offered by telecenters. Beyond technology (because
technology is just a tool) and fear of technology, what strategies do we use to reach
illiterate people and nonusers?
• Does the community know about the telecenter? The obstacle to participation here is very
straightforward: simple ignorance of the existence of the telecenter. This question is
seemingly superfluous because it is often taken for granted that the community
knows what a telecenter is, where it is, and what it offers. But we need to ask
ourselves this question, too. Active marketing and awareness creation are possible
responses to this threat. A related question is, do community members feel that what the
telecenter offers is relevant and useful to them?

How can these obstacles be overcome?

• Develop an explicit participation strategy in the planning stages.


• Make a commitment to training and have a comprehensive training program regarding the
role of information and accessing it through ICTs.
• Build research and monitoring into startup and ongoing operations. In efforts to get the Internet
hooked up and computers operational, often relatively little attention is given to
assessing community information needs, including the felt needs of the people and

14
Excerpted from: Raul Roman and Royal D. Colle. May/June 2001. “Digital Divide or Digital
Bridge? Exploring Threats and Opportunities to Participation in Telecenter Initiatives.”
TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 51 of 63

normative needs (those seen, for example, by professionals). A continuous program


also needs to monitor ongoing telecenter services to the community (and its
perceptions about them), and try to measure the telecenters’ impact.

5.8.3.2.4 Women and Telecenters 15


Many telecenter projects have crafted outreach efforts carefully and creatively to attract
women to the centers. Dr. Eva Rathgeber, Joint Chair of Women’s Studies at the
University of Ottawa and a leading telecenter researcher, states, “Preliminary evidence
suggests that telecentres in developing countries are not particularly effective in helping
women…gain access to better economic, educational and other opportunities. Women
use telecentres much less than men, and when they do use them, it is usually for non-
Internet related purposes.” Reasons she cites for this failure include a focus on
machines that women find “unfriendly,” cramped premises with little privacy and no
child care facilities, male managers and technical assistants, an inconvenient location
with unsuitable hours of operation, fees beyond the financial reach of poor women, and,
perhaps most important, content that is perceived as irrelevant. In short, Dr. Rathgeber
suggests that, like other technological innovations before them, telecenters often are
designed without adequate attention to the needs, capacities, and preferences of local
communities in general and of women in particular. 16

A hypothetical telecenter mini-model illustrates the elements that are conducive to


women’s participation. The Canadian International Development Research Center (IDRC)
produced a wonderful drawing of a telecenter, a comfortable, convivial place with men,
women, and children and goats and chickens wandering about, each taking care of his
or her or its own business. The center is rich with personality and community spirit, one
of those welcoming public square-type places where people congregate to meet friends
and exchange news while accomplishing some information or communication task. One
gets the feeling that almost everyone stops by the center almost every day, if not to
conduct specific business, then just to see what’s new.

15
Excerpted from: Mary Fontaine. March/April 2000. “A High-Tech Twist: ICT Access and the
Gender Divide.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
16
Eva M. Rathgeber. 2002. “Gender and Telecentres: What Have We Learned.” Delivered at the
Gender and the Digital Divide Seminar on “Assessing the Impacts of Telecenters.” World Bank.
Available at http://www.worldbank.org/gender/digitaldivide/telecenterpanel.htm.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 52 of 63

Several features of this telecenter stand out as particularly important for women.

• Contrary to the notion of ICTs as intimidating and inappropriate in a “low-tech”


village setting, the center presented in the drawing appears to be integrated
seamlessly into its surroundings. Rather than appearing sophisticated, high-tech,
and out of place, the telecenter seems to be a natural extension of life, combining
computers with more traditional ICTs, such as photocopiers, telephones, and a
meeting room. The relaxed atmosphere blends in beautifully with the palm trees,
grazing goats, and napping dogs outside, and men, women, and children of all ages
are clearly comfortable inside, working, chatting, and learning together. The
telecenter has been set up to harmonize with the village, building on tradition
and accepted cultural norms and fostering a sense of familiarity among people
of both genders.

• With a house, a car, and a woman carrying a basket on her head, the physical
location of the center appears to be at a community crossroads, not in an isolated
spot that is difficult for women to reach. It seems that women do not have to
travel far to use this telecenter but can walk there in the course of their daily
activities. Moreover, while studies suggest that many people in communities with
telecenters do not even know where they are located, one senses that the entire
community knows where to find the center in the drawing.

• One also gets the sense that what is going on in this telecenter is relevant to the
lives of the visitors. Just as people frequent the market to find the necessities of life,
here, too, they obviously are engaged in meaningful activities—perhaps researching
a topic for a school assignment, sending an e-mail to a loved one, or checking
market prices. The people seem to be aware of what can be accomplished with ICTs,
and to understand and appreciate ICT applications, and the community as a whole is
taking advantage of the opportunities ICTs present. Clearly, the information and
communication needs of the community have been ascertained, and the
telecenter has been set up to meet the priorities and interests of both male and
female users. These are not just machines for men.

• Child care seems not to be an issue or problem. Indeed, children are clearly
welcome, whether outside playing or inside with their mothers. While no organized
child care is apparent—an addition that, if designed properly and affordably, would
likely enhance the female friendliness of the telecenter—children seem not to be a
deterrent to women’s use of the center. The “open door” atmosphere appears to
extend to all age groups.

• At this particular moment, the center in the drawing is accommodating


approximately 20 people, some working alone and others in a group, even though
the center has only 10 or so computers, which seems to be sufficient. No one is
waiting, and the space is roomy enough to provide people with adequate privacy
to do their work.

• Most important, women appear to be comfortable engaging in telecenter activities


alongside men. While research suggests that women sometimes do not feel at ease
with male technical assistants, the center depicted in the drawing reveals no such
difficulty. Indeed, the staff is so integrated into the telecenter activities that,
aside from two men who appear to be employees—one at the back with
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 53 of 63

outstretched arms and another at the front door welcoming a women who is
entering—differentiating between clients and staff members is not easy.

Of the several approaches to introducing ICTs in developing countries—access,


awareness, and diffusion—only the last is likely to reach women effectively. Diffusion
involves a preplanned, systematic program of activities designed to spread the message
broadly. (The message includes “What are ICTs?” and “How can ICTs help you?”) Diffusion
is time-consuming and resource-intensive, but it is how disadvantaged groups are
reached. Effective diffusion programs should focus on local needs and priorities, in
terms of both the message conveyed and the method used for conveyance. What works
in one environment may not work in another.

A new survey undertaken by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the UN


agency dealing with telecommunications, indicated that “women from all regions of the
world showed a striking solidarity in the belief that ICTs are critical to them in meeting
their personal and professional goals.” More specifically, “99% of the women surveyed
said that access to ICTs is important to women entrepreneurs, with 97% agreeing that
ICTs helped them to meet their professional goals.” 17 Even women who lack a specific
understanding of how ICTs can benefit them seem to know, almost intrinsically, that
computers represent a hope for the future—if not for themselves, then for their
children. And they are right. What is needed now is for development planners, donors,
and practitioners to build on this hope by addressing the same old issues that have
confounded development for women for years—to approach development, finally, as if
women really mattered. In truth, we know what needs to be done; it is merely a matter
of doing it.

17
ITU. May 20, 2002. “ICT for all: Empowering People to Cross the Digital Divide.” Available at
http://www.ictdevagenda.org/frame.php?dir=07&sd=10&id=187.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 54 of 63

6 From Potential to Effectiveness

If ICTs possess all the potential, cited above, to improve the teaching/learning process
significantly and revolutionize the education enterprise, in the same manner that they
revolutionized business and entertainment, why have we not experienced such drastic
effects? If technologies are the solution they claim to be, then what or where is the
problem?

In attempting to answer this question, it is essential to distinguish between potential


and effectiveness. No ICT potential is realized automatically—not in education, in
business, or in entertainment. In fact, many computerized businesses are managed
badly and go bankrupt, and many movies are a complete failure. Placing a radio and TV
in every school, putting a computer in every classroom, and wiring every building for the
Internet will not solve the problem automatically. The problem is not strictly
technological; it is educational and contextual; constraints must be alleviated and
conditions met. Experience points to eight parameters necessary for the potential of
ICTs to be realized in knowledge dissemination, effective learning and training, and
efficient education services. 18

6.1 Educational Policy

Technology is only a tool; no technology can fix a bad educational philosophy or


compensate for bad practice. In fact, if we are going in the wrong direction, technology
will only get us there faster. Likewise, distance learning is not about distance, it is about
learning. Just as we can have bad education face to face, we can have bad education at a
distance. Therefore, educational choices first have to be made in terms of objectives,
methodologies, and roles of teachers and students before decisions can be made about
the appropriate ICT interventions (see section 4.2 above).

For instance, if teaching is demonstrating and telling, and if learning is memorizing and
reciting, using learning technologies and multimedia programs for this purpose will not
have the desired impact. Also, if students are not asked to search and work
collaboratively, and if teachers function independently, investment in connectivity will
not be cost effective. The effectiveness of different levels of sophistication of ICTs
depends to a large extent on the role of learners and teachers as practiced in the
educational process and on the reasons behind using ICTs for student learning and for
teaching; see figures 6.1.1 and 6.1.2. Before investing in ICTs, therefore, it is essential
to determine:

• The roles expected of teachers and learners


• The educational purposes for which ICTs are to be used

18
This section draws on: W. Haddad & A. Draxler. 2002. “The Dynamics of Technologies for
Education.” In Wadi D. Haddad & Alexandra Draxler (Eds.) Technologies for Education: Potential,
Parameters, and Prospects. Paris: UNESCO, and Washington, DC: Academy for Educational
Development.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 55 of 63

Figure 6.1.1 Levels of ICTs for Different Learning Objectives and Roles of Learners

Constructing or
design of Project

Evaluation
LEARNING OBJECTIVE

Analysis Levels of ICTs

Application

Exploration

Storage or display

Passive ACTIVE
LEARNER’S ROLE

Figure 6.1.2 Levels of ICTs for Different Teaching Uses and Roles of Teachers

Management of
Student Learning
Collaboration/
Communication
TEACHING OBJECTIVE

Research Levels of ICTs


Animation/
Simulation
Drill & Practice
Demonstration
Presentation
Provider Facilitator
TEACHER’S ROLE
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 56 of 63

6.2 Approach to ICTs

Classrooms are constrained environments, and conventional instructional materials are


static. If technology-enhanced education programs are taped classrooms, digital texts,
and PowerPoint transparencies, then we are missing out on the tremendous potential of
technologies that can animate, simulate, capture reality, add movement to static
concepts, and extend our touch to the whole universe. Movies and TV programs are not
replicas of theater—packaged theater plays; they tell the same story in a more dramatic
and multifaceted manner. So should ICT-enhanced education.

In October 2001, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) issued Learning
to Change, 19 the results of a study of how ICTs are being put to use in the most advanced
countries. Essentially, according to the report, they are being used to do traditional
things in different ways. Examples include “putting on screen what can be found on the
page of a book,” using material from the Internet to “support conventional teaching
practices,” and employing didactic software to rehearse basic skills. This merely
replicates existing learning methods in technological form. If ICTs are to fulfill their
potential, “innovation and change are called for at all levels of the school environment.”
And that requires “a far-reaching review of teaching policies and methods.”

The challenge, therefore, is to rethink learning objectives and teaching methodologies,


and to align learning technologies with them. It was never satisfactory merely to be
efficient in helping learners to achieve mastery of content and basic skills, but the issue
has now become vital. As knowledge in itself becomes a perishable item, the ability of
learners to think independently, exercise appropriate judgment and skepticism, and
collaborate with others to make sense of their changing environment is the only
reasonable aim for education. Perhaps the most profound shift is from systems of
teaching and supervision of learning to systems of learning and facilitation of learning.
These shifts will be difficult in different ways for both rich and poor school systems. In
advantaged communities, change is an upheaval for established authorities, systems,
and capacities. In disadvantaged communities, the infrastructure must be put into place,
along with serious attention to pedagogy.

There is also a basic difference between using technology as an add-on to make the
current model of education more efficient, more equitable, and cheaper, on the one
hand, and integrating technology into the entire education system to realize structural
rethinking and reengineering, on the other. It is the difference between a marginal
addition and a radical systemic change. It is in the second scenario that technology can
have the greatest impact. This opportunity was articulated by Louis V. Gerstner Jr.,
chairman and CEO of IBM, in a 1995 speech to the U.S. National Governors’ Association:

Information technology is the fundamental underpinning of the science of


structural re-engineering. It is the force that revolutionizes business, streamlines
government and enables instant communications and the exchange of
information among people and institutions around the world. But information
technology has not made even its barest appearance in most public schools....
Before we can get the education revolution rolling, we need to recognize that our
public schools are low-tech institutions in a high-tech society. The same changes
that have brought cataclysmic change to every facet of business can improve the

19
OECD. October 2000. Learning to Change: ICT in Schools. Paris: OECD.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 57 of 63

way we teach students and teachers. And it can also improve the efficiency and
effectiveness of how we run our schools. 20

6.3 Infrastructure

There is a temptation these days to equate technology with computers and the Internet.
As pointed out earlier, there is still an important place for other technologies,
depending on how they are used. The application of each technology covers a wide
spectrum, from the simplest to the most sophisticated. It is important, therefore, to
identify the most appropriate, cost-effective, and sustainable technology and level of
application for the different educational objectives. Then the whole prerequisite
hardware infrastructure needs to be in place with its supporting elements, such as
electricity, maintenance, and technical services.

Many communities do not have reliable electric source to power radios, televisions, and
computers. Some are experimenting with solar energy (Resource 3.1.1), wind power
(Resource 3.1.2), and pedal power (Resource 3.1.3) to run their hardware.

In the case of computer infrastructure, questions about what is appropriate are more
complicated.

• Selecting a computer involves decisions about technical specifications: speed,


memory, type and size of monitor, etc. Selecting a computer for educational purposes
involves decisions about educational goals, classroom methodologies, teachers’ role,
students’ role, modalities of group work, role of the textbook, external sources of
knowledge, etc.

• Although the price of computers is coming down, these costs are still prohibitive for
many developing countries if their goal is to provide computers across the school
system in numbers that serve their educational objectives. There have been some
promising efforts in countries such as Brazil and India to address this issue and
produce a less costly computer with a longer operational life. Other attempts to
develop affordable PCs include Intel’s Affordable PC and Classmate PC, and the
US$100 laptop designed by MIT Media Lab (see Resource 3.2.1).

• Where and how should computers be distributed, connected, and used in schools?
Different educational and institutional objectives are served by different configuration
options: computers in classrooms, on wheels, in computer rooms or labs, or in
libraries and teachers’ rooms. Should computers be stand-alone or connected to form
a network? If the latter, which network option is the most cost effective: peer-to-peer,
client/server, or thin-client/server? (A thin client is a low-cost, centrally-managed
computer usually without CD-ROM players, diskette drives, and expansion slots.)
Finally, should computers be connected by wiring the classroom or the school, or
should they be wireless?

20
Quoted in: T. Glenman & A. Melmed, 1966. Fostering the Use of Educational Technology:
Elements of a National Strategy. Santa Monica, California, USA: Rand.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 58 of 63

• Turning computers into powerful communication tools requires access to the Internet;
however, getting a school online, particularly in a developing country, is not a
straightforward task. First, schools need to figure out why they need to connect and to
what. The next problem is communication infrastructure; in many areas, it is either
nonexistent or expensive to use. Some forms of terrestrial wireless and satellite
technologies are being introduced that do not require installation of wireline networks
and are ideal for remote and isolated areas (see Resource 3.1.4). Finally, schools need
to determine whether they have the resources, beyond the initial investment, to cover
connectivity’s operating costs.

• Computers are not dying of old age; however, every so many years they need to be
replaced because they cannot handle new operating or application software. This
creates a major problem for schools and national governments with limited financial
resources. In fact, school systems spacing the introduction of computers over a period
longer than the life of a computer will never be able to cover all of their schools.
Some organizations are trying to address the problem by providing software packages
that can be run on any computer, from a 286 to the newest Pentiums (see Resource
3.2.2).

• ICTs in schools require supporting infrastructure, including electricity,


communication, wiring, and special facilities. Just as countries are experimenting
with wireless connections, some are using solar energy to run computers (and radios)
in remote and isolated areas.

Tools 3.2 and 3.3 help strategists and planners consider appropriate aspects of
infrastructure and hardware and their use in schools and other learning centers.

6.4 ICT-Enhanced Content

ICT-enhanced instructional content is one of the most neglected areas, but, evidently,
the most crucial component. Introducing TVs, radios, computers, and connectivity into
schools without sufficient curriculum-related ICT-enhanced content is like building roads
but not making cars available, or having a CD player at home when you have no CDs.
Development of content software that is integral to the teaching/learning process is a
must.

Should countries or institutions acquire or create ICT-enhanced content? This is one of


the most difficult questions to answer. Should a country acquire existing educational
radio and TV programs and educational software, or should it develop new ones in
accordance with its curricular and instructional framework? Acquisition saves time but
not necessarily money. In most cases, a country has to buy the material or pay a
licensing fee. There are also important suitability issues from the point of view of both
learning objectives and acceptability of the means of communication. On the other
hand, creating new materials requires sophisticated expertise, substantive time, and
significant upfront financing. Depending on the number of schools using the materials,
the unit use cost may be very high.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 59 of 63

This question of whether to acquire or create may be answered in different ways for
different available materials and different instructional units. Ideally, the aim should be
to

• acquire, as is, when suitable and cost effective;


• acquire and adapt when not exactly suitable but cost effective; or
• create when no suitable or cost-effective materials are available

To follow this decision chain, three interrelated mechanisms are needed:

• Reliable information on available audio, video, and digital materials, as well as


relevant educational Websites
• An evaluation scheme to ascertain the quality of available materials or Websites
• Identification of specific sections of Websites and relating them to curricular and
instructional needs. Selecting relevant Websites is like building a large reference
library that is cumbersome and overwhelming to the user. Experience is proving that
students and teachers make better use of the Web if their needs are linked to
specific sections.

Toolbox 4 deals with these issues of planning for ICT-enhanced content. It contains a
set of tools that:

• offers a system to evaluate the quality and adequacy of existing courses/materials in


addressing identified educational problems or issues;
• provides guidelines to ensure quality products for users who are planning to develop
their own courses/materials; and
• supplies assistance in extracting educational content from the Web.

The toolbox contains the following five tools:

Tool 4.1 - ICT-Enhanced Content Requirements


Tool 4.2 - Identification and Evaluation of Existing ICT-Enhanced Content
Tool 4.3 - Exploration of the Web for Educational Content
Tool 4.4 - Evaluation of Course Authorship and Management Systems
Tool 4.5 - Design and Development of Curricular ICT-Enhanced Content

6.5 Committed and Trained Personnel

People involved in integrating technologies into the teaching/learning process have to


be convinced of the value of the technologies, comfortable with them, and skilled in
using them. Therefore, orientation and training for all concerned staff in the strategic,
technical, and pedagogical dimensions of the process is a necessary condition for
success.

Cuban examined the history of attempts to use technology to promote school reform;
his 1986 conclusions apply equally to present-day practices:

He concludes that most of these attempts failed to adequately address the real needs of
teachers in classrooms. Instead, the efforts too often attempted to impose a
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 60 of 63

technologist’s or policymaker’s vision of the appropriate use of the technology in


schools. Teachers were provided inadequate assistance in using the technology, and the
technology itself was often unreliable. As a consequence, the technology was not used
by teachers or became very marginal to the schools’ instructional activities. 21

Appropriate and effective use of technologies involves competent, committed


interventions by people. The required competence and commitment cannot be inserted
into a project as an afterthought, but must be built into conception and design with
participation of those concerned.

Tool 3.4 assists in planning for orientation and training of educational personnel
involved in the implementation of ICT-enhanced interventions decided upon by the
appropriate authorities.

6.6 Financial Resources

As mentioned earlier, acquiring the technologies themselves, no matter how hard and
expensive, may be the easiest and cheapest element in a series of elements that
ultimately will render these technologies sustainable or beneficial. Computers, in
particular, need highly skilled and costly maintenance to operate most of the time. Yet,
in almost all cases, schools invest in buying and networking computers but do not
budget sufficiently for their maintenance and technical support. It is important,
therefore, to plan and budget for the total cost of ownership (TCO). 22 Elements
contributing to TCO include:

• acquisition of hardware and software;


• installation and configuration;
• connectivity;
• maintenance;
• support, including supplies, utilities, and computer training;
• retrofitting of physical facilities; and
• replacement costs (in five to seven years).

The annual costs of maintenance and support for a healthy education computer system
are estimated to be 30%–50% of the initial investment in computer hardware and
software. This makes some donated computers quite expensive, especially when they
are old, outdated, and require a lot of maintenance.

