A team based in the University’s Education Observatory has been working with the EdTech Hub on research aimed at helping governments around the world use digital technology combat the educational challenges produced by the current pandemic. These challenges included maintaining the continuity of education systems and ensuring that the least privileged learners do not fall further behind. The theme was ‘reverse learning’, meaning the global North learning from projects, pilots, papers and programmes in the global South.
The EdTech Hub is a global initiative supported by UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID), World Bank and Gates Foundation. It is a collaboration between the Overseas Development Institute, REAL Centre at the University of Cambridge, Results for Development, Open Development and Education, Brink, Jigsaw Consult, BRAC, Afrilabs and eLearning Africa. Donor support is currently provided by UK Aid, the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The initial searches produced a vast number of papers and the methodological challenges involved adding value to the large number of global initiatives, such as those from UNESCO and USAID creating databases and resources drawn from work with learning technology, addressing the various biases built into the funding, delivery, methods and reporting of projects and avoiding the mindsets or groupthink that might merely have collated projects and pilots near to the mainstream of accepted thinking. The team also used a range of Delphi sessions with different groups of domain experts to greater inferences and insights from across the literature. The presentation will describe the methods and the findings of this project, and its current impact and implications. The project has created an open database of sources as well as reports, summaries and blogs.