About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4548-4557
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0208

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

CREATING BETTER E-LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: LOOKING AT EXPERIENCES IN MANY COUNTRIES

D. Light, E. Pierson

Education Development Center (UNITED STATES)
There are many reasons governments are looking to one-to-one technology solutions in education: ensuring digital equity, promoting educational quality, improving student achievement, bridging the education and information divide. But the research in emerging market countries suggests that the technology is not always used in the classroom to support the learning environment. Understanding how technology fits into the complex realities of classrooms in diverse countries can help policy makers and administrators to better support teachers in and outside the classroom. Over the last few years, we have conducted case studies of successful and unsuccessful e-learning initiatives in many countries (Argentina, Chile, Russia, Turkey, China, Mexico, and Macedonia). Looking across these experiences, there appear to be five critical elements that were common to creating successful one-to-one e-learning environment in schools with very different contexts.

This paper presents the research and experiences that suggest the following five critical elements to designing a more successful e-learning initiative. First, establish an integrated, reliable and consistent technology ecosystem. Good teachers and strong pedagogy are the key elements to improving student learning, but the technology infrastructure of a one-to-one environment is the platform that enables teachers to create effective learning environments. Second, and most shockingly, integrate technology into existing local pedagogical practices. Most e-learning interventions seem to focus on innovative teaching methods but fail to explicitly engage with current teaching practices and resources in the countries they are in. We found that most successful schools and teachers had found ways to integrate technology into current teaching practices as well as using innovative practices. Third, provide ongoing teacher professional development and support. Ongoing professional development keeps teachers engaged in their work and exposes them to fresh new ideas. Teachers in the successful schools received technical and pedagogical training both when they received their laptops, and during the school year. Fourth, an open school culture that encourages teachers to try new tools and pedagogical approaches will be more successful at introducing new technology such as laptops. Because technology is still new and the ways to use it are still evolving, teachers need to feel safe trying new things, making mistakes but growing in their professional understanding of how technology supports learning. Finally, promote supportive and engaged leadership. Any successful one-to-one laptop program needs engaged and dedicated leadership, including local ministries, technical administrators, and school principals.

Most e-learning initiatives are expensive, so its important that the interventions be carefully designed. Building from the experiences of many other projects, we hope these practices can help ensure that any e-learning initiative will continue beyond the lifecycle of the hardware.
@InProceedings{LIGHT2016CRE,
author = {Light, D. and Pierson, E.},
title = {CREATING BETTER E-LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: LOOKING AT EXPERIENCES IN MANY COUNTRIES},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0208},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0208},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {4548-4557}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Light AU - E. Pierson
TI - CREATING BETTER E-LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: LOOKING AT EXPERIENCES IN MANY COUNTRIES
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0208
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 4548
EP - 4557
ER -
D. Light, E. Pierson (2016) CREATING BETTER E-LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: LOOKING AT EXPERIENCES IN MANY COUNTRIES, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 4548-4557.
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