Substantive additional costs include:

• Acquisition and creation of content materials


• Orientation and training of staff
• Testing, monitoring, and evaluation

21
L. Cuban. 1986. Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920. New
York: Teachers College Press. Quoted in:
http://www.rand.org/publications/MR/MR682/ed_ch2.html#fn30.
22
K. Moses. January 2002. “Educational System Computer Maintenance and Support: They Cost
More Than You Think!” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 61 of 63

Tool 2.2 (Section 3) of the Toolkit provides an interactive mechanism, Scenario Cost, to calculate
the capital/development and recurrent costs as well as unit costs of an ICT intervention, to assist
planners in comparing the affordability and sustainability of different ICT options. Tool
5.1 of the Toolkit provides an instrument to budget the necessary resources for the
selected ICT intervention.

6.7 Integration

The success of ICTs in education depends on how they are introduced into the system.
Here are some strategic options:

• ICTs may be used as an additional layer of educational input that leaves the current
system intact but adds hardware and software for enrichment. The problem here is
that both students and teachers may not take the additional materials seriously or
know how to relate them to the current program. Also, this may not realize the full
potential of, and consequently returns from, ICTs.

• ICTs may be treated as an integral part of the existing instructional system. This
strategy involves articulating learning objectives, translating objectives/standards
into teaching/learning activities, producing multimedia curricular materials, training
staff, establishing a distribution communication network, assessing learning
achievement, and evaluating the program. Here, ICTs are not a substitute for the
classroom setting; rather, they enhance the role of the teacher as facilitator and the
role of the student as learner.

• ICTs may be introduced through a parallel system such as distance education or e-


learning. This option may be used in situations where schools are not available or
cannot be provided, or where individuals cannot enroll in regular schools because of
lack of availability or for personal reasons, as in the case of working youth and
adults.

From an instructional architecture perspective, technology-enhanced materials may be


designed in one of three ways:

• They can be enrichment materials that are used in addition to existing materials at
the discretion of the teacher or learner, in the same manner as a library book is
used.

• They can be a structured multimedia program that covers a particular course—


similar to a textbook-plus that is used by all students in all schools in the same way.
Many publishers have evolved their textbooks into packages of printed (or digital)
text plus related slides, videos, audiotapes, and CDs.

• They can be multimedia modules that are constructed in a flexible way to serve as
building blocks of different curricula and teaching practices. Here, each module is
broken down into educational subobjectives to be met with specific technologies,
such as video, animation, simulation, real-life exploration, etc. Not only can the
modules be put together in different ways, the submodules can be reconfigured to
form different versions suitable for different teaching styles and learning needs.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 62 of 63

6.8 Piloting and Evaluation

The strong belief in the potential of technology, market push, and enthusiasm for
introducing technology into schools creates the temptation to implement them
immediately and full scale. Integrating technologies into education is a very
sophisticated, multifaceted process, and, just like any other innovation, it should not be
introduced without piloting its different components on a smaller scale. Even the
technologies we are sure about need to be piloted in new contexts. No matter how well
an ICT project is designed and planned for, many aspects need to be tested on a small
scale first. Among these aspects are appropriate technologies, suitability of instructional
materials, production process, classroom implementability, learning effectiveness, and
cost-benefit ratio.

Depending on the results of the evaluation of a pilot scheme, modifications may need to
be made to the elements of implementation or to the ICT-intervention policy itself. Then
plans need to be drawn for scaling up the ICT intervention. At this stage, more care
needs to be given to implementation planning because of the higher risks, larger scope,
and more intricate application issues.

Monitoring and evaluation should not be limited to the pilot phase, but should continue
during the large scale implementation for the following reasons:

• The translation of abstract plans into concrete implementation will generate


problems and surprises, such as inappropriate technologies, insufficient personnel
commitment and engagement, inadequate infrastructure and hardware, unclear
educational objectives, etc. With systematic monitoring, the nature and scope of
implementation problems are detected in a timely manner, and remedial
adjustments and redesigns can follow.
• ICT interventions are not an end in themselves. They are made for educational
purposes based on estimated potential and effectiveness. Only through a systematic
summative and formative evaluation will the degree of fulfillment of the potential of
an ICT intervention be evidenced and its educational effectiveness proven.

Tool 6 assists planners in the design of monitoring and evaluation schemes for the
different phases of introducing ICT policy interventions.
Reference Handbook Part 2: Analytical Review Page 63 of 63

7 Conclusion

To “tech” or not to “tech” education is not the question. The real question is how to
harvest the power of technology to meet the challenges of the 21st century and make
education relevant, responsive, and effective for anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Technologies have great potential for knowledge dissemination, effective learning, and
efficient education services. Yet, if the educational policies and strategies are not right,
and if the requisite preconditions for using these technologies are not met concurrently,
this potential will not be realized.

Two final thoughts:

In the dazzling environment of technologies we should not lose sight of the focus of
education:

It is amazing what a child can do for us as adults. We are sucked into the
whirlwind of jobs, stocks, houses, recipes, and technologies…until we look into
the face of a child. Life regains perspective. We see the mystery of life unfolding
and we realize what is important and what is marginal. So it is with technology.
We are sucked into the wonders of fast chips, intelligent toys and games, and
fascinating virtual domains, and we get taken by the miraculous potential of
these technologies for us and our children…until we look into the face of a child.
There we see the miraculous transformation of life at work. Only then do we see
with clarity the distinction between means and ends, between tools and
objectives, between touching buttons and touching hands, between technologies
and the child. 23

The most successful technologies are those that become taken for granted:

We do not think anymore of the spectacle of printing every time we read a book,
the phenomenon of TV every time we watch a movie, or the miracle of the
telephone every time we make a call. The ultimate success of ICTs for learning
will be attained when we stop marveling about the ICTs and apply our minds and
emotions to the wonders of learning. 24

23
Wadi D. Haddad. September/October 2001. “The Child between Touching Buttons and Touching
Hands.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
24
W. Haddad & A. Draxler. 2002. “ Are we There Yet?” In Wadi D. Haddad & Alexandra Draxler
(Eds.), Technologies for Education: Potential, Parameters, and Prospects. Paris: UNESCO, and
Washington, DC: Academy for Educational Development.
Version 2.0

ICTs for Education


A Reference Handbook
Part 3: Resources
Wadi D. Haddad

The purpose of ICTs for Education: A Reference Handbook is to provide decision makers,
planners, and practitioners with a summary of what is known about the potential and
conditions of effective use of ICTs for education and learning by drawing on worldwide
knowledge, research, and experience.

The handbook has four parts, each of which addresses different users and serves
different functions. These parts are organized in a parallel manner for ease of use and to
allow cross-referencing.

Part 1: Decision Makers Essentials


Part 2: Analytical Review
Part 3: Resources
Part 4: PowerPoint Presentation

Part 1 presents decision makers with a summary of:


• Challenges facing decision makers
• Characteristics and uses of ICTs
• Options and choices for leveraging the potential of ICTs in achieving national and
educational goals and solving educational problems
• Prerequisite and corequisite conditions for effective integration of ICTs into the
educational process
• Processes to integrate ICTs into education

Part 2 of the handbook:


• Analyzes the rationales and realities of ICTs for education,
• Examines the options and choices for leveraging the potential of ICTs in achieving
national and educational goals and solving educational problems, and
• Outlines the prerequisite and corequisite conditions for effective integration of ICTs
into the educational process

This part (Part 3) provides resources in the form of case studies, experiences, examples
and demonstrations of the potential of ICT-enhanced policies and interventions outlined
in Part 2. There resources are referenced in the respective sections of Part 2.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 2 of 62

Table of Contents

1. BACKGROUND............................................................................................................................... 4
Resource 1.1 Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy............................................................................................. 4
2 THE POTENTIAL OF ICTS: ENHANCEMENT OF EDUCATIONAL GOALS ........................ 8
2.1 EXPANDING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES AND INCREASING EFFICIENCY ................................... 8
Resource 2.1.1 - Broadcast Radio Cases ................................................................................................ 8
Resource 2.1.2 - Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) .............................................................................. 9
Resource 2.1.3 - Television .................................................................................................................. 10
Resource 2.1.4 - Virtual High Schools ................................................................................................. 12
Resource 2.1.5 - Virtual Universities ................................................................................................... 16
2.2 ENHANCING QUALITY OF LEARNING ............................................................................................. 18
Resource 2.2.1 - The Value of Tailored Instruction ............................................................................. 18
Resource 2.2.2 - Radio and Television Programs................................................................................. 22
Resource 2.2.3 - The Case of IVEN ..................................................................................................... 24
Resource 2.2.4 - Simulations................................................................................................................ 26
Resource 2.2.5 - Connecting with the World........................................................................................ 27
Resource 2.2.6 - MIT Clubhouses ........................................................................................................ 29
2.3 ENRICHING QUALITY OF TEACHING .............................................................................................. 30
Resource 2.3.1 - Multimedia Training and Support ............................................................................. 30
Resource 2.3.2 - Videos for Teacher Training...................................................................................... 31
Resource 2.3.3 - Selected Internet Resources for Teachers.................................................................. 32
2.4 FACILITATING SKILL FORMATION ................................................................................................. 35
Resource 2.4.1 - Simulations for Skill Formation ................................................................................ 35
Resource 2.4.2 - The Francis Tuttle Vocational School ....................................................................... 37
Resource 2.4.3 - Interactive Media Training ........................................................................................ 39
Resource 2.4.4 - Applications of E-Training........................................................................................ 40
2.5 SUSTAINING LIFELONG LEARNING ................................................................................................ 44
Resource 2.5.1 - Open Universities ...................................................................................................... 44
Resource 2.5.2 - China’s University of the Third Age ......................................................................... 46
2.6 IMPROVING POLICY PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT ..................................................................... 48
Resource 2.6.1 - Sample List of EMIS Software.................................................................................. 48
Resource 2.6.2 - Examples of Structured Simulations ......................................................................... 49
2.7 ADVANCING COMMUNITY LINKAGES ............................................................................................ 50
Resource 2.7.1 - Radio Receivers......................................................................................................... 50
Resource 2.7.2 - Digital Radio ............................................................................................................. 51
Resource 2.7.3 - Suitcase Radio Station ............................................................................................... 51
Resource 2.7.4 - Community Telecenters............................................................................................. 52
Resource 2.7.5 - Telecenters: Selected Resources................................................................................ 55
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 3 of 62

3 FROM POTENTIAL TO EFFECTIVENESS ................................................................................. 57


3.1 INFRASTRUCTURE.......................................................................................................................... 57
Resource 3.1.1 - Electric and Solar ...................................................................................................... 57
Resource 3.1.2 - Wind Power - Spirit Lakes Community Schools....................................................... 58
Resource 3.1.3 - Pedal Power - Bijli Bike ............................................................................................ 58
Resource 3.1.4 - Connectivity .............................................................................................................. 58
3.2 HARDWARE ................................................................................................................................... 60
Resource 3.2.1 - Computers: Low-Cost Alternative............................................................................. 60
Resource 3.2.2 - Recycling................................................................................................................... 61
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 4 of 62

1. Background

Resource 1.1 - Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy


Benjamin Bloom created the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives in the 1950s as a
means of expressing qualitatively different kinds of thinking. Bloom’s Taxonomy has
since been adapted for classroom use as a planning tool and continues to be one of the
most universally applied models across all levels of schooling and in all areas of study.

The Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy


During the 1990s, Lorin Anderson (a former student of Benjamin Bloom) led a team of
cognitive psychologists in revisiting the taxonomy to examine the relevance of the
taxonomy as we enter the 21st century. As a result of the investigation, a number of
significant improvements were made to the existing structure.

1. REMEMBERING
Recognize, list, describe, identify retrieve, name....
Can the student RECALL information?

2. UNDERSTANDING
Interpret, exemplify, summarize, infer, paraphrase....
Can the student EXPLAIN ideas or concepts?
3. APPLYING
Implement, carry out, use...
Can the student USE the new knowledge in another familiar situation?
4. ANALYZING
Compare, attribute, organize, deconstruct...
Can the student DIFFERENTIATE between constituent parts?
5. EVALUATING
Check, critique, judge hypothesize...
Can the student JUSTIFY a decision or course of action?
6. CREATING
Design, construct, plan, produce...
Can the student GENERATE new products, ideas, or ways of viewing things?

Before turning to examples of how the newly revised Taxonomy may be applied, it
would be appropriate at this point to make both the revisions and reasons for the
changes explicit. Figure 1.1 below describes both the “old” and the “new” taxonomies:

Figure 1.1 The Original Taxonomy and the Revised Taxonomy

Bloom’s Original Taxonomy Anderson’s Revised Taxonomy


Knowledge Remembering
Comprehension Understanding
Application Applying
Analysis Analyzing
Synthesis Evaluating
Evaluation Creating
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 5 of 62

Some of the more significant changes include changes in terminology, structure, and
emphasis, all of which are summarized below.

Changes in Terminology
1. As depicted in the previous table, the names of six major categories were changed
from noun to verb forms. The reasoning behind this is that the taxonomy reflects
different forms of thinking and thinking and is an active process. Verbs describe
actions, not nouns, hence the change.
2. The subcategories of the six major categories were also replaced by verbs, and some
subcategories were reorganized.
3. The knowledge category was renamed. Knowledge is an outcome or product of
thinking, not a form of thinking per se. Consequently, the word knowledge was
inappropriate to describe a category of thinking and was replaced with the word
remembering.
4. Comprehension and synthesis were retitled understanding and creating,
respectively, to better reflect the nature of the thinking defined in each category.

Changes in Structure
1. The one-dimensional form of the original taxonomy becomes a two-dimensional
table with the addition of the products of thinking (i.e., various forms of knowledge).
Forms of knowledge are listed in the revised taxonomy as factual, conceptual,
procedural, and metacognitive.
2. The major categories were ordered in terms of increased complexity. As a result, the
order of synthesis (create) and evaluation (evaluate) have been interchanged. This
was done in deference to the popularly held notion that if one considers the
taxonomy as a hierarchy reflecting increasing complexity, then creative thinking
(i.e., creating level of the revised taxonomy) is a more complex form of thinking
than is critical thinking (i.e., evaluating level of the new taxonomy).

Put quite simply, one can be critical without being creative (i.e., judge an idea and justify
choices), but creative production often requires critical thinking (i.e., accepting and
rejecting ideas on the path to creating a new idea, product, or way of looking at things).

Changes in Emphasis
1. The revision’s primary focus is on the taxonomy in use. Essentially, this means that
the revised taxonomy is a more authentic tool for curriculum planning, instructional
delivery, and assessment.
2. The revision is aimed at a broader audience. Bloom’s Taxonomy was traditionally
viewed as a tool best applied in the earlier years of schooling (i.e., primary and
junior primary years). The revised taxonomy is more universal and easily applicable
at elementary, secondary, and even tertiary levels.
3. The revision emphasizes explanation and description of subcategories.

For example, subcategories at the Remembering level of the taxonomy include:

• Recognizing/Identifying—Locating knowledge in memory that is consistent with


presented material.
• Recalling/Retrieving/Naming—Retrieving relevant knowledge from long-term
memory
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 6 of 62

The table below gives a comprehensive overview of the subcategories, along with some
suggested question starters that seek to elicit thinking specific to each level of the
taxonomy. Suggested potential activities and student products are also listed.

Category

REMEMBER
Recognizing
Locating knowledge in memory that is consistent with presented material.
Synonyms: Identifying

Recalling
Retrieving relevant knowledge from long-term memory.
Synonyms: Retrieving, Naming
UNDERSTAND
Interpreting
Changing from one form of representation to another
Synonyms: Paraphrasing, Translating, Representing, Clarifying

Exemplifying
Finding a specific example or illustration of a concept or principle
Synonyms: Instantiating, Illustrating

Classifying
Determining that something belongs to a category (e.g., concept or principle)
Synonyms: Categorizing, Subsuming

Summarizing
Drawing a logical conclusion from presented information
Synonyms: Abstracting, Generalizing

Inferring
Abstracting a general theme or major point
Synonyms: Extrapolating. Interpolating, Predicting, Concluding

Comparing
Detecting correspondences between two ideas, objects, etc.
Synonyms: Contrasting, Matching, Mapping

Explaining
Constructing a cause-and-effect model of a system
Synonyms: Constructing models
APPLY
Executing
Applying knowledge (often procedural) to a routine task
Synonyms: Carrying out

Implementing
Applying knowledge (often procedural) to a nonroutine task
Synonyms: Using
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 7 of 62

ANALYZE
Differentiating
Distinguishing relevant from irrelevant parts or important from unimportant parts of presented
material
Synonyms: Discriminating, Selecting, Focusing, Distinguishing
Organizing
Determining how elements fit or function within a structure
Synonyms: Outlining, Structuring, Integrating, Finding coherence

Attributing
Determining the point of view, bias, values, or intent underlying presented material
Synonyms: Deconstructing

EVALUATE
Checking
Detecting inconsistencies or fallacies within a process or product
Determining whether a process or product has internal consistency
Synonyms : Testing, Detecting, Monitoring

Critiquing
Detecting the appropriateness of a procedure for a given task or problem
Synonyms: Judging

CREATE
Generating
Coming up with alternatives or hypotheses based on criteria
Synonyms: Hypothesizing

Planning
Devising a procedure for accomplishing some task. producing
Synonyms: Designing

Producing
Inventing a product.
Synonyms: Constructing

Reference - The above is excerpted from the following source:


http://rite.ed.qut.edu.au/oz-
teachernet/index.php?module=ContentExpress&func=display&ceid=29.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 8 of 62

2 The Potential of ICTs: Enhancement of Educational Goals

2.1 Expanding Educational Opportunities and Increasing


Efficiency

Resource 2.1.1 - Broadcast Radio Cases


The Case of Botswana 1
The use of radio as a medium of instruction for distance education started in the 1970s.
The program uses what is known as the three-way teaching method of print, radio, and
face-to-face instruction to reach students who study by the distance education method,
wherever they are in Botswana. Print is the primary medium, and radio and face-to-face
methodologies are supplementary. Radio is used in teaching the following subjects:

• Bookkeeping and Commerce


• English
• History
• Human and Social Biology
• Geography
• Mathematics
• Setswana

Students are also counseled through the radio.

The following problems have been experienced in teaching by radio:

• Reception: There are still parts of Botswana where reception is very poor. In such
places students do not benefit from the radio lessons.
• Access: Some students do not have access to radios, even though many households
have them. Some of those who have radios often run out of batteries, especially in
rural areas.
• Broadcast schedules: Some students have complained about the broadcast
schedules. Botswana has only one central radio station, so not every program has a
time slot suitable for its target audience.

The Case of St. Lucia 2


An entertainment-education radio soap opera, Apwe Plezi, was broadcast and evaluated
from February 1996 to September 1998 in St. Lucia. It began a new season in 2000. The
program promoted family planning, HIV prevention, and other social development
themes. Fifteen-minute episodes were broadcast and rebroadcast most days of the week
on Radio St. Lucia.

The characters in the soap opera serve as positive, negative, or transitional behavioral
role models, and their fates provide vicarious learning experiences to demonstrate the

1
Excerpted from: http://www1.worldbank.org/disted/Technology/broadcast/rad-02.html.
2
Excerpted from: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2614800.html.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 9 of 62

consequences of alternative behaviors. Positive characters embody positive values and


are rewarded, while negative characters embody negative values and are punished.

The program’s effects were assessed through analyses of data from nationally
representative pretest and posttest surveys, focus-group discussions, and other
qualitative and quantitative sources. Among 1,238 respondents to the posttest survey,
35% had listened to Apwe Plezi, with significant effects on several knowledge, attitude,
and behavior variables. Apwe Plezi increased listeners’ awareness of contraceptives,
improved their attitudes toward fidelity and family relations, and caused them to adopt
family planning methods.

Resource 2.1.2 - Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI)


The Case of the Dominican Republic 3
In the Dominican Republic, for example, an IRI project, called RADECO, was created for
children who had no schools; it has been broadcast for more than 12 years. In early
evaluations, children who had just five hours of integrated instruction a week using IRI
and 30 minutes of follow-up activities were compared to students who were in regular
formal schools for more than twice the amount of time. Results showed that first
graders using the RADECO programs responded correctly 51% of the time on posttests,
versus 24% of the time for the control group. Second graders using IRI gave 10% more
correct answers than did the control group. Overall, even though these students had
enormous obstacles, students in both grades who used IRI for an hour a day had
comparable results in reading, writing, and language, compared to the control group,
and performed significantly better in math.

Based on the early success of the RADECO project, IRI programs are being developed in
other areas that face different types of obstacles, such as the failing schools of Haiti,
nonformal early childhood development centers in Bolivia and Nepal, and adult learning
centers in Honduras.

