Quality of Content, Not the Container, Strength of Educational Materials

At this year’s Fall Policy Exchange held by the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group, Mike Trucano of the World Bank Group gave the keynote address on Technology Education in Developing Countries. In his presentation Trucano related his experiences working around the globe to promote education for all. He cited successful digital learning campaigns in Africa and other countries and discussed how innovation around the edges of society in developing countries can grow to influence new technologies and ideas in US education.

The resounding theme throughout Trucano's talk was when used strategically and correctly, technology can be an absolute asset to educational success. Referencing the recent OECD report, which showed mixed results on how tech use in schools affects students, Trucano emphasized that it is imperative to consider how technology is being used for learning, not just that it is being used. “It’s about the content, not the container,” said Trucano when explaining the strength of quality educational material. He remarked that while the methods may continue to change, the overall goal of delivering solid learning resources remains the same. Edtech in schools is a work in progress, Trucano reminded attendees.

As a takeaway, Trucano provided a list of 10 recommendations when considering installing digital technology in schools.

  1. Holistic approach
  2. Complementary before substitution
  3. Assume change
  4. Consider total costs
  5. Avoid vendor lock-in
  6. PR and outreach
  7. Training and ongoing support
  8. New HR competencies
  9. Review existing laws
  10. Assess existing procurement processes 
Digital Issues
Education Policy