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Publication(Washington, DC, 2008-01) World BankBias is a very real issue in most of the monitoring and evaluation work done of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education issues across the board. Such biases are often introduced at the monitoring and evaluation design stage, and include a lack of relevant and appropriate control groups, biases on the part of 'independent evaluators' (who often have a stake in seeing positive outcomes), and biases on the part of those evaluated (who may understandably seek to show that they have made good use of investments in ICTs to benefit education). The opportunity for such biases (which are usually positive biases) are especially acute where there a great reliance on self-reported data. There appears to be a lack of institutional and human resource capacity to carry out independent evaluations of ICT in education initiatives by local organizations in least development countries (LDCs) (which increases the cost of such activities and potentially decreases the likelihood that the results will be fed back into program design locally). A general lack of formal monitoring and evaluation activities inhibits the collection and dissemination of lessons learned from pilot projects and the useful formation of necessary feedback loops for such lessons learned to become an input into educational policy. Where such activities have occurred, they focus largely on program delivery, and are often specific to the project itself.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2008-01) World BankLocating and identifying the uses of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to benefit education in developing countries is a tedious, difficult, time-consuming, and ad hoc task. No standard reference or methodology exists for identifying such investments. Observations and conclusions on how ICTs are actually used in schools are drawn almost exclusively from Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) experience. Little such data exists for least development countries LDCs, and essentially none for countries most at risk of meeting education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Emerging evidence from OECD countries suggests that even massive investments in ICTs in schools may not bring about the desired changes in teaching and learning processes unless such investments are supported by similar initiatives to improve access to ICTs outside of the school environment. This may be especially important for uses of ICTs to support education for all (EFA) goals, as effective use in school may require high levels of access outside school if gains in such investments are to be maximized, especially where ICTs are to be used for communication purposes.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2005-03) World BankEquity issues are critical and acute. It is clear that there are critical equity issues related to the uses of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education. There is a real danger that uses of ICTs can further marginalize groups already excluded or marginalized from existing educational practices and environments. Solid documentation from Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. There is a richly documented history of what works and what doesn't related to the uses of ICTs to assist in the education of students with a variety of disabilities, both cognitive and physical based on OECD experience. Certain applications of ICTs have been shown to have positive and important effects on the educational development of students exhibiting a great variety of special needs (including blind, deaf, and learning disabled students). While ample evidence exists that ICT use can have a positive impact on student motivation, such gains in motivation tend to correlate most closely with students who are already the most academically motivated and highest achievers.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2005-03) World BankTeacher training and on-going, relevant professional development are essential if benefits from investments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) are to be maximized. A shift in the role of a teacher utilizing ICTs to that of a facilitator does not obviate the need for teachers to serve as leaders in the classroom; traditional teacher leadership skills and practices are still important (especially those related to lesson planning, preparation, and follow-up). ICTs seen as tools to help teachers create more 'learner-centric' learning environments in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, research consensus holds that the most effective uses of ICT are those in which the teacher, aided by ICTs, challenge pupils' understanding and thinking, either through whole-class discussions or individual/small group work using ICTs. ICTs are seen as important tools to enable and support the move from traditional 'teacher-centric' teaching styles to more 'learner-centric' methods. Pedagogical practices of teachers using ICTs can range from only small enhancements of teaching practices, using what are essentially traditional methods, to more fundamental changes in their approach to teaching. ICTs can be used to reinforce existing pedagogical practices as well as to change the way teachers and students interact.