The Case of Zambia 4


In Zambia, interactive radio instruction now shows that IRI also can help to increase
education access for children who have no schools or teachers and who are increasingly
vulnerable due to the effects of HIV/AIDs and poverty. IRI, which is delivering basic
education to out-of-school children, especially orphans and other vulnerable children, in
community learning centers, is a collaborative effort among communities, churches,
nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the Ministry of Education’s Educational
Broadcast Services (EBS), the Peace Corps, and the Education Development Center (EDC).
EBS develops and broadcasts the programs and develops supplementary materials, such
as mentor’s guides, and the Ministry of Education trains mentors in its District Resource
Centers and provides supervision/monitoring at participating learning centers.
Communities, churches, schools (both government and community), and NGOs provide
the learning center venues, mentor(s) to facilitate the radio broadcasts, radio receivers, a
3
Excerpted from: Andrea Bosch. March/April 2001. “Interactive Radio Instruction for
Mathematics: Applications and Adaptations from Around the World.” TechKnowLogia. Available at
www.TechKnowLogia.org.
4
Excerpted from: Andrea Bosch et al. 2002. “Interactive Radio Instruction: An Update from the
Field.” In Wadi D. Haddad & Alexandra Draxler (Eds.), Technologies for Education: Potential,
Parameters, and Prospects. Paris: UNESCO, and Washington, DC: Academy for Educational
Development.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 10 of 62

blackboard, and some locally made materials. Communities also mobilize out-of-school
children to attend the learning centers each day. EDC has trained EBS writers and
producers and assisted EBS to develop a training-of-trainers program for Ministry of
Education resource center staff who, in turn, train mentors to run the community-based
learning centers.

In 2000 and 2001, EBS produced and aired daily 30-minute lessons for grade 1,
following the Zambian curriculum for mathematics and English. Grades 2 and 3 are in
the process of lesson development. In addition, each IRI program includes skills in
English as a second language, basic mathematical skills, and a five-minute segment
covering life skill themes (hygiene, nutrition, social values, etc.) to strengthen the ability
of the community to support its children. The programs are designed to be guided by a
facilitator rather than a trained teacher, so the content can be delivered easily, and more
students can participate. Because the programs promote interactive learning during the
broadcast, as do all IRI programs, facilitators are supported in their leadership roles with
new content and subject matter.

Resource 2.1.3 - Television


The Case of Telecurso in Brazil 5
With its large territory and low school attendance, Brazil has been experimenting with
radio and television education for more than three decades. Two states in the Northeast
(Ceará and Maranhão) created secondary schools through television in the 1970s. A bit
later, another player—the private enterprise Globo Television Network—stepped onto
the stage and completely changed the relationship between secondary schools and
television. Being the world’s fourth largest network, Globo had ample experience in
production, excelling in soap operas that found huge markets in all continents. Twenty
years ago, the Roberto Marinho Foundation (FRM), the education branch of Globo,
created the first Telecurso, adding a number of important innovations, including very
expensive production and actors instead of teachers. This program, a major success,
aired for more than 15 years.

Telecurso targeted young adults who left primary or secondary schools before
graduation. Brazil has always offered open examinations for primary (eight years) and
secondary (11 years) certificates (exame supletivo) for young adults who are beyond a
certain age. Since these were open examinations, students could prepare for them on
their own or enroll in preparatory courses. The Telecurso took the place of these
preparatory courses, allowing students to follow the curricula by watching television. A
number of institutions received FRM supervision to create classrooms where, with the
aid of an improvised or certified teacher, students could watch the programs/classes
and use the complementary written materials.

In the early 1990s, with the rapid transformation and globalization of the Brazilian
economy, industrialists were having problems with the appallingly low schooling levels
of their workers. In many cases, they sponsored their students to take preparatory
courses leading to the government examinations. However, the quality of these courses
was, at best, mediocre.

5
Excerpted from: Claudio de Moura Castro. November/December 1999. “Brazil’s Telecurso 2000:
The Flexible Solution for Secondary School Equivalency.” TechKnowLogia. Available at
www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 11 of 62

The Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo then struck a deal with FRM to
prepare a new Telecurso for its workers. In this joint venture, the industrialists
contributed US$30 million to produce a new program, and Globo offered to broadcast it
without any charges. Globo also donated the equivalent of US$60 million worth of
commercial TV time to promote the new program, called Telecurso 2000.

Telecurso 2000, a condensed version of a basic curriculum for distance education, is to


be provided through a combination of videotaped classroom sessions and books. Thus,
both television sets and videocassette equipment are used. In addition, an optional
curriculum is offered that focuses on teaching basic mechanical skills (the vocational
course on mechanics).

It is difficult to identify all the users of Telecurso. Suffice it to say, however, that 5.2
million accompanying texts were sold or distributed between 1995 and 1999. Telesalas
(classrooms with television sets) have been created in enterprises, and a support system
for those working with students has been established. At present, more than 200,000
students attend classes in factories, schools, churches, offices, prisons, ships, and
buses. In addition, an unknown—but probably large—number of people watch television
and study on their own. But even more surprising, another large and uncounted crowd
watches the programs regularly or occasionally, apparently because it is interesting,
light, and fun. A further development is the spontaneous use of the programs in regular
schools, something that had already started with the old Telecurso. A number of states
are now developing explicit programs to incorporate portions of Telecurso into regular
secondary schools.

The per-student costs are significantly low because of the large number of participants.
Assuming a cost of US$30 million for preparing Telecurso 2000, if the program were to
stop today, figures for book sales indicate that several million students participated in
Telecurso somewhat seriously. Assuming that three million used the program, this
would amount to US$10 per student. This is a very modest per student cost for a set of
1,200 15-minute lectures. Costs per book are around US$4 (the primary school program
uses a single book, and the secondary program uses multiple books). Hence, the social
cost per student working on his or her own is US$14.

The Case of Telesecundaria in Mexico 6


Telesecundaria was created over three decades ago in response to the needs of rural
Mexican communities where a general secondary school (grades 7–9) was not feasible,
because of too few students or an ability to attract teachers. The main characteristics of
Telesecundaria have always been:
• using television to carry most of the teaching load, and
• having one teacher to cover all subjects, rather than the subject matter specialists
used in general secondary schools.

This combination permits effective installation and implementation of these schools in


sparsely settled rural areas that are usually inhabited by fewer than 2,500 people and
have low primary completion and secondary enrollment rates, since just three
classrooms and three teachers can cover the complete curriculum.

6
Excerpted from: Claudio de Moura Castro, Laurence Wolff, & Norma Garcia. September/October
1999. “Mexico’s Telesecundaria—Bringing Education by Television to Rural Areas.”
TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 12 of 62

Telesecundaria has experienced a very substantial growth rate since its inception in
1968. Its current enrollment is over a million and is equivalent to 16.6% of total
enrollment in grades 7–9.

On average, the Telesecundaria schools have three teachers—one for each grade—and
22 students per grade. Students attend school 200 days a year, 30 hours a week. The
instructional program, which went through many stages, is now integrated and
comprehensive, providing a complete package of distance and in-person support to
students and teachers. It puts teachers and students on the screen, brings context and
practical uses of the concepts taught, and uses images and available clips extensively to
illustrate and help students. It also enables schools to deliver the same secondary
school curriculum offered in traditional schools.

At 8 a.m., the teachers in all of the Telesecundaria schools in Mexico turn on the TV.
The students watch 15 minutes of television, then the set is turned off, and the book,
workbook, and teacher take over, following detailed instructions for the remaining 45
minutes. First, the teacher asks whether students have any questions about the concepts
they have just seen. Then, they might read aloud, apply what was taught in practical
exercises, and participate in a brief evaluation of what has been learned. Finally, the
materials taught are reviewed. At 9 a.m., another subject starts, following the same
routine.

Evaluation studies show that Telesecundaria students start significantly behind other
students but catch up completely in math and cut the deficit in language in half. It
strongly suggests that the “value added” of learning is higher in Telesecundaria than it
is in general schools.

In terms of cost, Telesecundaria schools have proven to be slightly more costly (per
student) than conventional schools, mainly because of the cost to develop TV programs.
However, a more appropriate comparison would be with the cost of setting up a general
secondary school in a rural area. In principle, the cost would be prohibitive, since a
school with 60 students would require 12 teachers, for a 5:1 student-teacher ratio, as
well as a full laboratory and administrative personnel. This would add up to running
costs nearly four times those of Telesecundaria. Even after subtracting the unit costs of
television programs, schools would still be three times as expensive.

Resource 2.1.4 - Virtual High Schools


Choice 2000 7
Choice 2000, one of the original charter schools in California, is a completely online and
fully accredited secondary school for grades 7–12.

The instructional platform that Choice uses is interactive. Students attend classes daily
at set times, and lessons are presented visually and verbally. Students and teachers are
able to interact directly in this virtual environment, hearing and answering questions
and participating in discussions of what appears on the screen. Students must provide
their own computer. The maximum class size is 20 students per class, with an average
of 13 students.

Summarized from: http://www.choice2000.org/.


7
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 13 of 62

The Alberta Distance Learning Centre 8


The Alberta Distance Learning Center (ADLC), Canada, provides a distance education
program leading to a high school diploma. It uses both asynchronous and synchronous
on-line learning methods.

Online students are assigned to in-house Distance Learning Teachers who initiate
contact with students to provide regular coaching, monitoring, and tutoring
opportunities for each student. Students work from a combination of online and print
materials and generally submit their assignments electronically. Expected turnaround
time for student work is one to three days. In addition, students receive multiple
assessment opportunities beyond regular assignment activities, such as quizzes, a unit
test, and possibly a mid-term exam, thereby placing less weight on the final exam and
bettering the students’ potential for high achievement.

For the predominantly asynchronous courses, students communicate by such Internet


media as e-mail, online chat, threaded discussions, audio conferences, and shared
whiteboards as well as by telephone, print, and fax machine. For synchronous courses,
live classes are conducted over the Internet. The entire class “meets” at a regular time,
and students are able to communicate with each other using microphones, drawing
tools, and even sharing computer software.

The Open School in British Columbia 9


The Open School in British Columbia (BC) (Canada)provides asynchronous learning
opportunities to high school students in the province. The online courses, using WebCT
platform, are developed by a team of teachers, instructional designers, Web developers
and education specialists who work together to produce ready-to-use, K–12 courses and
resources that meet BC Ministry of Education curriculum guidelines. Unfortunately,
however, a review of a sample course shows that it is basically a hyperlinked text. See
http://www.openschool.bc.ca/online_login.html.

Virtual School Service in Australia 10


In Australia, the only full-service virtual school—the Virtual School Service—provides
online classes to Queensland’s high school students in subject areas that regular high
schools have difficulty offering, including economics, mathematics, Japanese, modern
history, information processing and technology, and physics. Review sample activities
at:
http://education.qld.gov.au/virtualschool/html/students/infohub/study_activities.htm.

PBS—High School Equivalency Online Program 11


The General Educational Development (GED) Testing Service develops and distributes
GED tests, which are designed to provide a “reliable vehicle through which adults can
certify that they possess the major and lasting outcomes of a traditional high school
education.” More than 860,000 adults worldwide take the GED tests each year, and more
than 95% of U.S. employers consider GED graduates the same as traditional high school
graduates in terms of hiring, salary, and opportunity for advancement.

8
Summarized from: http://www.adlc.ca/home.
9
Summarized from: http://www.openschool.bc.ca/.
10
Summarized from: http://education.qld.gov.au/virtualschool/html/index.htm.
11
Summarized from: http://litlink.ket.org/wesged.iphtml.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 14 of 62

PBS LiteracyLink offers learners a GED Connection package to help individuals prepare
for the GED test with:

• 39 video programs, broadcast by public television stations or available as videotapes


• student workbooks covering reading/writing, social studies/science, and math
• interactive online learning modules, with practice tests, online activities and quizzes
for each GED lesson.

These integrated multimedia components work together to make studying for the GED
easy for busy adults who need to work at their own pace. In addition to the online
modules, learners can view the lessons on their local public television stations, record
them, and use the videotapes to study at home. Many local adult education programs,
community colleges, one-stop career centers, and libraries have GED Connection videos
and books available, with classes and teachers to help. Online teachers from several
states are also available to coach adult learners in virtual classrooms.

Florida Virtual School 12


The Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is a statewide, Internet-based, public high school
offering a rigorous curriculum online. Enrollment for 2002–03 exceeded 10,000.
Courses are free to all Florida students and are available to public, private, and home
schooled students, and non-Florida students can enroll in FLVS on a tuition basis. FLVS
offered 75 courses during the 2003–04 school year, including honors and 11 Advanced
Placement classes. FLVS course grades are accepted for credit and are transferable.

All FLVS courses are delivered over the Internet. To help assure student success with
virtual learning, a variety of Web-based, technology-based, and traditional resources is
provided. Teachers communicate with students and parents regularly via telephone, e-
mail, online chats, instant messaging, and discussion forums. For a course
demonstration, visit: http://www.flvs.net/_global_connections/flash_courses/index.htm.

FLVS is currently working to assemble a “Virtual School Sourcebook” designed to offer


readers a resource for developing and managing a virtual school learning enterprise. It
will highlight FLVS “lessons learned,” along with key issues that should be addressed
when undertaking a virtual school initiative. It is also willing to license its courses to
other schools and districts.

The Babbage Net School 13


The Babbage Net School is a private virtual high school offering online, interactive
courses in English, math, science, social studies, SAT preparation, foreign language,
Advanced Placement, music, and art. These courses are taught by certified teachers in a
virtual classroom featuring interactive audio, synchronized Web browsing, and a shared
whiteboard. The Babbage Net School also offers in-service courses for teachers.

The classes meet in a “classroom” at a specific time, and only registered students are
allowed into a class. The virtual class is extremely similar to classes given in a traditional
bricks-and-mortar school building. A certified, experienced teacher is in control of the
class and guides the students through each lesson. The students have textbooks, the
teacher talks to the class, and students can be “given the floor” so they can also talk to

12
Summarized from: http://www.flvs.net/.
13
Summarized from: http://www.babbagenetschool.com/.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 15 of 62

the class. Some class material is shown to the students as Web pages using a
synchronized Web browser; other material is displayed on a whiteboard that functions
as a blackboard does in a traditional classroom. Students can raise their hands to get
the teacher’s attention, or they can ask questions using text chat. The teacher can have
a student answer a question by talking to the class or writing on the whiteboard, making
the virtual class fully interactive. Students can also interact asynchronously with the
teacher or their classmates by e-mail.

The Virtual High School


The Virtual High School (VHS) is a research-based project administered by a partnership
between the Hudson Public School (Massachusetts) and The Concord Consortium.
Through the Internet, participating schools can offer new courses without having to
increase enrollment to justify the expenses. The project functions as a cooperative; each
participating school contributes at least one teacher and a site coordinator to the
project, and, in exchange, the school can enroll a preestablished number of students in
any VHS courses. A site coordinator helps to recruit the students and teachers, to ensure
that the technology is available and functioning, and to provide support to the students.
The advantage of the cooperative system is that the major cost of project personnel—is
shared among all participants.

Before developing the online course, the teacher must complete a graduate-level course
on design and development of network-based material. Each online course may take a
year to develop and must be approved by the school principal and VHS central staff.
More recently, an Evaluation Board has been formed to define standards of quality for
the courses. The courses, mostly one semester long, are taken for credits as core
subjects or electives. The courses are mostly interdisciplinary and use student-centered,
hands-on instructional strategies that emphasize collaborative learning and inquiry.
Students can take the course at home or during school time. The VHS coordinator
functions as a tutor. The online courses are housed in a LearningSpace educational
environment that enables teachers to deliver lectures, moderate student discussions,
conduct assessments, and receive students’ work. Students can submit work individually
or in groups and can participate in discussions with their peers.

The first semester of the project was hampered by a series of technical problems and a
lack of participant experience with the process. For instance, because staff
underestimated the server capacity needed to support 350 students online, the courses
were offline for a few weeks. As time passed, technical difficulties decreased, the
teachers learned how to manage the logistics of online teaching, and students improved
their understanding of the responsibility and persistence necessary to participate in
distance learning. During the 1997–98 school year, the project had 30 participant
schools and offered 30 courses to 700 students. In 1999–2000, the number of schools
grew to 87, and the project offered 94 courses to more than 2,500 students. It is
estimated that the project will serve more than 6,000 children over the five-year grant
period. 14

14
C. Espinoza, T. Dove, A. Zucker, & R.B. Kozma. October 1999. An Evaluation of the Virtual High
school After Two Years of Operation.: SRI International. Available at http://vhs.concord.org; R.
Tinker. 1998. The Virtual High School: A Scalable Cooperative. Available at
http://vhs.concord.org; K. Yamashiro & A. Zucker. November 1999. An Expert Panel Review of the
Quality of Virtual High School Courses: Final Report. SRI International. Available at
http://vhs.concord.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 16 of 62

Resource 2.1.5 - Virtual Universities 15


Peru’s Higher Technological Institute
Peru’s Higher Technological Institute (TECSUP) is a dual-mode institution that uses both
conventional campuses, in Lima and Arequipa, and a virtual campus that was introduced
in 1999. As of 2000, more than 1,600 learners were enrolled in a variety of distance
education courses, primarily in technical training. According to Wolff and Garcia,
learners can access the TECSUP virtual campus through TECSUP conventional campus
locations, their workplace, home, or public Internet kiosks. Courses are generally seven
weeks and include online content, self-evaluations, and discussions with the instructor
and other students. 16 For more information, visit http://www.tecsup.edu.pe.

The African Virtual University


The African Virtual University (AVU) is a single-mode institution that operates without a
conventional campus, but uses the facilities of conventional universities in 22 sub-
Saharan African universities in 15 countries to provide learners with facilities to access
technology delivery systems. 17 Established in 1997, the AVU supports learners across
the continent through videotaped instruction and/or live broadcast (via satellite or fiber
optic connections), with learners participating in the discussion by e-mail, telephone, or
fax. Additional reference materials such as books, journals, and course notes are also
available for learners. Courses currently offered by the AVU focus primarily on training
and certificate programs, with more than 23,000 learners having completed at least one
semester-long course. Though current fees per course are still out of reach of many
Africans, they generally are much less than those of competitive programs offered by
other international universities. For more information, visit http://www.avu.org.

The University of the Highlands and Islands


Serving a dispersed and rural population in Scotland, the University of the Highlands and
Islands (UHI) provides a diverse collage of thematic multidisciplinary learning
opportunities for both degree-seeking and nondegree-seeking learners. Like many
single-mode institutions, UHI uses local learning centers, 50 in this case, to provide
regional support to learners. Using instructional readings, local classroom instruction,
informal tutors, videoconferencing, self-paced computerized instruction, and other
media, UHI offers courses that, like most professional development training, focus more
on “building individual competencies than the transfer of knowledge.” 18 Developed in
consultation with employers, UHI courses are tailored specifically to the needs of the
Highlands and Islands. They cover a range of subjects focusing on the region’s principal
industries and businesses, including fisheries, land management, forestry, marine
ecology, and tourism. For more information, visit http://www.uhi.ac.uk.

15
Excerpted from: Ryan Watkins & Michael Corry. 2002. “Virtual Universities: Challenging the
Conventions of Education.” In Wadi D. Haddad & Alexandra Draxler (Eds.), Technologies for
Education: Potential, Parameters, and Prospects. Paris: UNESCO, and Washington, DC: Academy
for Educational Development.
16
L. Wolff & N. Garcia. May/June 2001. “Higher Education and Enterprise Training in Latin America:
The Case of the Virtual Campus of Peru’s Higher Technological Institute.” TechknowLogia.
Available at
www.TechKnowLogia.org.
17
M. Diagne. January/February 2000. “The African Virtual University: Bridging the Knowledge Gap
for Development.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
18
R. Hopper & W. Saint. January/February2000. “New Paradigm or Exceptional Case?”
TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 17 of 62

The Virtual University of the Technological Institute of Monterrey


The Virtual University of the Technological Institute of Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico, is the
primary provider of distance education in Mexico and many other areas of Latin
America. ITESM is a dual-mode institution that offers mainly master’s degree-level
programs through its virtual campus. 19 Using primarily satellite technology, ITESM
provides courses to more than 1,300 reception sites throughout Mexico and Latin
America. In addition, ITESM offers a franchised 20 master’s program in educational
technology with the University of British Columbia. For more information, visit
http://www.itesm.mx.

The University of Phoenix


One of the few private, for-profit universities to offer distance education internationally,
the University of Phoenix (UP) operates a variety of small-campus facilities throughout
the United States and an online virtual campus. For the majority of learners, the online
campus provides a variety of resources to support their classroom sessions. 21 In
addition, the UP offers courses conducted completely through the virtual campus as well
as nonfranchised international programs to learners around the world through online
courses. Currently enrolling more than 80,000 working adult students, the UP’s
completion rate averages approximately 60% across all programs. For more information,
visit http://www.phoenix.edu.

