09.UNICTTF Harnessing the Potential of ICT for Education eBook

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UN ICT Task Force Series 9: Harnessing the Potential of ICT for Education A Multistakeholder Approach (Edited by Bonnie Bracey and Terry Culver)


Copyright 2005 United Nations ICT Task Force All rights reserved. Except for use in a review, the reproduction or utilization of this work or part of it in any form or by electronics, or other means now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying, recording, and in any information storage, transmission or retrieval system, including CD-ROM, online or via the Internet, is forbidden without the written permission of the publishers. The views expressed in this book are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the United Nations ICT Task Force, the United Nations itself, any of its organs or agencies, nor of any other organizations or institutions mentioned or discussed in this book, including the organizations to which the authors are affiliated. Published by The United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force One United Nations Plaza New York, NY 10017 unicttaskforce@un.org

My best thanks go to Sergei Kambalov, Enrica Murmura, Robert de Jesus, Edoardo Zucchelli and Cheryl Stafford of the United Nations ICT Task Force Secretariat, for their input and encouragement as we collaborated to find the best stories and case studies from the Global Forum. Their assistance with this task was invaluable. I also thank Terry Culver, of GeSCI, for helping to bring many of the participants to the conference, and for his assistance in identifying contributors and persuading them to lend their knowledge and insights. This report would not have appeared without the support of my husband, Vic Sutton, who not only provided help and encouragement, but also tackled all the copy editing of the report with patience and professional skill, over a period of many weeks. As a small child, I attended an Irish-supported mission school in the ghetto of Alexandria, Virginia. That gives me a special reason to thank the government of Ireland for its support for the Global Forum, and for its vision for the future helping others.

Bonnie Bracey 13 October 2005

THE UNITED NATIONS ICT TASK FORCE The United Nations ICT Task Force was established by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to help identify ways to harness the potential of ICT for economic and social development by promoting partnerships of public, private, non-profit and civil society stakeholders to advance the global effort to bridge the digital divide. As a global forum for placing ICT at the service of development, the ICT Task Force has grown in stature and influence since its inauguration in 2001. With the potential of ICT to enable the attainment of internationally agreed development goals becoming widely embraced, the Task Force provides a platform to discuss international norms, policies and practices through the work of its networks, working groups and members. The Task Force is not an operational, implementing or funding agency but provides a platform and focal point for discussing the ICT for development agenda, including issues related to strategic direction, policy coherence and coordination and advocacy in relation to the global ICT for development agenda. It has the mandate to help forge a strategic partnership between the United Nations system, private industry and other relevant stakeholders in putting ICT at the service of development. Meetings, in particular a series of global forums focused on key issues held over the last two years, bring together Task Force members with international development and ICT experts, policy makers, leading private sector representatives and members of civil society and non-governmental organizations and provide a platform for sharing experiences, exchanging views, catalyzing new partnerships and building consensus in complex and politically sensitive policy areas.

THE GLOBAL E-SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES INITIATIVE (GeSCI) The Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative matches the power of ICT with educational need, and has the potential not only to improve education, but also to empower people, strengthen governance, open up new markets and galvanize our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. - Kofi Annan GeSCI was established in 2004 to harness the power of new technologies to strengthen education and communities around the world. GeSCI brings together actors to launch or coordinate national or regional efforts and to connect global partners to these efforts. In partnership with governments, the private sector, and civil society, GeSCI designs practical, long-term and sustainable solutions, and as an honest broker, cultivates the growth of ICT in education environments The range of services GeSCI provides includes developing and implementing national or regional education strategies, building capacity of teachers, administrators, and policy makers, scaling up successful innovations, building and sharing knowledge, creating hands-on tools, mobilizing resources, and facilitating coordination among stakeholders. GeSCI has significant activities underway in a number of countries and has established offices in Namibia to lead the Namibian National ICT in Education Initiative, and in India, where GeSCI is both working in a number of different states and advising the Federal Government on ICT in Education policy. GeSCI is also engaged in research and strategic planning activities in Ghana, Bolivia, Jordan, and Columbia, and will become involved in more countries in the near future. To complement the national and regional work, GeSCI is also developing a Total Cost of Ownership Assessment Tool, to enable practitioners and policy makers to articulate educational needs and to determine ICT solutions with their different costs and benefits. GeSCI is also leading the Return on Investments in ICT in Education Study, which is a multi-year, multi-country research project to understand the long-term, quantifiable benefits a country can anticipate with investments in ICT in education. The founding members of GeSCI are the United Nations and the governments of Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, and Ireland. GeSCI has also established a number of strategic partnerships in the private and public sector. Why GeSCI? Education is vital to economic growth by developing a skilled work force and increasing productivity. It is equally vital to social development, as it empowers people to improve their health, environment, and governance. But, education systems in the developing world are under strain. Many of the worlds children receive no formal education or a sub-standard education. Those who are fortunate enough to attend schools lack books and materials, have poor infrastructure and little communication with the wider world, and their teachers are too few and inadequately trained. Strengthening education and communities is essential to cultivating sustained development.

