infoDev Knowledge Maps
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infoDev’s Knowledge Maps on ICTs in education are intended to serve as quick snapshots of what the research literature reveals in a number of key areas. They are not meant to be an exhaustive catalog of everything that is known (or has been debated) about the use of ICTs in education in a particular topic; rather, taken together they are an attempt to summarize and give shape to a very large body of knowledge and to highlight certain issues in a format quickly accessible to busy policymakers. The infoDev knowledge mapping exercise is meant to identify key general assertions and gaps in the knowledge base of what is known about the use of ICTs in education, especially as such knowledge may relate to the education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
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Knowledge Map : Impact of ICTs on Learning and Achievement(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-11) World BankIt is generally believed that information and communication technologies (ICTs) can empower teachers and learners, promote change and foster the development of '21st century skills, but data to support these beliefs are still limited. There is widespread belief that ICTs can and will empower teachers and learners, transforming teaching and learning processes from being highly teacher-dominated to student-centered, and that this transformation will result in increased learning gains for students, creating and allowing for opportunities for learners to develop their creativity, problem-solving abilities, informational reasoning skills, communication skills, and other higher-order thinking skills. However, there are currently very limited, unequivocally compelling data to support this belief.
Knowledge Map : Monitoring and Evaluation(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.
Knowledge Map : Teachers, Teaching and ICTs(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.
Knowledge Map : Content and Curriculum Issues(Washington, DC, 2005-03) World BankAt first glance, content issues related to information and communication technologies (ICTs) use in education might seem to some to be of minor importance. After all, access to the internet means access to an entire world of educational resources. Access to the internet provides access to seemingly endless sets of educational resources and indeed it does. However, experience shows that there is a dearth of educational resources in a format that makes them easily accessible and relevant to most teachers and learners in least development countries (LDCs), especially as they relate to a given country's current curriculum. Experience tells us that, unless electronic educational resources are directly related to the curriculum, and to the assessment methods used to evaluate educational outcomes (especially standardized testing), lack of appropriate and relevant educational content is actually an important barrier to ICT use in schools.