The Open University of Hong Kong


Previously known as the Open Learning Institute of Hong Kong, the Open University of
Hong Kong (OUHK) offers a variety of degree and certificate programs in the arts and
social sciences, business and administration, education and languages, and science and
technology. 22 Currently the university teaches over 100 postgraduate, degree,
and subdegree programs to more than 25,000 enrolled learners. The OUHK uses a
flexible credit system under which learners earn credits for each course, which
accumulate toward a degree. Similar to other open universities—specifically, the United
Kingdom Open University—the OUHK provides course-related materials to distance
learners through a variety of instructional media, including text, videotape, and some
broadcast television. Additionally, learners are required to attend tutoring sessions at
local study centers periodically during each course. For more information, visit
http://www.ouhk.edu.hk.

Nova Southeastern University


Like the University of Phoenix, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) offers international
programs to learners around the world. NSU is private, not-for-profit university that has
students at its conventional campus and learners taking courses offered at a distance.

19
L. Wolff. January/February 2000. “Mexico: The Virtual University of the Technological
Institute of Monterrey.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
20
A franchise is a granted right to use someone else’s materials and services in a
specific territory.
21
G. Jackson. January/February 2000. “University of Phoenix: A New Model for Tertiary
Education in Developing Countries?” TechKnowLogia. Available at
www.TechKnowLogia.org.
22
S. Jurich. January/February 2000. “The Open University of Hong Kong: Quality
Assurance in Distance Education.” TechKnowLogia. Available at
www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 18 of 62

NSU currently enrolls more than 18,000 learners, and many of its programs provide
dual-mode educational opportunities to students who meet in person and online.
Providing online programs all the way to the doctorate level, NSU’s virtual campus
supports online learners with an extensive virtual library. For more information, visit
http://www.nova.edu.

The Center for Open Distance Education for Civil Society


The Center for Open Distance Education for Civil Society (CODECS) now offers
educational opportunities to learners throughout Romania. 23 In cooperation with the
United Kingdom Open University (UKOU), CODECS operates 12 regional centers offering
tutorial support for learners using UKOU instructional materials (including videotapes,
instructional texts, course software, etc.). Certificates, diplomas, and degrees attained
through CODECS-offered courses are recognized internationally through the UKOU. The
CODECS model for institutional structure is a primary example of franchised
international distance education. For more information, visit
http://www.open.ac.uk/collaborate/romania.htm.

2.2 Enhancing Quality of Learning

Resource 2.2.1 - The Value of Tailored Instruction 24


Technology-Based Instruction
An argument for technology-based instruction may be roughly summarized as the
following:
• Tailoring instruction to the needs of individual students remains an instructional
imperative. Despite heroic efforts to the contrary, however, today’s classroom
instruction does not achieve this.
• Tailoring instruction to the needs of individual students requires very low
teacher-to-student ratios—specifically the one-to-one ratios found in individual
tutoring. Absent dramatic changes in public policy, such individualization
remains both an instructional imperative and an economic impracticality.
• Technology-based instruction can make this imperative affordable and feasible.
• Technology-based instruction is more effective than current instructional
approaches across many subject matters, because of its intense interactivity and
individualization.
• Technology-based instruction is generally less costly than current instructional
approaches, especially when many students and/or expensive equipment or
instrumentation are involved.
• Technology-based instruction will become increasingly affordable and
instructionally more effective.

The Value and Affordability of Tailored Instruction


The argument for technology-based instruction usually begins with an issue that is
separate from the use of technology. It concerns the effectiveness of classroom
instruction, involving one instructor for 20-30 students, compared to individual tutoring,
involving one instructor for each student.

23
A. Ionescu. January/February 2000. “CODECS Brings the Open University to Romania.”
TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechknowLogia.org.
24
Excerpted from: J. D. Fletcher. January–March 2003. “Does This Stuff Work? A Review of
Technology Used to Teach.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechknowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 19 of 62

Bloom (1984) combined findings from three empirical studies comparing one-on-one
tutoring with one-on-many classroom instruction. It was not surprising that such
comparisons showed that the tutored students learned more; however how much more
they learned was a surprise. Overall, it amounted to two standard deviations of
difference in achievement. This finding means, for example (and roughly), that, with
instructional time held fairly constant, one-on-one tutoring raised the performance of
mid-level 50th percentile students to that of 98th percentile students. These and similar
empirical research findings suggest that differences between one-on-one tutoring and
typical classroom instruction are not only likely, but very large.

Why then do we not provide these benefits to all students? The answer is
straightforward and obvious. With the exception of a few critical skills, such as aircraft
piloting and surgery, we cannot afford it—or choose not to. The primary issue is cost.

Can computer technology help fill the gap between what we need and what we can
afford? To answer this question, we should examine what accounts for the success of
one-on-one tutoring. Fundamentally, its success appears to be due to two capabilities.

• Tutors and their students can engage in many more interactions per unit of time
than is possible in a classroom.
• Tutors can adapt (individualize) their presentations and interactions on demand
and in real time to the needs of their students.

Interactive, computer-based technologies can provide both of these capabilities.

Interactivity
With regard to the first tutorial capability (intensity of instructional interaction),
Graesser and Person (1994) reported the following:

• Average number of questions by a teacher of a class in a classroom hour: 3


• Average number of questions asked by a tutor and answered by a student during
a tutorial hour: 120–145
• Average number of questions asked by any one student during a classroom
hour: 0.11
• Average number of questions asked by a student and answered by a tutor during
a tutorial hour: 20–30

Is this level of interactivity found in technology-based instruction? One study found that
students taking reading and arithmetic instruction were answering 8–10 questions a
minute (Fletcher, in press). This level of interactivity extrapolates to 480–600 such
questions an hour, if students sustained this level of interaction for 60 minutes. These
students worked with the computer-based materials in 12-minute sessions, which
extrapolates to 96–144 individually selected and rapidly assessed questions the
students received each day for each subject area. This level of interactivity is certainly
comparable to what they would receive in one-on-one tutorial instruction. Similar
findings have been reported elsewhere.

Individualization
Tutors can and do adjust the content, sequence, and difficulty of instruction to the
needs of their students. These adjustments affect pace—the rate or speed with which
students proceed through instructional material.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 20 of 62

Differences in the speed with which students learn are not surprising, but (as with
tutoring) the magnitudes of the differences are. The challenge this diversity presents to
classroom instructors is daunting. They typically focus on their slower students and
leave the faster students to fend for themselves. It has long been noted that technology-
based instruction allows students to proceed as rapidly or as slowly as they need to.

Payoff: Time Savings


One of the most stable findings in comparisons of technology-based instruction and
conventional instruction using lecture, text, and experience with equipment concerns
instruction time savings. Studies have shown that, overall, it seems reasonable to expect
technology-based instruction to reduce the time it takes students to reach a variety of
objectives by about 30%.

Payoff: Costs
Obviously, such time savings reduces expenditures for instructional resources,
instructors’ time, and student pay and allowances, as in the case of industrial training.
These cost savings can be substantial.

Instructional Effectiveness
Do these savings in time come at the expense of instructional effectiveness? Research
data suggest the opposite. An aggregation of many studies—“meta-analysis” (analysis of
analyses)—produced an estimation of effect sizes. Roughly, effect sizes are normalized
measures found by subtracting the mean from one collection of results (e.g., a control
group) from the mean of another (e.g., an experimental group) and dividing the
resulting difference by an estimate of their common standard deviation (Hedges and
Olkin, 1985). Because they are normalized, effective sizes can be averaged to give an
overall estimate of effect from many separate studies undertaken to investigate the
same phenomenon.

Figure 2.2.1 shows effect sizes from several reviews of studies that compared
conventional instruction and technology-based instruction.

Figure 2.2.1 Effect Sizes for Studies Comparing Technology-Based Instruction


With More Conventional Approaches
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 21 of 62

“Computer-based instruction” summarizes results from 233 studies that involved


straightforward application of computer presentations that used text, graphics, and
some animation—as well as some degree of individualized interaction. The effect size of
0.39 standard deviations suggests, roughly, an improvement of 50th percentile students
to the performance levels of 65th percentile students.

“Interactive multimedia instruction” involves more elaborate interactions adding more


audio, more extensive animation, and video. These added capabilities evidently increase
achievement. They show an average effect size of 0.50 standard deviations, which
suggests that 50th percentile students improve to the 69th percentile of performance.

“Intelligent tutoring systems” involve a capability that has been developing since the late
1960s (Carbonell, 1970), but has only recently been expanding into general use. In this
approach, an attempt is made to directly mimic the one-on-one dialogue that occurs in
tutorial interactions. The important component of these systems is that computer
presentations and responses are generated in real time, on demand, and as needed or
requested by learners. Instructional designers do not need to anticipate and store them
in advance.

This approach is computationally more sophisticated and more expensive to produce


than is standard computer-based instruction. However, its costs may be justified by the
increase in average effect size to 0.84 standard deviations, which suggests, roughly, an
improvement from 50th to 80th percentile performance. In five empirical comparisons
involving a single intelligent tutoring system, SHERLOCK, Gott, Kane, and Lesgold (1995)
found an average effect size of 1.05 standard deviations, which suggests an
improvement of the performance of 50th percentile students to the 85 percentile.

The more extensive tailoring of instruction to the needs of individual students that can
be obtained with generative, intelligent tutoring systems is expected to increase. Such
systems will raise the bar for the ultimate effectiveness of technology-based instruction.

Conclusion
The above research data, along with other findings, suggest a conclusion that has been
called the rule of “thirds.” This conclusion states that technology-based instruction will
reduce the costs by about a third and either increase achievement by about a third or
decrease time needed to reach instructional objectives by a third.

In sum, the above review suggests the following:

• Technology-based instruction can increase instructional effectiveness.


• Technology-based instruction can reduce time and costs needed for learning.
• Technology-based instruction can make individualization affordable, thereby
helping to ensure that all students learn.

References
Bloom, B. S. (1984). The 2 sigma problem: The search for methods of group instruction
as effective as one-to-one tutoring. Educational Researcher, 13, 4–16.
Carbonell, J. R. (1970). AI in CAI: An artificial intelligence approach to computer-assisted
instruction. IEEE Transactions on Man-Machine Systems, 11, 190–202.
Fletcher, J. D. (in press). Technology, the Columbus effect, and the third revolution in
learning. In M. Rabinowitz, F. C. Blumberg, & H. Everson (Eds.), The Impact of
Media and Technology in Instruction. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 22 of 62

Gott, S. P., Kane, R. S., & Lesgold, A. (1995). Tutoring for Transfer of Technical
Competence (AL/HR-TP-1995-0002). Brooks AFB, TX: Armstrong Laboratory,
Human Resources Directorate.
Graesser, A. C., & Person, N. K. (1994). Question asking during tutoring. American
Educational Research Journal, 31, 104–137.
Hedges, L. V., & Olkin, I. (1985) Statistical Methods for Meta-Analysis. Orlando, FL:
Academic Press.

Resource 2.2.2 - Radio and Television Programs 25


The Case of Ethiopia
Ethiopia has a rich experience in using radio and television to support primary,
secondary and nonformal education, spanning more than three decades. The
Educational Media Agency (EMA) of the Ministry of Education, which has led this effort,
currently manages an extensive broadcasting infrastructure dedicated to supporting
education. EMA has large facilities, employs approximately 160 persons, operates 11
transmitters, each with two channels, throughout the country, and runs 12 recording
studios at the center and the regions, with more construction planned in the coming
years.

Radios, including 500 solar-powered sets, have been distributed to almost all schools
nationally, and 800 color televisions have been sent to almost all secondary schools.

The radio and television programs enrich education in the following manner:
• They improve the quality of primary education by producing at the regional level
radio programs in local languages for all primary school grades in most subjects.
• They strengthen the teaching of English through development of interactive radio
instruction (IRI).
• They improve the quality of secondary education and reduce regional disparities by
producing radio and television programs in many secondary school subjects.
• They improve the qualifications of teachers by creating new distance education
programs to upgrade underqualified primary school teachers.

The Venezuelan Experience with Interactive Radio for Math 26


The Interactive Mathematics for Basic Education program is designed to raise the quality
of mathematics teaching in the first phase of Basic Education in Venezuela, which
corresponds to grades 1–3. The program was developed by the National Center for the
Improvement of Science Education, CENAMEC, under the auspices of the Ministry of
Education. It was financed at first by the Venezuelan private sector, then by the World
Bank during the period of its greatest expansion.

The program was created to help resolve the problem of low levels of quality learning in
this subject. Additionally, given that this problem is greatly tied to deficiencies in
training and updating math teachers, the program was devised as a system of

25
Excerpted from: Thomas D. Tilson & Demissew Bekele. May/June 2000. “Ethiopia:
Educational Radio and Television. “ TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
26
For further details, see Nora Ghetea Jaegerman & Victor Vásquez R. May/June 2000. “Interactive
Mathematics for Basic Education: The Venezuelan Experience with IRI.” TechKnowLogia. Available at
www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 23 of 62

permanent training for teachers using their own resources. To accomplish these
objectives, the program offers to each participating classroom a radio, a teacher’s
guide, a package of complementary materials, the daily transmission of a radio
program, Matemática Divertida (Entertaining Mathematics), teacher training, and follow-
up.

The typical Interactive Mathematics lesson or “encounter” contains three important


aspects: preparation, listening to the radio program, and carrying out activities
suggested in the guide. During preparation, the teacher organizes the students and
ensures that they have the necessary materials ready for the transmission. During the
radio program, varied and intensive activities are carried out, monitored by the teacher.
To wrap up the “encounter,” the teacher conducts evaluation and reinforcement
activities, going more in depth as suggested in the guide, in some cases supported by
complementary materials the teacher receives.

Comparative studies of the children’s learning between an experimental group and a


control group indicated the following:

• First trial of first grade. Initially, the students in the experimental group were below
the level of the control group students. By the end of the year, the experimental
group had reached the control group, achieving learning gains that were
significantly greater than those of the control group.
• Measurement of knowledge of children entering fourth grade. A study was done
comparing fourth grade students who had studied under the Interactive Mathematics
system and others who had followed traditional methods in the Federal District and
the states of Lara and Mérida. The experimental group had significantly higher
results than the control group.

Cost figures are:


• Development cost per program: US$3,000
• Recurring cost per school year per classroom or section
o Follow-up and training: US$25
o Radio transmissions: US$9.37
o Radios and teacher’s guides: US$9.6
o Complementary materials and batteries: US$9
o Total recurrent cost per class or section: US$53
• Total recurrent cost per student :US$1.76

The Case of Guinea 27


The Republic of Guinea provides an example of how a multichannel learning approach
and IRI can and do improve instruction on a nationwide scale. To reach the roughly
22,000 primary teachers in need of support and in-service training, a series of materials
has been produced, each of which relies primarily on a different “channel” to
communicate important concepts and topics to students and teachers. There are 66 IRI
programs per grade for every grade from 1 to 6. The children access this learning
channel three times a week during their French and math classes. In addition, there are

27
Excerpted from: Andrea Bosch at al. 2002. “Interactive Radio Instruction: An Update from the
Field.” In Wadi D. Haddad & Alexandra Draxler (Eds.), Technologies for Education: Potential,
Parameters, and Prospects. Paris: UNESCO, and Washington, DC: Academy for Educational
Development.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 24 of 62

materials that rely primarily on “print” to channel information toward the student:
student workbooks for children in grades 2–6, and short-story readers for children in
grades 1–2. Finally, there is a primarily visual channel: color posters, of which every
primary school classroom has a set.

The addition of IRI programs and print materials to the teachers’ spoken explanations of
French vocabulary and basic math provide the children with a second auditory learning
“channel” (the IRI programs); a more stimulating visual “channel” than their own
notebooks (the color posters); and a number of kinesthetic “channels” supplied by the
activities recommended in the IRI programs, on the backs of the posters, and in the
teacher’s editions of the workbooks and readers. All of the different materials are
specific to the Guinean context and use objects/examples from the students’
surroundings, thereby drawing on the learning “channel” to which students are exposed
the most: the one that links them to their homes, families, and communities.

Resource 2.2.3 - The Case of IVEN


Science and mathematics are supposed to provide conceptual and technological tools
that allow people to describe and explain how the world works with power and
precision, and to achieve a richer understanding and appreciation of the world they
experience. However, in most cases, school conditions have reduced the wonderful,
dynamic, and multidimensional world of science into flat texts, scripted demonstrations,
and occasional cookbook experiments. Similarly, the world of mathematical constructs,
concepts, and relationships has been transformed into drill and practice of
computations and abstract problems.

To address this problem, The Inter American Development Bank financed in 1999, the
International Virtual Education Network (IVEN) for the Enhancement of Science and
Mathematics Learning, a pilot, collaborative, cross-country project in Latin America. The
project was designed by Knowledge Enterprise, Inc., which also acted as the
International Coordinating Secretariat through early 2002. Brazil, Peru and Venezuela
participated in the program, and Argentina and Colombia did so for a short time. The
project is now in its implementation stage.

The backbone of the pilot project is the development of multimedia modules for the
whole science and math program for the last two years of secondary schools. This
comprehensive undertaking involves setting learning standards; translating standards
into teaching/learning activities; producing multimedia curricular materials; staff
training; distribution, testing, and refining curricula, educational materials, and
pedagogical approaches; assessing learning achievement; and evaluating programs.

IVEN carries out these activities in three phases:

Phase 1. Preparation and Capacity Building


This phase covers preparing the design, training, infrastructure, and tools that set the
necessary groundwork for full-scale implementation:
1. Strategy seminars were held with officials and project managers to orient them to
the potential of the project and its benefits, prerequisites for success,
implementation strategies, and long-term vision.
2. Agreements were finalized among the parties.
3. A design and implementation plan was prepared, including educational and
instructional approaches, development of multimedia modules, institutional setup,
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 25 of 62

specifications for hardware and software, profile of instructional design teams and
their training program, and evaluation scheme.
4. Instructional teams were selected and trained. Each discipline had a content team
composed of master teachers and science or math education advisers as well as
programmers, graphic designers, producers and Web specialists.

Phase 2. Development
This phase involves development and testing of curriculum-related multimedia modules
to be applied and tested in experimental schools in the three countries:
1. The most difficult task in the production process was to agree on a common list of
modules and a common approach to developing them, because the modules are
supposed to be integrated into each country’s curriculum without requiring
curriculum reform.
• The first step involved reaching a consensus on the approaches to the teaching
of science and mathematics. This was accomplished by highlighting these
approaches in the project design, discussing them with the steering committee,
and incorporating them into the production teams’ training program.
• The second step was to ask each country to translate its science and math
curricula into a logical grid of teaching/learning modules. Each of these modules
was to be described in terms of objectives, content, and technological tools. Each
country went through this exercise and sent its results to the international
coordinating secretariat.
• The third step was to harmonize the country lists of modules, arrive at a
common list, and reach agreement about distribution of production
responsibilities among participating countries.
2. Production teams have been developing modules and testing them for
implementability and effectiveness.
3. The program of modules will be tested in a limited number of experimental schools.

Phase 3. Application in schools


1. Teachers in the pilot schools will be trained to use the technology and apply it to the
above modules.
2. Pilot schools should be equipped with the appropriate technological infrastructure.
3. The developed and tested modules will be distributed to the pilot schools using a
Web distributional platform. The modules will then be applied under experimental
conditions and revised accordingly.

Phase 4. Scaling Up
The pilot phase will be submitted to a rigorous formative and summative evaluation to
test for feasibility, effectiveness, and cost benefit before expanding on a larger scale.

At the end of this pilot phase, the following “products” will have been achieved:
• A fully developed multimedia program covering the total two-year science and
mathematics program
• A trained cadre of multimedia production specialists in each participating country
• Personnel trained in the use of science and math learning modules in all of the pilot
schools
• A physical infrastructure within schools and across countries
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 26 of 62

Once this pilot phase is completed successfully and the evaluation results are
incorporated into the structure of the Virtual Network, then the Network can be scaled
up over time in four directions:
• More secondary schools in the pilot countries
• More countries in Latin America
• Other levels of science and mathematics education
• Other school subjects

Resource 2.2.4 - Simulations


Examples of Web Science Simulations
• “ExploreScience.com” includes a substantial number of simulations about building
blocks, mechanics, wave motion, electromagnetism, optics, astronomy, and life
sciences. The mechanics simulations include those of two colliding masses, an
inclined plane, and freefall. Users can change the variables and actually see the
result. There are no instructional guides or lesson plans to go with the simulations
(http://www.explorescience.com).

• The “Annenberg Teachers’ Lab” provides interactive simulations. Although presented


as a teacher preparation tool, students can also use the site
(http://www.learner.org/teacherslab).

• The following site provides simulations in astronomy:


http://instruct1.cit.cornell.edu/courses/astro101/java/simulations.htm.

Other Simulations 28
The following are examples of math simulations on the Web. Many of these sites require
Shockwave, Flash, and, sometimes, other plug-ins.

