Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Publication: Technologies for Education (TEd): A Framework for Action

This new publication of the Inter-American Development Bank presents a framework supporting the design, implementation, monitoring, and assessment of projects designed to incorporate technologies for the purpose of improving educational outcomes.

There is a broad consensus regarding the need to improve student outcomes in the educational systems of Latin America and the Caribbean. After an attempt to institute various reforms and initiatives, the demand for quality and equity continues to be heard throughout the region. Meeting this demand will require significant changes, regarding not only the teaching of subjects that are relevant to needs of a knowledge society, but also teaching them in a way that takes full account of the educational context that 21st century society has generated.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

iTextbooks

Seven years ago, I worked at the Fundación Chile when we visited the manager of the Textbook Unit of the Ministry of Education to convince him to start preparing the Chilean school system for digital textbooks, which undoubtedly would be, and will be, a reality sooner rather than later. Of course we were aware that Chile was not then nor is now able to replace the text printed by digital alternatives. But it seemed urgent to start preparing.

 Most importantly, we raised at that meeting was to separate the bidding of textbooks into two: one for content, giving the Ministry of Education the right to use that content distribution on any platform and in perpetuity, in order to start generating a Bank of educational content, and another separate tender for the printing and distribution of texts on paper. Just look at the reality today, to notice that we were pretty bad at the meeting. The ministry continues to spend 11 billion pesos ($ 11,000,000,000) each year to distribute, the best they can, boxes of printed books, purchased as closed units to large publishers and without forming the bank of digital content and curricular activities. Perhaps this is the moment to insist on the idea.

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