Education in Development
By Oriane Boutinard Rouelle, Janice Dean, Nusrat Jahan, Kelsey Keech, Eleanor Milburn, Aries Setiadi, & Reynir Winnan

By Nusrat Jahan

Discussion about the use of technology in education will remain ineffective without considering the pedagogical approaches appropriate in different settings. What kind of technology will be used can widely vary depending on exactly where a particular pedagogical approach stands between two extremes – traditional institutional on one side and highly individualist on the other side. Most of the developing countries are more or less towards the traditional side while most developed countries apply a mix of these two approaches based on specific needs.

In developing country context, some creative entrepreneurs, technology experts and social scientists are also promoting and experimenting extremely individualist approach, or the so-called “minimally invasive education approach” a methodology developed by Dr. Sugata Mitra. While he was the Chief Scientist at NIIT Ltd, Dr. Mitra and his team carved “Hole in the Wall” to set up internet connected computers and observes how disadvantaged children learn by themselves, without any assistance from teachers. The result of the pilot study done by them is published in their website which shows significant improvement in many aspect of education among the participating children[1], though it is not clear what other factors influenced their achievement. Similar initiative was taken by Nicholas Negropont, founder of MIT media lab, in the form of one-laptop-per-child. Under this scheme, thousands of tablets - pre-loaded with learning software are being distributed among underprivileged children in different parts of the developing world.

On the other hand, many developing countries are trying to integrate the use of new technology, or generally known as Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to facilitate the institutional approach in many ways. For example, to enhance or supplement the role of teachers in the classroom setting, teacher training on ICT or ICT based teacher training are provided and infrastructures in schools are developed to assist teachers to integrate technology in educating the children. An example of integrated model is presented here.
TPACK model of integrating technology in education
TPACK model of integrating technology in education
TPACK: An example of an institutional approach in using technology in educationSource:

While researching existing projects and initiatives on ICT integration in education, the project team has found that both individual and institutional approaches were used in different degrees. The team has decided to analyze these projects in three groups – institutional, individual and integrated - to find out the implication of these approaches in different settings.

Institutional Approaches:
Case #1: English in Action: BBC Media in Bangladesh
Case #2: Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) and EDC T4 in India
Case #3: StreetGriot Media Education for Israel/Palestine
Case #4: ACE Project in Kenya
Case #5: ICT EQEP in Indonesia

Individual Approaches:
Case #6: Reading Tutor in Accra, Ghana and Mongu, Zambia
Case #7: One Laptop Per Child in Ghana
Case #8: Gyan Vani and DD-Gyan Darshan in India
Case #9: Pakistani Sesame Street
Integrated Approaches:
Case #10: Integrated Approaches in China

Web Editor: Kelsey Keech

[1] Hole-in-the-Wall, NIIT, retrieved on 27 November 2012 from