• The “Mathforum” site (http://mathforum.com/varnelle/index.html) offers early


primary education “activities” in basic geometry and measurement. Each activity has
stated objectives, a manipulative exercise with materials widely available in schools
and homes, a “technology activity” to be conducted with a colorful interactive
simulation, and references to children’s books that treat the same topic. This is an
easy-to-use site for both teachers and students.

• “BBC Online Education” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/home/) offers an all-


purpose education site. It has many instructional aids, including some simulations,
but the site is difficult to navigate. Clicking on “Schools” takes visitors to a page with
resources organized by grade level, with links to various subjects. For instance, for
the age 4–11 group, click on “MegaMaths,’” then on “World of Tables,” then on “Pick
a Number,” then to any card shown, and then on “Patterns and Hints” to reach a
dynamic multiplication table. “Table Tournament” provides a fast-paced
multiplication table game with captivating graphics that, for instance, require the
users to answer multiplication problems quickly before a rolling bolder crashes into
them. “Tell Us Your Top Tips” offers tips on doing multiplication quickly.

28
Excerpted from: Gregg B. Jackson, & John Jones. March/April 2001. “Web-based Simulations for
Science and Math Instruction.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 27 of 62

• “ExploreMath.com” (http://www.exploremath.com) offers a series of high school


mathematics simulations, most of which show the relationship between equations
and their corresponding two-dimensional graphs. Users can modify the equation and
see how that affects the graph, or modify the graph and see how that alters the
equation. This is one of the few simulations that permit the latter form of
interaction. There is also a library of lesson plans that use the simulations.

• University of Minnesota’s “Geometry Center” (http://www.geom.umn.edu) offers


several interactive simulations of college-level geometry. Generally users specify
functions or coordinates, and then see the geometric representation. The simulation
includes hyperbolic triangles, Lorenz equations, projective conics, and Teichmuller
navigation. These interactive components are in the two-fold link titled, “Interactive
Web and Java Applications.” There are brief instructions for using the simulations,
but no instructional guides or lesson plans. This site also offers downloadable
software and other resources for teachers of advanced geometry. Although the site
is no longer being maintained, it remains functional.

• The “Visual Calculus” site (http://archives.math.utk.edu/visual.calculus) has an


extensive set of visual resources to accompany a two-semester college course in
calculus. Some of the resources are Web-based interactive simulations and some are
free downloadable simulation software that can be run from individual
microcomputers. Ironically, many of the simulations are of the TI-85 and TI-86
graphing calculators. Short tutorials precede the visualizations. The professor who
developed this site has also posted the syllabi for the courses he teaches with these
Web-based resources, so that other instructors can see how their offerings are
integrated with the course.

Resource 2.2.5 - Connecting with the World


Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment 29
Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) offers teachers
and students, from kindergarten through high school, the opportunity to participate in
actual scientific research. The project, open to schools around the world, focuses
primarily on mapping and understanding patterns and changes in three major areas:
atmosphere/climate, hydrology/water chemistry, and land cover/biology. The project,
launched on Earth Day 1994, is administered by an interagency partnership that
includes some of the most renowned scientific organizations in the United States: the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

GLOBE has three main objectives: to improve mathematics and science education, to
raise environmental awareness, and to contribute to a worldwide scientific database
about Earth. To attain these objectives, GLOBE scientists help teachers and students
develop meaningful science projects, such as measuring pH in the water or analyzing
temperature readings to observe changing patterns. GLOBE projects can be
implemented in different ways: as part of a science class, a separate class, a club, a
lunch group, or any other creative venue. In grades K–3, GLOBE teachers work with fewer
than 10 children per project. Groups for older children can be much larger.

29
Excerpted from: Editorial staff. March/April 2001. “Learning by Doing Science: Two Internet-
Based Cases.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 28 of 62

A four-year evaluation of GLOBE found that participating students perform better than
do their peers in activities that require an understanding of science, including the ability
to interpret data and apply science concepts. They also showed a greater appreciation of
science. In addition, the project instills in the students pride in their work, which is
taken seriously by scientists and community members.

Currently, about 9,500 schools in more than 90 countries participate in GLOBE, and
participation continues to grow, although only a small percentage of these schools
contribute data to the central database. Recent training of new GLOBE teachers in
Katmandu, Nepal, drew more than 80 teachers from seven Asian countries and New
Zealand. Information on GLOBE, including evaluations of the project, can be found at
http://www.globe.gov.

The JASON Project 30


The JASON Project was created to encourage scientists and students to collaborate on
research expeditions using advanced communications technologies. Prominent scientist,
explorer, and educator Dr. Robert D. Ballard and his visionary project have bridged the
scientific and education communities by making scientific research an exciting
adventure for students and teachers in the classroom, through a series of real
expeditions in which scientists, teachers, and students participate.

Teachers begin the JASON Project by participating in professional development


workshops, which model new methods of teaching science content using JASON’s suite
of multimedia tools. They guide students into the expedition by discussing novels and
conducting classroom activities about the geography, history, and culture of the
expedition site. Through readings, videos, and Internet chat sessions, students make
personal contact with host researchers and observe how they work. Then, through a
series of inquiry-based exercises—including local field studies, gathering and analyzing
data, designing experiments, and building models—students emulate the field research
conducted at the expedition site and conduct their own investigations. During JASON XII,
for example, students have created geographic information system (GIS) maps of lava
flows, classified fish species located in Hawaii’s deep reefs, participated in ecological
restoration projects, transformed classrooms into lava tubes, and compared aquatic
data from their local site with data from sites around the country.

Throughout the year, teachers and students use several online tools, such as
workshops, message boards, simulations, and contests, to facilitate year-long
interactivity between scientists and the global community. One highlight of the JASON
expedition is a live, two-week satellite broadcast in late winter. During the broadcast, a
small group of researchers, teachers, and students (known as Argonauts) shares its
discoveries from the expedition field site with classrooms all over the globe

To learn more about the JASON Project, visit www.jasonproject.org.

30
Excerpted from: Bram Duchovnay. March/April 2001. “The Jason Project: The Search for the
Golden Fleece.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 29 of 62

Resource 2.2.6 - MIT Clubhouses 31


Computer Clubhouses are very different from most telecenters and community
technology centers in that they seek not simply to teach basic skills, but to help young
people learn to express themselves and gain confidence in themselves as learners. If
young people are interested in video games, they don’t come to the Clubhouse to play
games; they come to create their own games. They don’t download videos from the
Web; they create their own videos. In the process, youth learn the heuristics of being a
good designer: how to conceptualize a project, use the materials available, persist and
find alternatives when things go wrong, collaborate with others, and view a project
through the eyes of others. In short, they learn how to manage a complex project from
start to finish.

The Computer Clubhouse approach strikes a balance between structure and freedom in
the learning process. As Clubhouse youth work on projects based on their own interests,
they receive a great deal of support from other members of the Clubhouse community
(e.g., staff members, volunteer mentors, and other Clubhouse youth). There is a large
collection of sample projects on the walls, shelves, and hard drives of the Clubhouses;
these provide Clubhouse youth with a sense of the possible and multiple entry points
through which they can start.

Consider Mike Lee, who spent time at the original Computer Clubhouse in Boston,
Massachusetts. Mike first came to the Clubhouse after he had dropped out of high
school. His true passion was drawing, and he filled up notebook after notebook with
sketches of cartoon characters. At the Clubhouse, Mike developed a new method for his
artwork. First, he drew black-and-white sketches by hand. Then, he scanned the
sketches into the computer and used the computer to color them in. His work often
involved comic-book images of himself and his friends.

Over time, Mike learned to use more advanced computer techniques in his artwork. He
also began working with others at the Clubhouse on collaborative projects. Together,
they created an online art gallery. Once a week, they met with a local artist who agreed
to mentor the project. After a year, their online art show was accepted for exhibition at
Siggraph, the world’s premiere computer graphics conference.

As Mike worked with others at the Clubhouse, he began to experiment with new artistic
techniques. He added more computer effects and began working on digital collages
combining photographs and graphics, while maintaining his distinctive style. Over time,
Mike explored how he might use his artwork as a form of social commentary and
political expression.

As he worked at the Clubhouse, Mike Lee clearly learned a lot about computers and
graphic design. But he also began to develop his own ideas about teaching and learning.
“At the Clubhouse, I was free to do what I wanted, learn what I wanted,” says Mike.
“Whatever I did was just for me. If I had taken computer courses [in school], there would
have been all those assignments. Here I could be totally creative.” Mike remembers—and
appreciates—how the staff members treated him when he first came to the Clubhouse.
They asked him to design the sign for the entrance and looked to him as a resource.
They never thought of him as a “high school dropout,” but as an artist.
31
Excerpted from: Mitchel Resnick. 2002. “Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age.” In The Global
Information Technology Report 2001–2002: Readiness for the Networked World (GITR).
Cambridge, MA: Center for International Development at Harvard University. Available at
http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cr/pdf/gitrr2002_ch03.pdf.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 30 of 62

2.3 Enriching Quality of Teaching

Resource 2.3.1 - Multimedia Training and Support


The Case of Shoma—South Africa 32
The MIH Group, the holding company for MultiChoice, M-Net, and M-Web, has developed
a unique model of delivering educational and training programs for the professional
development of South African educators. This delivery model uses the power of
technology to leverage the delivery of appropriate educational programs prepared in
conjunction with the country’s national and provincial education departments. The
programs are relayed from the M-Group’s Broadcast Center in Randburg, via satellite, to
a video server linked to a television set and to a network server, which, in turn, serves
24 workstations.

Shoma was designed, in part, to accommodate the greatest number of teachers possible
during after-school hours, generally between 1:00 to 4:30 p.m.. To do this, Shoma’s
model consists of three “rooms,” each lasting a specific amount of time within a 2½ -
hour period.

Broadcast Room. This room is equipped with a television monitor, a video server and
satellite dish. Here, teachers watch a video, which lasts about 10–12 minutes and is
focused on a particular theme. All videos involve a combination of explanation by one or
more experts, interwoven with classroom demonstrations. Each video ends with a
probing question that teachers are to discuss for about 20 minutes, with guidance by
one or more provincial department curricular specialists who have been trained by
Shoma to facilitate the lessons.

Computer Room. In the second room, teachers engage in computer-based learning


designed to reinforce the content shown in the video. Teachers work individually for
approximately 45 minutes on the computers, reading text, watching digitized video and
audio clips, answering questions, and completing exercises.

Lesson Development Room. The most important room in the process, this is where
teachers have the opportunity to practice the theory learned in the broadcast and
computer rooms. In this room, teachers work together to develop their own lesson plans
for the following week, based on what they learned during the broadcast and computer-
based learning.

Integral to the Shoma training methodology is the use of facilitators to mediate the
learning process in all three tiers. Facilitators are drawn from the ranks of curriculum
developers whose responsibility it is to provide support to educators on curriculum
issues.

Currently Shoma is working in 14 centers in eight of the nation’s nine provinces (with
the exception of Western Cape). Although the number of professional development

32
Excerpted from: Joanne Capper. October–December 2002. “SHOMA: A Multimedia Approach to
South Africa’s Teacher Development.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org;
Claire Brown, Violet Sithole, & Robert Hofmeyr. May/June 2000. “South Africa: Teacher Training in
the Sky.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 31 of 62

sessions varies across centers, most host three to four sessions a day, four days a week,
serving approximately 320 teachers per year—over 5,000 across all centers in 2001 and
approximately 13,500 since 1998.

The Case of Aula Mentor 33


The “Aula Mentor” 34 (“Aula” means classroom), created by National Center for Education
Information and Communication of the New Technologies Program of the Ministry of
Education in Spain, uses the Internet to bring together educators throughout the country
and beyond. It offers a range of courses and options for self-paced, self-study through
tele-tutoring. A total of 61 courses are offered, each of which lasts an average of four
months.

Every student trainee has his or her own online “mentor” who is responsible for keeping
the student trainee on track and monitoring and evaluating progress made on all course
work. Recruited, trained, and selected by the (Spanish) Ministry of Education, the
mentors are the key component of the program; they are responsible for ensuring that
learning objectives are met online. Through daily e-mail with each one of their students,
mentors provide “one-on-one coaching” and individualized attention to students, and
they facilitate “chats,” tele-conferences, and/or tele-debates between students. All
student inquiries are answered within 24 hours. In addition, mentors are responsible for
updating course materials and evaluating student performance as well.

Online delivery has placed a premium on high-quality teaching and learning materials.
Recognizing this need, the (Spanish) Ministry of Education put together an
interdisciplinary team of experts (in content, pedagogy, program design, and
implementation) specifically charged with elaborating materials for online delivery and
others to support content delivered online, such as CD-ROMs and study guides. These
materials are intentionally sequenced and balanced among theory and practical
applications, complementary activities and activities designed to reinforce key curricular
concepts, and self-, peer, and mentor evaluation. All materials are available online (in a
secure location so that they can be accessed by students only) and in “hard” (e.g., CD-
ROM, paper) formats.

Outside of Spain, as of December 2002, Nicaragua is the only country where the Aula
Mentor program has been introduced as a seven-month long pilot experiment.

Resource 2.3.2 - Videos for Teacher Training 35


By turning the information into images that can be replayed whenever necessary, the
technology gives learners more control over the information and empowers trainees to
set their own pace in the learning process. This flexibility has been used with positive
results in teacher training and development programs (Hatfield & Bitter, 1994; Lambdin,
Duffy, & Moore, 1997; Mousley & Sullivan, 1996). These programs use video clips to
provide prospective teachers with exemplary models of instructional methods,
classroom management, innovative techniques, and concept and symbol developments.

33
Excerpted from: Aimee Verdisco. October-December 2002. “The Aula Mentor Program: Making
Connections and Building Capacities across Continents.” TechKnowLogia. Available at
www.TechKnowLogia.org.
34
www.mentor.mec.es.
35
Excerpted from: Sonia Jurich. September/October 1999. “The Impact of Video Technology in
Education: From Here to Where?” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 32 of 62

The videos include clips of actual instructors at work, interviews with students and
instructors about their classroom experiences, analyses of the styles and techniques
presented and their rationale, and any other information that helps the trainees to
develop an analytical approach to teaching. The technique exposes trainees to a variety
of model teaching experiences to which they can refer whenever necessary. The
videotaped lessons also help them become familiar with the classroom experience in a
controlled, anxiety-free situation, before they start their field placements. Trainees also
may be videotaped during their field experience and can analyze the tape with their
supervisors. By reviewing the tapes, trainees can compare the exemplary models with
their own teaching to better understand their weaknesses and strengths and make
necessary improvements.

Another advantage of video technology is its preserving power. Maheshwari and Raina
(1998) used an interactive television system (ITV) to train primary school teachers in a
joint effort between Indira Gandhi Open University and the Indian Space Research
Organisation. This program combines two-way video and audio interaction broadcast via
satellite, prerecorded videotape instruction, and face-to-face interaction with facilitators
at the remote sites. Through the technology, a larger number of teachers, including
those in remote areas, were able to receive instruction directly from the experts. This
direct line of communication avoided the loss of information that commonly occurs in
the alternative option considered for the project—the cascade model, whereby training
flows down through levels of less experienced trainers until it reaches the target group;
in the process, complex information tends to be lost.

References

Hatfield, M. M., & Bitter, C. G. (1994). A multimedia approach to professional


development of teachers. A virtual classroom. In D. B. Aichele (Ed.), Professional
Development for Teachers of Mathematics. Reston, VA: National Council of
Teachers of Mathematics.
Lambdin, D. V., Duffy, T. M., & Moore, J. A. (1997). Using an interactive information
system to expand preservice teachers’ visions of effective mathematics teaching.
Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 5(2/3), 171–202.
Maheshwari, A. N., & Raina, V. K. (1998). Inservice training of primary teachers through
interactive video technology: An Indian experience. International Review of
Education, 44(1), 87–101.
Mousley, J. & Sullivan, P. (1996). Interactive multimedia as a resource for preparing
teachers for problem based mathematics instruction. Paper presented at the
annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York.

Resource 2.3.3 - Selected Internet Resources for Teachers


There are thousands of Websites for educators. Searching the Web using search engines
such as Google produces an extensive list of sites. The list below focuses only on those
Websites that are intended to assist a wide range of teachers in their day-to-day
classroom work. They have been selected to illustrate the variety of supports that
teachers can access via the Web. Some items were compiled for TechknowLogia. 36

36
Gregg Jackson & Nina de las Alas. November/December 2000. “WorthWhileWebs.”
TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 33 of 62

The Best on the Web for Teachers


http://teachers.teach-nology.com/
This Website, which is like a teacher’s library, is a compilation of Websites and online
materials offering lesson plans, curriculum materials, teaching ideas, educational
games, tutorials, teacher tools, workbooks, and worksheet makers. It also has a
message board.

Sites for Teachers


http://www.sitesforteachers.com/
A compilation of Websites with resources for teachers

Scholastic
http://teacher.scholastic.com/
Offers lessons and interactive activities for specific grade levels

AOL@School
http://www.aolatschool.com/
This site compiles Web materials for teachers and administrators, including subjects and
standards, lesson plans, special needs and counseling, classroom tools and tips, and
research and reference.

National Geographic
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/atlas/
Free downloadable maps

MarcoPolo Education Foundation


www.mped.org/teacher/standards.aspx
MarcoPolo provides more than 20,000 resources and 3,600 lesson plans, free of charge,
to K–12 teachers and students.

Gateway to Educational Materials (GEM)


http://thegateway.org
This U.S. government-sponsored site is a portal to lesson plans and teacher guides
available on various federal, state, university, nonprofit, and commercial Internet sites.
Users can search by general subjects (such as “science”), specific subjects (such as
“biology”), and various key words. Search results provide a brief abstract of the
materials. Users can also click on a more detailed description, including the grade level
of material, the type of pedagogy used, national curriculum standards that the material
may address, the source, and the cost (most are free, but some entail a fee.) There are
also links to the Websites where the materials can be found.

Science Learning Network


http://www.sln.org
A consortium of 12 science museums around the globe is producing high–quality,
inquiry-based K–6 science learning modules that are available through this site. The
topics tend to be related to current events or otherwise of interest of students. Some of
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 34 of 62

the modules can be used interactively only on the Web; others can be used in
classrooms.

Eisenhower Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education


http://www.enc.org
This U.S.-government sponsored organization identifies effective math and science
curriculum materials, creating high-quality professional development materials for
teachers of math and science and disseminating those resources to teachers, parents,
and students. Users can search materials by subject, grade level, and cost. The online
description of each resource includes the instructional philosophy, intended audience,
evaluative information (for some of the sites), publisher, and a link to publisher’s
Website.

TESL: Lessons
http://www.aitech.ac.jp/~iteslj/links/TESL/Lessons

Resources for Students and Teachers of French as a Second


Language
http://www.uottawa.ca/~weinberg/french.html
These sites link to lesson plans, exercises, and other resources for teaching languages
to non-native speakers.

PBS Teacher Source


http://www.pbs.org/teachersource
The U.S. public radio and television system operates this site, which offers lesson plans
and teacher’s guides to accompany some of its television programs. The programs seek
to engage students, and the lessons and activities are intended to extend their learning.
Many of the TV programs are available on videocassette, and a few are rebroadcast a
few years after they first appear.

British Columbia Ministry of Education:


Special Education On-Line Documents
http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/specialed/docs.htm
This government-operated site provides a wide range of resources for teachers with
special-needs students. It includes government policies for such students, a review of
special education provisions in this province of Canada, and resource guides for
teachers on each of several kinds of special need students (blind, hearing-impaired,
gifted, etc.).

Teachers.Net
http://www.teachers.net
This site offers a broad array of services for teachers, including live “chats” with
prominent authors of education-related books, chat boards for teachers to exchange
ideas, job announcements, and lesson plans and publications. There are affiliated
Websites in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.

Teachers Helping Teachers


http://www.pacificnet.net/~mandel
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 35 of 62

This is mostly a self-help site for teachers. where they can post questions asking for
guidance from other teachers and share lesson plans and classroom management
strategies. More than two million people have visited the homepage of this site since it
was established in 1995.

Ask Dr. Math


http://forum.swarthmore.edu/dr.math/dr-math.html
This site uses hundreds of volunteer college math majors to answer questions from high
school mathematics teachers and their students. The questions and answers are
archived in a searchable database.

TEAMS Electronic Classrooms


http://teams.lacoe.edu/documentation/classrooms/classrooms.html
Part of the Los Angeles Department of Education (LACOE), this site offers resources for
elementary school teachers, including lesson plans, guided activities for teachers,
student interactive activities, parent resources, and varied information. Teachers can
also join TEAMS to publish their own projects.