GeSCI is committed to helping achieve several of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a global compact to end human poverty among nations. GeSCI directly targets goals 2 and 3: achieving universal primary education and promoting gender equality, and goal 8: creating private-public partnerships to realise the potential of ICT for development. In addition, education underpins the realisation of all eight goals.


CONTENTSMessage KOFI ANNAN Secretary-General, United Nations Preface NOEL DEMPSEY T.D. Minister For Communications, Marine And Natural Resources, Ireland Introduction: Uniting People, Technology and Powerful Ideas for Learning BONNIE BRACEY Information and Communication Technologies for Development JEFFREY D. SACHS Part One: The Contribution of ICTs to Education Initiatives ICT for Education: The Experience of India M. MADHAVAN NAMBIAR Twenty-First Century Learners: A Need for Tech-Savvy Teachers BONNIE BRACEY Encouraging the Effective and Sustainable Use of Information and Communication Technologies for Promoting Education and Development TITILAYO AKINSANMI ICT in Education: A Practical Approach ESTHER WACHIRA Moving Beyond the Digital Gap: Investing in the Young to Create New Learning and Socio-Economic Opportunities CLOTILDE FONSECA Part Two: Harnessing the Potential of ICTs for Education Section One: Maximizing the Complementary Strengths of Partnerships GeSCI: ICTs for Global Education and Community Development ASTRID DUFBORG Building a Multistakeholder Alliance for ICT in Education in Latin America IRENE HARDY DE GMEZ STMicroelectronics Foundation and the Digital Unify ELENA PISTORIO Young Voices on ICT for Education Four Regional Insights Introduction by JULIA CHRISTINA FAUTH v



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1. E-Education in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects DABESAKI MAC-IKEMENJIMA 2. The Importance of Learning How to Learn MIKE GRIFFIN 3. Promoting Participation and Encouraging Empowerment Examples of German ICT for Education Initiatives GERALDINE DE BASTION 4. Technology and Education In Brazil DIOGO ANDR DE ASSUMPO Giving Every Macedonian Student a Gateway to the World LEIGH SHAMBLIN GLORIAD: An Advanced Network for Science and Education GREGORY COLE and NATASHA BULASHOVA Integrated Water Concepts in the National Curriculum in Jordan MAYYADA ABU JABER and MONA GRIESER ICT: A Powerful New Tool To Teach Literacy BONNIE BRACEY Section Two: Access to ICTs in Education Access to ICTs for Education RAHUL TONGIA Innovation to Improve Access to ICT in Education MARTIN CURLEY Section Three: Learning Strategies Against All Odds: Reflections on the Challenges of SchoolNet Africa SHAFIKA ISAACS Learning and Growing by Giving: Children as Agents of ICT EDNA APHEK The Rising Tide of ICT Fluency in Education: Power Users of ICT JOYCE MALYN-SMITH Engendering ICTs for Education CLAUDIA MORRELL and SOPHIA HUYER Harnessing the Potential of ICT in Education in Latin America and the Caribbean DANILO PIAGGESI and JUAN CARLOS NAVARRO Teaching through Mobile Technology D