In May 2009, infoDev at the World Bank launched the Educational Technology Debate in conjunction with Unesco with its first topical discussion, "Are ICTs the Best Educational Investment?" between Tim Kelly of infoDev and Wayan Vota, consultant to infoDev. From this humble beginning, the Educational Technology Debate is now an expanding community of practice.
The long-term goal of the Educational Technology Debate is for it to become a focal point and catalyst for an informed discussion and debate around practical implementations of information and communication technology (ICT) solutions in education globally, bringing innovative technology and best practices to the overall ICT for development (ICT4D) effort.
It's well on its way to achieve this goal, and become a commanding presence in the ICT for education (ICT4E) conversation, through three interrelated activities:
- Stimulate a public, holistic, and documented discussion on appropriate low-cost ICT solutions for educational systems in developing countries.
- Become a primary knowledge repository and knowledge transfer mechanism to support implementations of low-cost ICT devices in education.
- Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of low-cost ICT device implementations in educational environments of the developing world.
The Educational Technology Debate is central to the ongoing global discussion around ICTs and learning. Through its 100+ posts by subject matter experts on 17 topics central to ICT in education, its gained over 550 subscribers to its content, and generated over 740 comments by technologists and educators. In fact, leaders in the ICT for education field (ICT4E) say:
"Educational Technology Debate is invaluable. I used an excerpt of Atanu Dey's Live Debate presentation in my efforts to educate the Ministry of Education on ICT4E best practices. I footnote and link to ETD throughout my reports." Edmond Gaible, PhD, CEO of Natoma Group
The Educational Technology Debate utilizes social networking tools to expand its reach and has even bridged the on and off-line world with a Live Debate that was broadcast around the world. You can read about this progress in the Educational Technology Debate Year 1 Report.
In the next year, expect the Educational technology Debate to expand its dialogue and continue to push for a greater discussion on low-cost ICT initiatives for educational systems in developing countries.