2.4 Facilitating Skill Formation

Resource 2.4.1 - Simulations for Skill Formation 37


Flight Simulator
The first significant use of simulations was to train airplane pilots. The flight trainer,
invented by Edwin Link in 1929, was first used to teach pilots instrument flying. But as
simulators became more sophisticated and computers were introduced, they became a
tool to teach pilots how to handle emergency and life-threatening situations. Yet,
turning off a turbine or disabling a rudder control in a jetliner to test pilot reaction is
not a good idea. Modern flight simulators are multimillion-dollar machines, often not
much cheaper than real airplanes. But nobody thinks of costs when deciding whether to
use them. The reason to use simulation is that it permits reproduction of conditions
that, if reproduced in real flight, would be very dangerous. Thus, simulators give pilots a
chance to learn the proper way to react under safer conditions.

Simulation of CNC Machines


Another common family of simulations is those that reproduce the operation of
numerically controlled machine tools (known as CNC machines). Apprentices get to
know a conventional lathe by handling it under controlled conditions, by machining
simple parts initially, always being careful to keep the tool far away from the faceplate.
Accidents happen, however; an extra turn of the lever and the tool may hit the turning
plate. But a broken bit and a scratched faceplate in a learning lathe are not much of a
loss. Yet, CNC lathes—which are programmed like a computer—cost several times more
and are more prone to serious accidents. A wrong line of code may zoom the turret
toward the faceplate, provoking a horrendous collision and causing serious losses.
Students are said to be traumatized by the crash, and administrations have to write off
the losses.

Excerpted from: Claudio Castro. July/August 2000. “Skills Training: Where Simulations Are at
37

Home.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.


Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 36 of 62

Therefore, the obvious first idea was to couple the CNC to a simulator that traced on
paper the trajectory of the cutting tool. The resulting drawing would immediately reveal
any eventual mistake. Only after the simulation shows the program to be devoid of
gross mistakes can an individual use the real machine. With computers becoming more
common, a monitor has replaced the paper plotter. The obvious follow-up development
is software that simulates the entire process, dispensing with the real-life lathe
altogether. This obviously applies to milling machines and the whole gamut of CNC-
controlled machine tools.

Today, computer simulations of CNC machines are very common, sophisticated, and
inexpensive. When used properly, they can speed up the training and lower the costs
significantly, because trainees can learn much from them and require a lot less
supervision. Whether they dispense altogether with firsthand contact with real-life CNC
machines is controversial, but our sole concern here is that we remember that the
challenges of moving from a manual lathe to a CNC version lie with the programmers,
not those who train on the machine, which, once programmed, requires little human
input. That being the case, it makes little difference whether the programming is for a
machine simulated with the monitor or a real-life machine.

Simulations for Troubleshooting


Another very common family of simulations occurs in electric and electronic circuits.
Vocational schools frequently use panels on which components are installed,
reproducing the typical electric wiring, for example, of an automobile. After students
understand the circuitry, the teacher may introduce faults into the circuit, either by
disconnecting wires or inserting malfunctioning components. Students have to
troubleshoot the defective circuit and find the faults. Obviously, this is much more
convenient and faster than working in real automobiles, where access to components
and wiring is far more time-consuming. In more modern versions, defects can be
introduced electronically, by means of central controls in the hands of the instructors.
There are also simulations of defects in real-life automobiles or tractors that have been
wired to a computer that simulates the faults.

Simulations for Manual Dexterity


A more unusual form of simulations are those that teach manual dexterity without
incurring the costs of consumables. For instance, arc welding requires a steady hand to
keep the electrode at a constant distance from the parts being welded. At the same time
that the hand has to move at constant speed, it has to adjust for the distance, as the
electrode shortens. This operation requires hundreds of hours of practice, burning
expensive electrodes, but there are contraptions that simulate a welding machine and
permit significant savings in consumables.

The Electronic Bench


Perhaps the most impressive developments are coming from the use of computers to
simulate electrical and electronic circuitry. One can use a mouse to pick up electronic
components in a virtual storeroom and connect them in any way desired. A virtual
battery or power supply is then connected, energizing the circuit. The electronic bench
displays the properties of a real system, from turning on a light bulb to far more
complex roles. Then, using a virtual multimeter or oscilloscope, students can make any
measurement in this circuit as if it were a real one. The best known software of this
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 37 of 62

type, the electronic bench can enable trainees to assemble an infinite variety of virtual
circuits quickly and watch them work. This avoids damage to real-world components,
and allows much greater speed of assembly, even compared to panels where no
soldering is required.

Software to Simulate Hardware


The ultimate in digital electronic simulations, students can build a computer that works
just like as it does in real life. The parts are picked up with the mouse and connected,
creating digital circuits, starting from flip-flop gates and/or switches and moving up to
more complex microprocessors. In other words, one can assemble and operate a
computer on the screen of a computer using software that simulates the hardware.
Ultimately, this is no different from a major thrust in real computer design, that is, using
software to simulate or, as said in the industry, to emulate hardware.

Resource 2.4.2 - The Francis Tuttle Vocational School 38


The Francis Tuttle School, established in 1979, was named after the founder of the
VoTech system of Oklahoma (USA). Currently, more than 30,000 students are taking at
least one short-term course from a wide variety of offerings, including more than 200
short-term courses and more than 30 daytime education programs. 39

Multidimensional Nature of Skills


The speed with which technology changes has increased so much in the last few years
that experience is becoming an almost irrelevant asset when it comes to hiring
employees. Firms can no longer require many years of experience, because in most
cases equipment and the processes have not been around that long. What matters then
is the ability of a worker to think through the overall manufacturing system involved in
the fabrication process. Workers who can work with their hands only are becoming a
relic of the past in an increasing number of occupations. Francis Tuttle prepares its
student for critical thinking while teaching them lifelong skills. In fact, one of the
hallmarks of its primary program in technology is the multidimensional nature of the
skills taught. The orientation of the courses is justified by two main findings: first, some
firms offer higher wages to workers with multiple skills, and in periods of crisis firms do
not lay off these types of workers, and, second, there is an immense market for
maintaining complex equipment.

The school programs are developed in very close collaboration with industry to offer
students courses that enable them to hold high-demand jobs. More than 300 business
representatives look at the school’s curricula and course content as participants in the
various program advisory committees.

Technology for Training


Each instructional program at Francis Tuttle is fully equipped with industry standard
equipment valued at more than US$10.9 million. The school’s services and programs
include a teaching factory, advanced technology programs, and VAN SAT, an
engineering and electronic commerce center provider. In addition, the main campus has
an 11-meter satellite teleport for distance learning, the largest in Oklahoma, which
allows students to surf on the Internet during real-time, interactive 12 LIVE classes as

38
Excerpted from: Claudio de Moura Castro. July/August 2000. “What, No Lectures? The Francis
Tuttle Vocational School.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
39
http://www.francistuttle.com/.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 38 of 62

part of their daily activities or to take specialized classes taught at other locations. 12
LIVE is the first cooperative network able to connect a mixture of city and rural schools
to a vocational center, a community college, and a university. Furthermore, each
classroom has remote-controlled cameras, television monitors, microphones, and
speakers, and the teachers’ workstation includes an image document camera, a VHS
player, a computer loaded with software and tied to a laser printer, Internet access, and
a fax machine.

The overall objective of all the training is the operation and maintenance of the new
generation of machines and technology equipment. The school builds on the belief that
the ability of enterprises to generate new technologies has far outstripped the ability of
servicepersons to maintain them. As a result, these maintenance requirements will
create more jobs in the next several years than the country is able to train individuals to
fill. There is a scarcity of maintenance technicians who can understand the mechanics,
electronics, and pneumatics of such machines. One interesting example mentioned at
Francis Tuttle is the new generation of pagers transmitting through satellites. The
technology and satellites are available, but there are very few technicians who have the
breadth of skills and the specific knowledge to repair them.

No Lectures
All of the courses offered are competency-based, which, by itself, indicates the
commitment of this institution to offer serious training geared to the needs of industry,
since competency-based training clearly shows the links between training and expected
performance. This approach avoids conventional lectures, as is the case at Francis
Tuttle, where all live lectures have been eliminated. Videotaped lectures, written
materials, and computers are used instead. Teachers are not replaced, however, so the
valuable interaction between them and students is fully preserved. The experience of
this school suggests that not all students operate well with this system, and there are
attempts to help those who have initial difficulties with computers and VCRs. However,
only a few consider this method to be inadequate and, curiously, they are not
necessarily the weakest students academically. The school uses one-to-one tutoring in
the difficult cases, the price to pay for an otherwise interesting innovation.

By eliminating lectures and using competency-based training materials, this system


allows each student to move at his or her own pace. Students can join the course at any
time and leave when they finish their modules. They use Learning Activity Packets (LAPs)
to advance and are required to take performance tests to demonstrate mastery of one
LAP before moving on to the next. This system allows fast-moving students to advance
quickly and slow students to master the contents fully, taking as long as they need. LAPs
are used because they are an excellent tool for delivering competency-based instruction.
Some estimates based on similar programs elsewhere indicate that efficiency increases
can be quite substantial, depending on how they are defined. On the downside, the
fixed investment to operate this method is consistently higher, the logistical problems
much more pressing, and the administrative and technical overhead somewhat higher.
But these are all minor problems. Overall, the method seems to be a step ahead, which,
unfortunately, has not been adopted by many schools.

A Modular Program
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the series of courses offered Tuttle offers is the
modular nature of the curriculum and the vast common core of subjects. There are only
five basic processes: mechanics, electricity, thermal, fluid, and Optics, all of which
encompass 13 major concepts (such as force, energy, and so on), and all of the
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 39 of 62

manufacturing processes are based on combinations of these. To become a technician,


one needs an integrated view of all of them.

Students devote about 30% of their time to classroom theory work and spend the
remaining time on applications and hands-on activities. In addition, given the weakness
of high schools in math and science, and the importance of this type of knowledge in
the various high demand occupations, remedial courses are offered to those who need
them. All students spend about 60% of their time taking common core modules and the
remaining time in specialization. Since these basic processes change very little over
time, 60% of most courses is common for all specializations and does not need frequent
updating. In electronics programs, for instance, 80% of the materials are the same in all
of the courses offered. Therefore, the fixed investment of developing a systems
approach based on five processes can be justified.

Can It Be Replicated?
The Francis Tuttle School remains committed to continuous quality improvement, and
word about its intriguing achievements has spread worldwide. Tour groups from
approximately 50 countries, including Australia, Brazil, China, Great Britain, Pakistan,
Russia, and Saudi Arabia, have visited the school.

Resource 2.4.3 - Interactive Media Training 40


Interactive software is out there, and it’s not just for children. One of the most useful
applications for multimedia (videos and CD-ROMs) is skill enhancement and training.
Below is a sample of such products.

Technical Training
Automation Studio (www.ttaweb.com) is a technical and interactive CD package that
trains individuals in circuit design and automation technology. The software package is
designed so users are able to outline, simulate, and animate their own circuits while
using various methods of electrical controls, including hydraulics and pneumatics.
Appropriate for engineers, teachers, and students alike, Automation Studio is available
in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, and Portuguese.

Aircraft Systems Review (www.nolly.com/asrv.html) can be used to train pilots on


unfamiliar aircraft and enables those in the aviation field to refresh their knowledge. The
videos incorporate one-on-one instruction with visual explanations and procedures,
viewed from a pilot’s perspective. These videos are also “generic” in the sense that they
can be used universally without regard to individual trainees’ airline affiliations.

TPC Training Systems (www.tpctraining.com), which offer an extensive video and


interactive CD library specializing in machine and mechanical training, have provided
training to more than three million employees. The training videos cover such topics as
reading blueprints, schematics, and symbols; electronics and digital electronics
education; and engine mechanics, hydraulics, and even heavy machinery use. The
training CDs cover process instrumentation, mechanics maintenance, and air
conditioning/refrigeration systems.

40
Excerpts from J. Lewis (July/August 2000). “Enhancing Vocational Skills: Interactive Media
Training.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 40 of 62

Medical Training
TUTOR Series (www.labmed.washington.edu/tutor/products) is a set of interactive CDs
produced by the University of Washington and covering several different aspects of
evaluating medical data and training individuals in interpreting multiple results.
ElectrophoresisTUTOR, for example, is an interactive computer program that teaches
electrophoresis interpretations of proteins in various body fluids. With its illustrations,
charts, and tables, the software is useful for instructing beginning students or
evaluating competency levels. PhlebotomyTUTOR simply trains individuals in the
appropriate techniques for taking blood from a patient.

PedsLink (www.pedslink.com), a resource for pediatric health care, produces a series of


training videos geared to home health clinicians and nurses who provide care for infants
and children with various illnesses. Videos, such as Home Phototherapy for Infants, take
the care provider step-by-step through treatment methods and assessments and use
specific procedural demonstrations.

General Skill Training


Glencoe Online (www.glencoe.com) is a source of several tools, one of which is The Job
Interview CD-ROM, an interactive guide that trains job seekers in all aspects of the
interviewing process. The CD also provides information on commonly asked interview
questions and gives advice on how one should respond to them. It uses video clips
depicting job interview scenarios, narration, tips, and questions to reinforce concepts
that are vital to a successful interview.

BrainwareMedia (www.Brainware-tm.com) offers several videos and CDs for business


and managerial training, but it can be useful to everyone. The Art of Communication is
an interactive CD-ROM that helps individuals to improve their communication skills. It
features advice; interactive role-playing using common, everyday situations; and self-
assessment exercises, and is ideal for training in giving presentations, public speaking,
or just communicating with people in general

Resource 2.4.4 - Applications of E-Training


AXA—The French Solution 41
The growth of e-training in France has been slow, compared to that in the United States.
While e-training accounts for 60% of the expenses of corporate training in the United
States, in France it accounts for only 11%. Surveys of French companies indicate that
face-to-face is still the preferred training model, and that many human resources
employees are not clear about e-learning’s potential as a training tool. 42 AXA is among
the exceptions.

AXA, a multinational insurance group with close to 100,000 employees in 25 countries,


provides training to this large and scattered workforce, which was becoming
increasingly complex and expensive. AXA’s Human Resources Department in France
decided to use its intranet connection to develop a distance learning program that could
ensure fast distribution to a large audience. A modular structure was adopted to

41
The descriptions of e-training applications in AXA, Carrefour, and Cisco are taken from: S.
Jurich. May/June 2001. “Corporate Universities: Three Examples from across the World.”
TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
42
S. Ghys. E-learning, les enterprises françaises restent à convaincre. In Jurich, op cit.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 41 of 62

facilitate frequent but cost-effective updates of the content material. The company
entered into a partnership with IBM for the technical aspects of the training and had a
number of partners for production of educational material.

Before starting the project, in 1997, AXA’s Human Resources Department organized a
five-day retreat to ensure the managers’ support for the program. Then, the department
met with the employees to discuss the new training and orient them on how to use the
intranet for training purposes. Only after ensuring that managers and employees were
ready to accept and use distance learning strategies did the department begin to
introduce e-training gradually into the employees’ traditional training schedule. Training
programs take between 40 and 400 hours per employee, depending on the topic.
Employees can go through the training individually or with the help of volunteer tutors
who are content area experts working with the distance education experts. They can be
reached by e-mail, telephone, or face-to-face contact. Piloted in one of the French
branches, e-training is now available to AXA’s employees worldwide.

The pilot stage provided good results and some important lessons for companies
considering developing their own training:

• Developing training materials for multinational workforces is a major challenge,


since learning preferences vary across countries. For instance, English speakers
preferred lessons that began with anecdotes and moved from the particular to the
general, while the French preferred to look at the general before going into the
particular.
• It is important to have a place reserved for training and someone to encourage and
prod trainees; few individuals have the self-discipline to search for training
independently.
• Supervisors’ support is essential for the success of any training project.

Carrefour—A Brazilian Experience


Carrefour is likely the largest wholesale chain in Brazil, with almost 50,000 employees.
Founded in France in 1963, the chain has a long tradition of employee training. In the
late 1980s, Carrefour founded one of the world’s first “corporate universities,” the
Institute Marcel Fournier, and used videoconferencing for employee training. Currently,
the chain has three “corporate universities,” one of which is in São Paulo, Brazil: the
Instituto de Formação Carrefour (Carrefour Institute for Professional Development).

The reasons Carrefour moved into e-training are similar to AXA’s. As the chain spread
throughout the country, the distance between stores and training centers escalated
costs. E-training was the strategy of choice because it (1) provides economies with
traveling costs, (2) reduces the amount of time employees are away from work, and (3)
avoids the complex logistics of planning and implementing training for large numbers
of individuals coming from many different places. In addition, it is easier and less
expensive to update e-learning material than it is to produce printed material. The
company also perceived a need to maintain a technological lead. According to the
Institute’s Training Director, “The majority of large businesses in the world are investing
in online training...and some are well advanced in this area. We could not be left
behind.”

Carrefour universities offer a variety of training, not only to employees, but also to
clients and vendors. The Brazilian Institute provides 114 courses in different areas that
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 42 of 62

include informatics, marketing, management, etc. The programs have different


platforms, including multimedia, video, DVD, television broadcast via satellite, and
intranet, and they vary in length from four hours to 15 days. Some courses are
mandatory, while others are elective, and participation depends on the interests of the
employees and their supervisors. Courses can also be provided on-site, and the Institute
has many training rooms in addition to a large auditorium with simultaneous translation
capabilities. At first, the Institute served only employees, but training programs for
clients and vendors were programmed to begin in late 2002. Plans for expansion also
include courses on the Internet and a mix of online and face-to-face strategies. In less
than one year, the Institute trained about 3,000 employees.

Cisco Learning Network


Cisco Systems is one of the largest network companies in the world, with annual
revenues of over US$20 billion. Headquartered in the United States, the company has
225 sales and support offices in 75 countries. For years, its training programs were
managed independently at each different unit, resulting in redundant and inconsistent
programming. To streamline, expedite, and improve the quality of the training
programs, the company developed the Cisco Learning Network (CLN).

CLN training is developed using multimedia technologies and stored in a centralized


database. Employees select either a full curriculum or individual modules and take an
assessment test, the results of which guide the adaptation of the module to respond to
each employee’s specific needs. Employees are evaluated at different intervals to gauge
the effectiveness of the program, and results are stored in a personal training file in the
Human Resources database.

The programs can be provided in two ways: (1) in scheduled delivery, at a fixed time and
place, or (2) on-demand, for individuals who have particular needs. Scheduled delivery
uses three platforms: multicasts (videos that are sent over the network to desktops),
virtual classrooms, and remote laboratories. On-demand training uses Web-based on-
demand content, CD-ROMs, and remote labs. Laboratories, used to supplement complex
topics, include simulations that provide virtual access to equipment and techniques too
costly to be available for every learner. It was observed that CLN courses reduced the
time sales employees spent away from their customers by up to 40%.

Cisco’s training expertise has outgrown the corporation, and the company is now a
major developer of training solutions. The Cisco Networking Academy Program prepares
high school and college students to design, build, and maintain computer networks in
more than 6,000 academies spread throughout the 50 American states. The academies
reflect partnerships between the company and private or government organizations,
including public schools. Cisco also provides online seminars and Career Certification
programs; the latter has grown from 6,000 students per year to 100,000 and is offered
online or through more than 130 sites and 750 certified instructors worldwide. Some of
the courses are offered by Cisco Learning Partners, organizations authorized to deliver
Cisco-developed learning content. According to Cisco management, in the current
economy, the key to gaining a competitive advantage is the ability to disseminate
information, education, and training rapidly.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 43 of 62

Lucent Technologies 43
Lucent Technologies is a spin-off of Bell Telephone Laboratories, which has been at the
center of major innovations in communications technology for more than a century.
Launched in 1996, Lucent has focused on research, production, and services in optical,
data, and wireless networking; optic-electronics; communications semiconductors;
communications software; and Web-based enterprise solutions and professional network
design and consulting services.

The Global Learning Solutions (GLS) Learning Architecture, developed by Lucent


Technologies’ New Enterprise Networks Group, combines the Internet, voice network,
and small-dish digital video technology to expand the outreach power of traditional
training without losing the human interaction aspect. It uses independent, self-directed
learning events (asynchronous strategy) with a virtual classroom in which the instructor
and most of the learners are at locations distant from each other (synchronous strategy).
A typical course operates much like a college class. Learners meet for one to two hours
for the live, facilitated part of the course and work on their own until current
assignments, exercises, and readings are complete. Often, subsequent live sessions are
scheduled with the instructor to follow up on assignments and discuss new material.
The extent to which this happens depends on the instructional design. During these
interactive sessions, students can present results to the class, have questions answered,
pose new questions, participate in group discussions, and receive their next
assignment. Between sessions, learners still have access to the instructor and to other
learners through chat rooms, threaded news groups, e-mail, and instructor Web “office
hours.”

