A new report by Pearson; Alive in the Swamp, advises educators how to make informed, evidence-based decisions to select learning technology.
According to the Pearson report, the future belongs not to those who focus on the technology alone, but to those who place it in the wider context and see it as one element of a wider system transformation. Titled, Alive in the Swamp, the report gives practical advice on how to make more informed, evidence-based decisions when selecting learning technology.
Written in the context of assessing digital innovations in education, the report provides an index as a way of assessing any digital innovation in learning, which stresses all the elements needed for system impact. It allows for systematic evaluation of new digital innovations.
Under the Index, learning technologies are assessed along three criteria:
- The effectiveness of the learning technology’s pedagogy
- Its ability to activate real and lasting system change
- The accessibility and usability of the technology itself
The Report and Index hold special relevance for the Gulf region, where government expenditure on digital learning is some of the highest in the world. The UAE Government’s ambition of paperless classrooms is being achieved through programmes such as the Federal Higher Education Mobile Learning Initiative, which was launched in September 2012 at a cost estimated to exceed Dhs50 million.
The influx of an increased technology has posed a dilemma of selecting technologies that can be the most effective. The employment of the index described in the report can be critical to gauge that relevant efficiency of a technology that may be employed.
Katelyn Donnelly; “Technology has huge potential for strengthening and deepening what we can learn. However, given the breadth of digital learning products available in the market, it is often difficult to determine which products will have the greatest tangible benefits for schools and students. In a time of unprecedented digital innovation this Index will add clarity to the digital learning field. The Index is accessible and simple to use, allowing educators to employ it to select those digital learning tools that have proven efficacy.” — Katelyn Donnelly, who co-authored the report with Michael Fullan
By identifying gaps in the digital education market, it is also hoped that the Index will lead to producers of learning technology creating products that are more effective in generating improved outcomes for students.
Katelyn Donnelly; “We are confident that one of the outcomes Alive in the Swamp will be a drive to improve digital education products and how they are delivered. The Index has highlighted where innovation gaps exist, so we are hoping entrepreneurs will take up the challenge of creating new products that fill these holes in the market, and ultimately improve the quality of the learning technology available in the Gulf region and all around the world.”