This week there was a new publication by the Inter-American Development Bank introducing a framework to support the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects that seek to incorporate technologies to achieve educational improvements. The idea is to support those who are faced with the challenge of improving the quality of education from a school, a municipality, a region or a country, and those who believe that the use of technologies can be part of their strategies.
There is a broad consensus on the need to improve the results of students in the educational systems of Latin America and the Caribbean. After trying multiple reforms and initiatives, the demand for quality and equity remains a pending task in the region. This requires significant changes not only in what is taught, for it to be relevant to the needs of the knowledge society, but also on how it is taught so as to take charge of the educational context that the 21st century society itself has generated.
There is also a growing consensus on the importance of incorporating information and communication technologies (ICT) in education. We know that technologies alone do not generate substantive impacts on educational outcomes. However, they can be a key component of the efforts made to improve the quality of education, as long as they are part of systemic efforts.
The fundamental assumption of this action framework is that every genuinely educational project aims at achieving better learning from students. This implies considering the expected results may be of a different nature but must be related to learning. First, this framework intends to consider the potential of technologies for:
- Improvements in the commitment and involvement of students towards the learning process, as reflected in their participation and continuance in the process;
- Changes in teaching and learning practices and experiences, for students, teachers, schools and communities.
These changes and improvements have a direct and necessary relationship with the production of effective impacts on the improvement of:
- Cognitive learning (curricular);
- The development of non-cognitive competencies or “twenty-first century competences” including the acquisition of skills in Information and communication technologies self-management.
I hope that this publication contributes to all those who have the task of imagining and designing innovative learning experiences where technologies play a role in enabling changes and best practices.