Using the GLS Learning Architecture, Lucent has developed a training approach to reach
a large workforce dispersed across the world. Its training branch, LucentVision
Interactive (LVI), was launched in 1999 initially to train more than 9,000 direct and
indirect sales personnel. LVI was able to deliver more than150 hours of training a month
with similar or better results than those obtained by traditional, face-to-face strategies,
while reducing the number of contact hours by 35%. LVI is now expanding into a “Sales
and Marketing University” with an audience of more than 22,000 direct and indirect
sales, technical sales support, marketing, and product marketing personnel. A total of
US$3.4 million in capital investment and US$2 million in expense budget have been
allocated to expand uplink portals in three U.S. cities and Singapore, with another 120
downlinks worldwide.

Corporate Universities 44
Many companies have developed their own universities to provide training in the core
competencies necessary to conduct their business and compete in the marketplace.

Early in the 20th century, General Motors had already developed its own educational
division: the General Motors Engineering and Management Institute (GMI). Other
companies soon followed. In 1961, the American fast-food chain, McDonald’s, opened
“Hamburger University.” As the more traditional education and training division, the
university sought to instill corporate values and teach basic business skills. However, it
43
This description is taken from: R. L. Vigil. July/August 2000. “Getting the Most out of Online
Training: Integrating the Missing Ingredients.” TechKnowLogia. Available at
http://www.techknowlogia.org.
44
This section includes excerpts from J. Y. Jones. May/June 2001. “Business, Corporate
Universities and E-Learning.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 44 of 62

instituted a major innovation—a concern with involving all those connected with the
fast-food chain, either directly (McDonald’s employees) or indirectly (franchise owners
and their employees). Hamburger University, now with branches in the United Kingdom,
Germany, Japan, and Australia, started a trend that continues to grow.

While the traditional means for delivering a corporate education has been the classroom,
many companies are embracing the Internet as a medium of instruction because it offers
many advantages over face-to-face teaching. A Web-based system of instruction allows
centralized coordination but dispersed learning, can be adapted to each individual’s
learning needs, can provide numerous resources without taking up space on a
computer’s hard drive, and is more convenient to incorporate into the workday than is
traditional classroom instruction. 45 It also usually cuts costs, often dramatically,
because personnel might otherwise have to travel to another city for the instruction.

It is not only big companies that can benefit from corporate universities. Verifone, with
about 2,500 employees in regional offices in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Australia,
operates its own university. Verifone University created its curriculum using in-house
experts when possible and contractors when necessary. It made all course information
available on each employee’s computer or at office-based learning centers, and is
moving toward making all education available on company Websites. Verifone
encourages employees to take charge of their own education, going so far as to provide
subsidies for employees’ home computer purchases.

Two professional associations may be of assistance to those establishing corporate


universities: the American Society for Training and Development, a professional
association of corporate education officers and consultants, and the European
Consortium for the Learning Organisation, a network of business and academic
professionals that collaborates on learning. The journal, Corporate University Review is
available online at http://www.trainingworks.org/pdf/corpuniversities.pdf. Several
Websites now index e-learning firms, such as L-Guide; the Clearinghouse for Training,
Education, and Development; and EdSurf. For-profit firms also have sprung up to consult
and provide services in this new field. These include the Corporate University Xchange,
The Corporate University, The Virtual Corporate University Extension, Woohoo Inc., and
McGraw-Hill.

2.5 Sustaining Lifelong Learning

Resource 2.5.1 - Open Universities


The following are examples of the lifelong education programs provided by open
universities. The information is taken from Sir John Daniel’s Mega Universities &
Knowledge Media and Keith Harry’s Higher Education through Open and Distance
Learning, unless otherwise indicated. 46

45
N. Chase. 1998. “Lessons from the Corporate University.” Quality Magazine. Available at
http://www.qualitymag.com.
46
J. S. Daniel. 1999. Mega-Universities & Knowledge Media. London: Kogan Page Limited; K. Harry.
1999. Higher Education through Open and Distance Learning. London: Routledge; summarized
by: Robert Savukinas & Gregg Jackson. September/October 200. “Open Universities: A Revolution
in Lifelong Learning.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 45 of 62

China TV University
China TV University is the largest university in the world, with a total enrollment of
850,000 in 1994. The system includes a central unit that develops and produces course
materials, 44 provincial units that also develop and produce such materials, 1,550
Education Centers at the county or company level, and 30,000 tutorial groups. The
Education Centers have pressured the system to provide more job training, courses of
local interest, and continuing education. Although China TV University serves mostly
urban residents, there are plans to broadcast some of its programs more widely, and 20
million farmers reportedly have already received “intermediate education of a practical
interest” through an associated unit. (For more information about China TV University,
visit http://www.crtvu.edu.cn.)

Indira Gandhi National Open University


India has the second-largest higher education system in the world. By 1980, 20 Indian
universities offered correspondence courses, but most were considered to be of low
quality. Indira Gandhi University was established to provide high-quality distance
education and coordinate standards for tertiary distance education throughout India.
From the beginning, it was planned that only one-third of the students would be in
degree programs, and the rest would be in shorter programs directly related to
employment. Programs of study include computer education, nursing, agriculture, food
and nutrition, creative writing, and child care. The university has been able to secure
only 90 minutes of nationally broadcast television each week and no radio coverage, so
instruction is mostly by printed material and required periodic attendance in 229 study
centers located primarily in urban areas. Despite those constraints, and competition
from seven other state open universities, Indira Gandhi University had 162,540
registered students 1998. In the late 1990s, the university began establishing high-
capacity telecommunications links with 16 regional centers and, later, some of the study
centers. Satellite communications systems are also in use now. (For more information
about Indira Gandhi University, visit http://www.ignou.org/index.htm.)

Sukhothai Thammanthirat Open University


Sukhothai Thammanthirat Open University (Thailand), committed to lifelong education,
expansion of educational opportunities for secondary school graduates, and personnel
development, provides academic degree programs, short training programs, and
individual courses. About 300,000 students are enrolled in the nondegree programs,
and three-fourths of the students are from rural areas. The university combines printed
materials with 1,100 30-minute television broadcasts annually and 150 20-minute radio
programs each week. It also makes extensive use of physical facilities scattered
throughout the country and operates 87 Regional and Provincial Study Centers for
orientation of new students, tutorials, and examinations. It has Special Study Centers in
government agencies, such as hospitals, regional agricultural offices, and government
offices, which have laboratory and other facilities needed for study. It also has 80
Corners located in provincial libraries that provide library and education media support
for students. Telephone communication between students and instructors is common,
and the university hopes to expand its services with cable television and satellite
television broadcasts, accompanied by two-way audio links. (For more information about
Sukhothai Thammanthirat Open University, visit www.stou.ac.th/eng.)
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 46 of 62

Universidad Nacional Abierta


Universidad Nacional Abierta, Venezuela’s answer to the rising social demand for higher
education and the scarcity of study opportunities for adults, focuses on providing high-
quality education and serving working individuals. It also attempts to spur innovation in
individualized and self-directed learning. The programs are organized into five sections:
Introductory Courses, General Studies, Professional Studies, Postgraduate Studies, and
Continuing Education. The goal of the continuing education section is to elevate the
level of knowledge of the general population in specific disciplines of science,
technology, and culture. Instruction is by printed correspondence materials, audiovisual
media, and face-to-face instruction at 21 regional study centers. (For more information
about Universidad Nacional Abierta, visit www.una.edu.ve.)

University of South Africa


The University of South Africa has been open to all races since before and throughout
the apartheid era. In 1995, it had 130,000 students, 47% of whom were black and 40%
white. More than 80% are employed, and the average age is 31. Almost a third of the
students are schoolteachers. Applicants who have not completed high school are
admitted conditionally and are restricted in the number of courses they can take during
their first year. There are more than 2,000 course modules; most are developed by
individual instructors, but teams are developing some courses. Instruction is primarily
by texts and printed study guides, sometimes supplemented by audiocassettes and
some radio broadcasts. Instructors and students communicate by mail and telephone.
The limited number of face-to-face tutorials, staffed by part-timers, are being expanded.
The University of South Africa’s most famous graduate is Nelson Mandela, who studied
while jailed (www.unisa.ac.za).

Resource 2.5.2 - China’s University of the Third Age 47


With the increase in the elderly population and the compulsory retirement system of the
last two decades, China has been facing a big challenge in meeting the learning needs
of the elderly. Various forms of education and learning programs have been developed
for seniors all over the country, and the University of the Third Age (UTA) has been the
country’s most successful program in promoting lifelong learning. However, existing
UTAs can hardly meet the increasing demand, so use of new technology, such as remote
teaching and the Internet, has been explored to make learning accessible to more
elderly.

The Development of UTAs in China


The first UTA in China was established in Shangdong Province in 1983. Since then, the
UTA concept has been accepted widely, and UTAs have spread throughout the country.
Statistics show that the number of UTAs in China had reached 16,676 by the end of
1999, and more than 1.38 million seniors were studying at them.

The programs for lifelong learning, especially the development of UTAs, have been
supported and encouraged by the Chinese government. The Law of the People’s
Republic of China on Protection of the Legal Rights and Interests of the Elderly, passed
by the Chinese National People’s Congress in 1996, stipulates that the elderly have the

47
Xiao Caiwei. September/October 2000. “China: Lifelong Learning and the Use of New
Technology.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 47 of 62

right to continuing education, and the state must develop education of the elderly and
encourage the establishment and operation of various kinds of UTAs. In 1994, 10 of the
ministries of the Chinese central government jointly worked out the National Seven-Year
Development Plan of the Work on Aging, which mobilizes and requires local
governments to devise a development plan to educate the elderly.

To promote the development of UTAs in China, the China Association of Universities for
the Aged (CAUA), a network organization, was established in 1988. It now has 207
member UTAs, publishes a magazine on lifelong learning, which provides guidance to
Chinese UTAs, and has set up a research group on the development of textbooks for
UTAs.

Most of the UTAs are established, financed, and operated by the government, but some
are set up by the private sector. For instance, of the 207 members of CAUA, 26 were
established by the private sector. Some of the privately operated UTAs also receive
financial assistance from the government. Normally, a UTA is different and separate
from an ordinary university: it has its own classrooms, and the courses offered are
designed with the interests and demands of the senior students in mind. Popular
courses include calligraphy, painting, literature, cooking, gardening, health care, music,
dancing, and computers. In rural areas, the courses primarily teach technology needed
in agriculture.

The Use of New Technology


In 1998, a TV UTA was opened in Zhe Jiang Province through the joint efforts of the
Committee on Aging, the Personnel Department, the Trade Union, the Financial
Department, the Labor Department, and the Administrative Department on Radio and TV
of Zhe Jiang Province. Zhe Jiang TV UTA has more than 10 courses, in such disciplines as
medicine, health care, calligraphy, painting, literature, history, psychology, and science
and technology. In addition, courses may be added or adjusted according to the
interests and demands of the elderly. The TV UTA program is offered from 8:30 to 9:20
a.m. every Friday in two classes of 25 minutes each. The same TV UTA program is
rebroadcast every Saturday. The examination is conducted in the form of a written test
or by discussion among the students. Students receive diplomas after they have
completed eight courses. Zhe Jiang TV UTA has branches in 22 cities and counties in the
province where the elderly can register.

With the development of the Internet, Shanghai TV UTA opened an online UTA in 1999
in cooperation with the Shanghai TV Station. Although it is the only online UTA in China,
and most elderly people do not have access to the Internet, it represents the new
development trend. This new technology is expected to make lifelong learning more
easily accessible to the elderly. (For more on Shanghai online UTA, visit www.ol.com.cn
or www.shtvu.edu.cn.)
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 48 of 62

2.6 Improving Policy Planning and Management

Resource 2.6.1 - Sample List of EMIS Software 48

Sample List of EMIS Software


Name and Contact Area Sample Functions Country Comments
of Origin
Education Management Systems Integrated Finance, USA Small,
www.ems-isis.com School & School Lunches, medium-size
District Student Records, schools &
Software districts
Class Act Software Integrated Student Records, USA Small,
Info@classactsoftware.com School Teacher Pay, medium-size
Software Finances, Class schools
Attendance
TASS—Alpha School System Integrated Student Records, Australia Used
www.alphabus.com.au/tass/tass.html School Teacher Pay, primarily in
Software Finances, Class Australia,
Attendance, Student variable
Accounts school sizes
Powerschool School Student Records, USA Supports
www.Powerschool.com Student Class Attendance, instructional
Software Parent Contact activity best
ABT Campus Integrated Student Records, USA Extensive use
www.abtcampus.com School Class Attendance, of the Web
Software Business for interfaces
Management
Rediker Software Integrated Student Records, USA/Europe Worldwide
www.rediker.com School Class Attendance, application,
Software Counseling Records, oriented to
Business educators’
Management needs
SchoolPro Integrated Student Admissions, USA
www.schoolpro.com School Records, Billing,
Software Business
Management,
Payroll, Facilities
Management
IBM—Solutions for Schools School Various USA/ Various
www.ibm.com/solutions/ Software, Worldwide semicustom
Selected solutions
District
Software
Computer Associates District, Finance/Accounting, USA/ Requires
www.ca.com/products Regional, Human Resources, European Systems
National, Inventory Integrator to

48
Kurt Moses & Vivian Toro. January/February 2001. “Education Management Information Systems
(EMIS): Available Software and Guidelines for Selection.” TechKnowLogia. Available at
www.TechKnowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 49 of 62

Single- link large


Function systems
Software
MSA Inc. National, Human Resources, USA/ Requires
www.msa.com Provincial, Inventory, Textbook Worldwide Systems
Single - Management Integrator to
Function link large
Software systems
PeopleSoft, Inc. National, Human Resources, USA/ Requires
www.peoplesoft.com Provincial Financial, Student Europe Systems
Semi- Records Integrator to
Integrated install
Software
ED*ASSIST National, Information USA Planning- &
www.aed.org./edassist Provincial, reporting on management-
Regional, Students, Human oriented
District Resources, Financial EMIS; links to
Integrated Summaries, existing
Software Facilities, Textbooks school
system
SCT Solutions National , Students, Human USA/ Higher
www.sctcorp.com School Resources, Europe Education-
Integrated Finances, Inventory, oriented;
Software; Class Scheduling large user
also base
Higher
Education
Campus America School Student Records, USA Higher
www.campus.com Integrated Human Resources, education-
Software— Finances, Inventory, oriented;
Higher Class Attendance, medium-size
Education Store Management institutions

Resource 2.6.2 - Examples of Structured Simulations 49


Structured simulations use algorithms to simulate how a system operates, and users’
choices and possible outputs are specified in advance. The following four models
exemplify of this kind of simulation:

APEX (Assessing Policies for Educational Excellence) 50


The underlying model shows the effects of decisions about class size, teacher training,
and other inputs on enrollments, costs, and school quality. The simulation was
developed initially to assist the opposition to the apartheid government of South Africa
to anticipate the consequences of government-proposed education reforms. After the
transition to a democratic government, APEX was used extensively to educate citizen
groups on what reasonably could be expected from various policy reforms.

49
Excerpted from: Noel F. McGinn. January/February 2001. “Computer Simulations and Policy
Analysis.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org.
50
F. H. Healey. 1984. “Policy Support in South Africa: An Emerging Paradigm.” The Forum for
Advancing Basic Education and Literacy, 3(4).
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 50 of 62

EPICS 51
This model runs as a table game in which the players’ decisions are scored by an
underlying computer model that calculates the impact of allocations on educational
indicators, such as enrollment, class size, gender equity, and internal efficiency, as well
as indicators of economic growth, public health, and population growth. Players
represent the staff of a ministry of education charged with resource allocation through
the annual budget. Normally, the simulation takes players through five rounds of annual
budgets. External “events” that occur in several rounds require players to reconsider the
strategies they are developing.

REDUC (Latin American Network of Centers of Educational


Research) 52
REDUC has produced six policy analysis simulations, which combine structured and
unstructured elements. Players assume roles within a government agency and must
negotiate with other actors to determine allocation of scarce resources. An underlying
mathematical model generates system responses to these allocations, which then
stimulate further negotiations. (See “Using Technology to Manage Education
Information” in TechKnowLogia for more information on REDUC.) 53

DECIDE 54
DECIDE is a computer-based simulation to be used by teams that discuss where to locate
decision making to solve the problem presented by the computer. The sequences of
situations that follow correspond to the school calendar and are responsive to the
participants’ choices. Each new situation provides text evaluating the previous choice in
terms of whether it solves the initial problem or generates new ones. The participants’
progress is “scored” in reference to whether they are able to keep up with the school
calendar.

2.7 Advancing Community Linkages

Resource 2.7.1 - Radio Receivers


Radios that use electricity are the most common and probably the least troublesome
because they can be used day or night without fear that the batteries will run out. The
problem is that, for many, electricity is simply not available. Transistor radios may use
batteries, but they too can be relatively expensive and not readily available. Wind-up
solar-powered crank radios may be the answer to these problems and more.

The crank radio (see the photos below) is solar-powered and self-powered; it needs no
batteries or electricity to work. It winds up, and one full crank can last an hour. The

51
Claire Brown, Haroona Jatoi, & Christina Rawley. 1998. Education Policy Simulation (EPICS): A
Decision-Making Model to Improve Access to Schooling (Rev. ed.). Creative Associates International
and Harvard Institute for International Development; Jeanne Moulton. 1998. Uganda’s Primary
Education System: A Model of Sustainable Reform. Washington, DC: Academy for Educational
Development.
52
Heuristica educativa. 1998. Santiago: UNESCO/OREALC.
53
http://www.techknowlogia.org/TKL_active_pages2/CurrentArticles/t-
right.asp?IssueNumber=9&FileType=HTML&ArticleID=228.
54
T. Welsh & N. McGinn. 1999. DECIDE: A Simulation of Relocating Decision Making in Education
Systems (Version 4) [CD]. Washington DC: Academy for Educational Development.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 51 of 62

crank motion creates tension in a clock-like spring that powers the generator in the
radio, which, in turn, provides electricity. The solar panel stores the energy for the radio,
and, in direct sunlight, the radio switches to solar power automatically.

Crank Radio Crank Solar radio

Resource 2.7.2 - Digital Radio


A geo-stationary satellite, AfriStar™, of the
WorldSpace system orbits over Africa. Comprised of
three beams, AfriStar™ covers every inch of the
African continent, the Middle East, and parts of
Southern Europe. It broadcasts to portable digital
receivers equipped with satellite dishes the size of
teacup saucers (see the photo at right). The audience
hears crystal clear, CD-quality sound without static or
interference. The receivers run on batteries or
electricity and have been adapted to use solar power.
They can pick up the satellite’s signal at any location
in Africa and the Middle East, no matter how remote
or isolated. When connected to a computer using a
special adapter, they operate as a modem for transmission of Web-based multimedia
data from the satellite to the computer.

Resource 2.7.3 - Suitcase Radio Station


The Commonwealth of Learning has sponsored the development of a portable FM radio
system. The station configurations range in price from US$3,000 to US$5,000, including
all elements: antenna, transmitter, console, mixer, microphones, and CD and tape decks
The stations can be powered by 12V DC or 120/240 AC.

Figure 2.7.3.1 shows a station in its watertight carrying case. On the console (from left)
is the gooseneck microphone, below it is the mixer, at the top right are two tape decks,
and below them are two CD decks. The transmitter and power supply, not pictured, are
housed under the console. The console is removed from the carrying case when in
operation.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 52 of 62

Apac, Uganda’s northern region, wanted to install the portable station. A feasibility
study, however, revealed several limitations with the electrical infrastructure, which was
not reliable—a result of load sharing throughout the country (Apac could not receive
power for several days). The power was also not usable for electronic equipment
because of the dramatic power fluctuations. Therefore, it was decided that, to maintain
a reliable broadcasting schedule and develop the station as a center point to community
activities by different groups, Radio Apac would operated entirely by solar power. This
frees the project from the constraints of the electrical situation and the tariffs associated
with it. In consultation with a solar distributor in Kampala, a configuration was
determined to allow the station to stay operational during the 18-hour broadcast day.
Eight solar panels and seven deep cycle batteries were installed at the station, which
now provide lighting and all of the station’s power requirements for daily broadcasting
(Figure 2.7.3.2). The life span of solar installations is more than a decade and entails
low maintenance costs.

Figure 2.7.3.1 Figure 2.7.3.2

Source of figures and text excerpts: David Walker. March 2000. “FM Radio Stations:
Broadcasting in the Sun.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechKnowLogia.org

Resource 2.7.4 - Community Telecenters 55


The community telecenters follow different organizational models:
• the adoption model, in which an NGO serves as the host organization, managing
the center and integrating it, to one degree or another, into the organization’s
core business;
• the municipal model, in which a government agency opens a center, often
disseminating information, decentralizing services, and encouraging civic
participation as well as providing public ICT access; and
• the private-sector/commercial model, in which entrepreneurs launch for-profit
centers with “social good” services offered as well.

Examples of these models follow.

