Much of what we read and hear about ‘emerging trends’ regarding the use of technology in education is mostly aimed at audiences in industrialized countries, or for richer urban areas in other parts of the world and is based on a measure important in observations about what is happening in those places.
- Tablets, tablets, tablets
While five years ago there was much (new) enthusiasm about low-cost laptops for students in so-called ‘developing countries’, in 2012 much of the interest that such programs used to be is being replaced by large-scale initiatives to put tablets (tablets) in the hands of the students. While in industrialized countries there are many iPads in educational projects, in developing nations most of the discussions focus on the use of lower-cost Android tablets or simple e-book readers.. There are large projects, such as those in Russia, Turkey and Thailand, where plans to buy hundreds of thousands, and in some cases millions of low-cost tablets, are now underway and, we hope, represent the forefront of a great wave of activity in this sense.
- My learning network is a social network
One of the uses of ICTs whose use is very popular among students and teachers in developing countries is social networks (especially Facebook). We find few cases in which educational systems take advantage of this systematically (apart from isolated situations proposed by somewhat atypical educators) and, in fact, many educational systems filter the use of social networks in their schools.
- Lost and found in translation
It may be true, as an English author of nineteenth-century travel guides once said, that “translation is, at best, an echo.” Where silence is the rule, however, such sounds, no matter how weak, may be very welcome. Efforts to translate the content of the Khan Academy or make use of massive outsourcing of the translations of the popular TED Conferencesthey are representative of a trend that we see that has generated interest: translate the available digital learning materials into other languages.
- The big firewall (firewall) of … everything
While rhetoric may not harmonize with action in most cases, there seems to be an increasing recognition of those who formulate educational policies in developing countries of the important role schools play in digital security.and in matters of digital ethics. Where there is a lot of action is in the use of a variety of filter tools to help keep ‘bad content’ out of school networks (which sometimes complicate the work of teachers and students who have blocked access to content relevant educational because the filters are too wide).
- With the support of the school management
If you have spent tens (or hundreds) of millions of dollars to put computers in schools, train teachers and digitize the content, spending a tiny part of that amount to do community promotion to school leaders can help remove many barriers for the productive realization of the potential advantages of such investments.