55
Excerpted from: Mary Fontaine. 2002. Community Telecenters: Enabling Lifelong Learning. In
Wadi D. Haddad & Alexandra Draxler (Eds.) Technologies for Education: Potential, Parameters, and
Prospects. Paris: UNESCO, and Washington, DC: Academy for Educational Development.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 53 of 62

Three Adoptions in Ghana


In Ghana, each of three NGOs in different parts of the country has established and
assumed responsibility for operating a telecenter. Their stories illustrate lessons for
public access efforts, including the importance of reaching out creatively to people and
groups unfamiliar with ICT, achieving a balance between social service and commercial
interests, and providing ICT training programs to build a firm client base.

Before opening their doors, Ghana’s telecenters wisely undertook a comprehensive


outreach program to familiarize future clients with the possibilities, potential, and
relevance of ICT. For example, special days (or weeks) were set aside for women, youth,
entrepreneurs, medical practitioners, local officials, and other groups to visit them.
Invitations were distributed widely, and when the groups arrived, they received an
orientation program designed specifically for them. Local celebrities, tribal leaders, and
dignitaries from a variety of fields addressed the groups and cut the ribbons, and local
radio and television stations covered the events. Each group left with a specially
developed “take-away,” such as a floppy diskette containing information relevant to its
work, which helped to make tangible the virtual world to which they were introduced.
Following these events was the launch of a seminar program inviting people back to
explore topics of special interest, such as “The Computer as a Tool for Medicine.”

One of the NGOs operating a telecenter in Ghana faced a dilemma between its desire to
serve its constituents—the poor—and its need to generate revenue from clients able to
pay. In part, it was a moral issue for the telecenter. While its contractual obligations
included achieving financial sustainability, the clients it was dedicated to serving did not
have sufficient funds to pay the fees necessary for the telecenter to cover its costs. By
the end of the project, the NGO had managed to achieve a balance in three ways: first,
by developing a sliding fee scale whereby higher-income groups subsidized lower-
income groups; second, by building a popular training program for individuals and
groups that generated substantial revenue; and, third, by bringing in large blocks of
income through outside contracts. For example, through a British Council-sponsored
program, the telecenter was paid to provide computer training to groups of secondary
school students. In this way, the telecenter could bring in sufficient revenue without
having to rely exclusively on individual fees from low-income users to support its
operations.

One of the greatest strengths of the LearnLink-launched telecenters in Ghana is their


focus on training. From a modest beginning, the telecenters became a significant skill-
building force nationwide, supplementing and extending learning opportunities beyond
those available in either public and private educational institutes, and providing more
practical, hands-on training than some technical universities. In just two years, the
training program not only provided more than 10,000 individuals—students, teachers,
businesspeople, and even staff from the national telecom—with useful ICT skills, but it
also contributed to the financial sustainability of the telecenters, which have relied on
client fees to operate since external funding ended. Moreover, when the centers first
opened, clients required assistance for even the most basic functions. Due to effective
marketing of the training program, 77% of telecenter users registered for training
classes. As clients developed their own skills, staff were freed to attend to other
functions.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 54 of 62

A Municipal Model in Asunción, Paraguay


The vision was good: the Municipality of Asunción would provide less-advantaged
communities in the city with the benefits of ICT for civic development purposes. People
no longer would have to travel downtown and stand in long lines to register to vote,
obtain licenses, or access databases of government information. Instead, they could do
it all at neighborhood-based municipal centers. The telecenters would help devolve
official functions to the neighborhood level, the public would be better informed and
more engaged in democratic processes, and citizens in poor communities would have
access to improved communication facilities and opportunities for civic education and
lifelong learning. According to Sergio Aranda, LearnLink resident advisor, “it became
clear that…this project needed to be looked at in terms of social demand. It needed to
be tied into the daily lives of the residents.”

Considering every person and group in town a potential partner, the local director of the
municipal telecenter activity forged alliances with the potential to contribute greatly to
its own long-term sustainability:
• In return for displaying marketing materials in the telecenters, the local Internet
service provider gave the telecenters free Internet connectivity.
• In exchange for free e-mails, Peace Corps volunteers provided free administrative
assistance.
• For use of the IT equipment, Catholic University instructors trained telecenter staff in
facilitation skills.
• College students designed Web pages for the municipality in exchange for
discounted online time at the telecenters.
• Police and prison officials, who used the telecenters to learn computer skills,
provided security.
• The mayor, an enthusiastic supporter, participated in teleconferences with local
residents, attended telecenter launch celebrations, and found scarce municipal funds
to help cover maintenance costs.

Informal contributions were elicited, too, with enthusiasm. Just for the chance to have
a telecenter in its neighborhood, a local association of bricklayers, masons, and
carpenters built the center, literally and voluntarily, from the ground up.

A Commercial Model: PC3s in Bulgaria


Nearly half of all Bulgarians live in small towns not yet reached by the economic
progress underway in urban areas. The farther a community is from one of Bulgaria’s
five largest cities, the greater is the gap in economic development.

This holds true as well for access to ICT. While multiple Internet service providers (ISPs)
compete with one another in urban centers, few operate in small towns and rural areas.
Where Internet access is available, average prices for service are almost twice as high as
in the cities.

In Bulgaria’s cities, ICT is helping to drive development by:


• stimulating economic competitiveness;
• catalyzing spin-off businesses;
• creating a platform for e-commerce;
• increasing employment;
• increasing education and training opportunities;
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 55 of 62

• improving communication; and


• facilitating provision of government and social services for city dwellers.

Lacking infrastructure and access to ICT, small towns and rural areas are in danger of
falling even further behind. To meet IT access needs in these areas, a Public Computer
and Communication Center (PC3) program is underway to create viable telecenter
businesses that combine for-profit and public good services with a sound business plan.

Essential elements of the business plan include:


• launching PC3s with local entrepreneurs;
• distributing prepaid computer access cards, redeemable for PC3 services, to groups
throughout Bulgaria to stimulate use and reduce risk for operators;
• developing local language resources on social and economic development for
clients;
• providing hardware, technical assistance, training, and Internet connectivity
subsidies to operators;
• promoting spin-off businesses, such as the sale of peripherals, desktop
publishing, and equipment repair; and
• providing local businesses with e-commerce assistance.

Resource 2.7.5 - Telecenters: Selected Resources


UNESCO Guide to Community Multimedia Centers: How to Get
Started and Keep Going
http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-
URL_ID=15709&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

UNESCO Portal for Telecenters


http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-
URL_ID=1263&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html
This site presents information on projects and tools.

International Community Telecenter Resources


http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-
URL_ID=3870&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html
The UNESCO site seeks to facilitate development of community telecenters worldwide by
providing information, experiences, and resources related to practical telecenter
implementation and management.

Assessing Community Telecentres: Guidelines for Researchers


http://www.idrc.ca/acb/showdetl.cfm?&DID=6&Product_ID=520&CATID=15
This IDRC report (free online version) covers a telecenter evaluation plan, indicators in
telecenter studies, issues in sampling and surveying, matching research methods to
data needs, and data analysis and reporting.

IDRC Telecentre Research


http://www.idrc.ca/pan/telecentres.html
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 56 of 62

This site serves as a meeting place for people interested in telecenter practice and
research. Information on IDRC’s telecenter initiatives is included, along with links to
resources produced by others working in the field.

Ten Steps for Establishing Multipurpose Community Telecenters


http://www.unescobkk.org/ips/ebooks/documents/tensteps/index.htm
“Ten Steps” is a new UNESCO publication to assist communities in establishing,
operating, and managing sustainable Multipurpose Community Telecenters (MCTs). The
publication comprises 10 booklets, each of which presents a step toward establishing a
sustainable MCT in simple and easy-to-understand terms.

CTCNet Community Technology Center Start-Up Manual


http://www.ctcnet.org/resources/toc.htm
CTCNet serves as a support mechanism for Community Technology Centers (CTCs) by
providing electronic and in-person links for its affiliated programs. This manual covers
timeline and process, mapping community resources, determining program focus,
staffing, software selection and criteria, space, hardware, security, scheduling, outreach,
self-assessment, budgeting and funding, and preparing a business plan.

Gender Analysis of Telecenter Evaluation Methodology


http://www.apcwomen.org/resources/research/telecentre-gender.html
This document addresses how gender can be integrated meaningfully into telecenter
evaluation methodologies. It is animated by African experiences and examples,
particularly South African experiences and examples.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 57 of 62

3 From Potential to Effectiveness

3.1 Infrastructure

Resource 3.1.1 - Electric and Solar


Many communities do not have reliable electric source to power radios, televisions, and
computers. Some, like the one discussed below, are experimenting with solar energy to
run their hardware.
Small-scale electricity generator sets – commonly known as gensets – are among the
most technologically and commercially mature options for distributed energy
generation. Generator sets have relatively low capital costs but high running costs due
to the need to purchase fuel and provide regular maintenance. If routine maintenance
tasks are not carried out regularly, the genset may break down before its time.

For generator sets with a capacity of less than 3 kW, gasoline and diesel are popular
fuels. Genset engines may also use other fuels, such as propane, kerosene, biogas,
biofuels or fossil/biofuel mixtures.

Source of excerpt and for further information:


http://www.dot-com-alliance.org/POWERING_ICT/

To learn more about energy options go to:


http://www.dot-com-alliance.org/POWERING_ICT/pub/Energy_Options.htm

Honduras Solar Village 56


San Ramón, a Honduran village of about 840 people located in the hills above
Choluteca, is proof positive of the power of new technologies to leapfrog over
traditional barriers to development. San Ramón has become the world’s first solar-
powered community hooked up to the Internet.

Although located a mere 24 kilometers from a main thoroughfare, the journey up to San
Ramón requires a good 45 minutes in a 4 x 4 all-terrain vehicle—and a strong stomach.
There is no road to speak of. Rather, a path of stones, ravines, and otherwise tough
conditions leads slowly upward. This lack of accessibility, coupled with the relatively few
inhabitants and high unit costs, has made the government less than anxious to extend
the electric distribution network from Choluteca to San Ramón.

San Ramón started exploring the potential of alternative energy sources, and, in
February 1999, solar panels were installed strategically throughout the village. The
energy generated through the solar panels powers a variety of community services,
including:
• five streetlights;
• six classrooms, each of which has its own electrical outlets for a TV/VHS, computer,
or other pieces of equipment;
• a community center, with outlets for fans, computers, TVs, etc., as well;
56
Excerpted from: Aimee Verdisco et al. May/June 2001. “Honduras: Solar Energy Bridges the
Digital Divide.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechknowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 58 of 62

• an innovative classroom equipped with 11 computers, a TV, video and tape


recorders, digital cameras, scanners, printers, etc.;
• a health clinic, with a heating and cooling system for water and storage of medicines
and vaccines; and
• lighting in the village’s church.

In October 2000, San Ramón went global, becoming wired to the Internet through each
of the 11 computers in its innovative classroom.

Two additional solar villages are currently under preparation: Las Trojas (with a
population of just over 190) and La Montaña (population of 240),

Resource 3.1.2 - Wind Power - Spirit Lakes Community Schools


In 1991, Spirit Lake Community Schools in Spirit Lake, Iowa, began studying the use of
wind as a renewable energy source. With the support of the Iowa Department of Natural
Resources, the school district used the first year of the project to measure the wind
speed on the proposed site and analyze its electrical costs. In addition, the team
familiarized itself with wind turbine manufacturing and the federal and state rules and
regulations regarding energy production and use. With a federal grant and a low-interest
loan, the district bought its first turbine to supply electrical energy for the elementary
school. An agreement with the local utility company specified that, during peak demand
and/or low winds, the district must purchase electricity from the company, and during
excess production, the company must purchase electricity from the district. The turbine
began producing electricity in 1993, and nine months later it had produced 1,570,000
KW hours of energy, providing all of the electricity for the schools and a reimbursement
from the utility company. In 1998, the school made the last payment on the loan for the
turbine, and the savings are now going to the school’s instructional program. The
turbine has also been used as an educational tool and has attracted many schools and
visitors to study renewable sources of energy. A second turbine has been installed, and,
in 2007, when both turbines are paid for, the district expects to have about US$120,000
in tax-free income from the project to improve education in the area. For additional
information, visit http://www.spirit-lake.k12.ia.us/~apeck/bg/building.htm.

Resource 3.1.3 - Pedal Power - Bijli Bike


The Association for India’s Development (AID) has developed a Pedal Power Generator or
Bijli Bike that converts human power to electricity. A student pedaling for 15 minutes
can light up two to three classrooms using 11 18 watts CFL lamps for one hour. An
initial prototype that could generate 70 watts was first tested in the Domkhedi village, in
the tribal belt of Maharshtra, where there is no electricity grid. A new, perfected design
is available by mail order from Rashron Ltd. More than 30 generators have been
distributed to groups in several states, including Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat,
and others. AID is also collaborating with other groups to bring alternate energy
through pedal and wind to Indian villages. For additional information, visit
http://www.aidindia.org/hq/projects/illus/pedal2.htm.

Resource 3.1.4 - Connectivity


Turning computers into powerful communication tools requires access to the Internet;
however, getting a school online, particularly one in a remote area, is not a
straightforward task. In many areas, the communication infrastructure is either
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 59 of 62

nonexistent or too expensive to use. Some forms of terrestrial wireless and satellite
technologies are being introduced that do not require installation of wire line networks
and are ideal for remote and isolated areas. Below are two examples.

SchoolNet Namibia: A Wireless Solution 57


Almost two-thirds of Namibian schools still do not have a telephone, but that will no
longer keep them from accessing the Internet. Construction has begun on an
ambitiously novel project to provide Internet service without wires or telephone lines.

When completed, SchoolNet Namibia, which provides Internet service to Namibia’s


learners, will be able to hook up hundreds of schools via a narrow-band radio network
that will cover most of the densely populated north as well as certain urban pockets.
This network will cover almost 900 schools and 54,000 square kilometers. Three
Windhoek-area schools have already begun surfing wirelessly.

The system works much in the way as cellular networks. First, a series of strategically
placed towers brings a signal to a given area. Devices called subscriber units located on
school grounds then pick up the broadcast signal to send and receive data on
preordained frequencies. Bridging technology, which allows signals to hop from tower to
tower, carries the packets back and forth to SchoolNet servers physically connected to
the Internet

VSAT in Uganda 58
Small satellite earth stations operating with geosynchronous satellites can be used for
interactive voice and data as well as for broadcast reception For example, banks in
remote areas of Brazil are linked via very small aperture terminals (VSATs), and the
National Stock Exchange in India links brokers with rooftop VSATs. VSATs for television

57
www.schoolnet.na
58
Excerpted from: Anthony Bloome. January–March 2002. “Uganda: Wireless School
Internet Connectivity.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechknowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 60 of 62

reception (known as TVRO (televisions receive only) deliver broadcasting signals to


viewers in many developing regions, particularly in Asia and Latin America.

Uganda is implementing a World Links pilot project in the use of VSATs. Fourteen
secondary schools and one National Teacher’s College have been outfitted with VSATs
for high-speed Internet connectivity. The VSAT system uses a national network of 2.4-
meter dishes operating in the C-Band. (Due to climatic conditions, C-Band [3–6 GHz] is
less susceptible to interference from heavy rains because its wavelength is much bigger
than the size of a raindrop.) The system is full duplex (two-way), so no public switched
telephone network (PSTN), microwave links, or optical fibers are needed for a return
link. The link is asymmetric—that is, more bandwidth will come to the schools than go
from the schools.

The “download” bandwidth, 256 Kbps shared among the network of participating sites,
guarantees each site a minimum of 23 Kbps to operate simultaneously. Any school will
be able to “burst” or obtain higher bandwidth (from the total amount available) if other
schools are not using it. The “upload” bandwidth is a dedicated 32 Kbps per site during
the pilot phase. While this bandwidth currently is not sufficient for videoconferencing or
-streaming, schools can purchase more bandwidth if there is sufficient demand for
additional capabilities.

Ten of the 15 participating sites will have stand-alone VSATs (i.e., antenna, wireless
units, routing equipment), a server, and at least 10 PCs on a local area network (LAN).
An 11th site has an onward connection to four other schools via a point-to-multipoint
Spread Spectrum wireless link through Ethernet bridge equipment. With a wireless
Ethernet connection, the four “remote” sites require very little maintenance and their
bandwidth use can be tracked and controlled by the VSAT “hub” site with appropriate
monitoring software.

The cost of satellite connectivity is about US$400 a month per site. Each new school or
institution added to the network as a “hub” or “remote” site will share some of the
connectivity costs, which will lower the overall operating costs for each of the schools
involved.

3.2 Hardware

Resource 3.2.1 - Computers: Low-Cost Alternative


Although the price of computers is going down, they are still prohibitive for many
developing countries if computers are to be made available across the school system in
enough numbers to serve the countries’ educational objectives. There have been some
humble efforts in countries such as Brazil and India to address this issue and to produce
a less costly computer with a longer operational life.

In India, a small company, Media Video Limited, is providing low-end computers priced
between US$30 and US$65. Another new low-cost product is the Simputer (Simple
Inexpensive Multilingual People’s Computer), which uses a touch screen interface, but
allows for an external keyboard through a USB interface for those who require data entry
capability. It is built around Intel’s StrongARM CPU and is based on the Linux operating
system, with 16MB of flash memory, a monochrome liquid crystal display (LCD), and a
touch-panel for pen-based computing. Users do not have to be literate; the device reads
out text and supports Hindi, Kannada, and English.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 61 of 62

Brazil’s version of the Simputer is the Volkscomputer. Very similar in configuration to


the Simputer, the Volkscomputer will have a 500-megahertz processor, 64 megabytes of
main memory, and 16 MB more on a flash chip that substitutes for a hard drive.
Thesystem has a 56 kbps modem and the software is Linux-based and, therefore, is
free. Because the machine is modular, schools can link a series up to a regular PC that
acts as a server. Volkscomputer was created by the Federal University of Minas Gerais as
a result of a commission last year from the Brazilian federal government. Although the
Volkscomputer is still in the prototype stage, Brazil hopes to sell it to individuals on an
installment plan for as little as US$15 a month. In addition, installing the Volkscomputer
in schools will give Internet access to seven million students.

To create affordable PCs, Intel is stripping out the extras. The Affordable PC, an Intel-
designed PC for this market, is a desktop that cannot be upgraded. It comes with 128MB
or 256MB of memory, a 40GB drive, optical drive and two USB slots. Memory can't be
added and some of the other options on typical western PCs are gone. Intel is also
developing Classmate PC - a sub-US$400 notebook for schools in developing countries.
It will come with about 1GB of flash memeory instead of a hard drive so as to withstand
accidents. For further information go to:
http://news.com.com/Intels+bridge+for+the+digital+divide/2100-1005_3-6084250.html

Another attempt is the US$100 laptop designed by the MIT Media Lab. The “machine will
be a Linux-based, with a dual-mode display—both a full-color, transmissive DVD mode,
and a second display option that is black and white reflective and sunlight-readable at
3× the resolution. The laptop will have a 500MHz processor and 128MB of DRAM, with
500MB of Flash memory; it will not have a hard disk, but it will have four USB ports. The
laptops will have wireless broadband that, among other things, allows them to work as a
mesh network; each laptop will be able to talk to its nearest neighbors, creating an ad
hoc local area network. The laptops will use innovative power (including wind-up) and
will be able to do most everything except store huge amounts of data.” The designers
expect is to have units ready for shipment by early 2007. For more information go to:
http://www.laptop.org/faq.en_US.html

Resource 3.2.2 - Recycling


While organizations, schools, and families struggle to obtain computers and enter the
digital revolution, ever more of them are being discarded solely because a newer version
is available. International, regional, and local efforts are underway to collect discarded
computers, clean them, and distribute them to schools.

There is a glitch, however, with this potentially happy-ending situation. Most computers
that are being discarded no longer have software installed, and/or they cannot support
newer software. The use of older software limits these recycled computers’ usefulness.
Therefore, some recycling organizations only accept donations of more recent models,
such as Pentium 75 or higher. This requirement excludes a significant number of
computers that are now being replaced, particularly those from the late 1980s, including
the 386 and 486 series. 59

59
See Sonia Jurich. May/June 2000. “Recycling Computers: A Simple Solution for a Complex
Problem.” TechKnowLogia. Available at www.TechknowLogia.org.
Reference Handbook Part 3: Resources Page 62 of 62

Some organizations are trying to address the problem by providing software packages
that can be run on any computer, from a 286 to the newest Pentiums.
NewDeal software, sold by Breadbox, 60 restores the core functionality of old computers.
It contains a complete suite of integrated software applications, including design and
Internet applications, and it has a point-and-click interface, like Windows, but with two
major differences: first, it runs on computers with as little as 640K RAM and 20 MB of
free Hard Disk space, and, second, it retails for less than US$100.

Below are links to some organizations that are providing recycled computers to
developing countries:
• World Computer Exchange (US based)
• Computer Aid International (UK based)
• TecsChange (US based)
• Digital Partnership (UK based)
• Digital Links (UK based)
• Computers for Africa

60
http://www.breadbox.com/geocats.asp.