Experts highlight advanced learning methods through edtech

ISLAMABAD: Current educational policies at the national and provincial levels leave little room for Edtech and alternative learning pathways. Therefore, advanced learning methods must be adopted through similar research initiatives to compete with the advanced world.

Bella Raza Jamil, President and CEO of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Agahi, during a seminar titled: “Investigating the impact on learning outcomes through the use of EdTech during COVID- 19”, which was held here on Saturday.

Testimony of an RCT in the Punjab province of Pakistan organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in a local hotel.

In her special remarks, Bella Jamil highlighted the need to explore more avenues of accelerated learning through edtech and to address funding and cost issues across different age groups.

Dr. Nasir Mehmood, Dean of the Faculty of Education at Allama Iqbal Open University, said students suffer immense learning losses, which need to be addressed. He stressed the need for a forum where research findings on edtech can be consolidated to avoid loss of information. “We need to improve school enrollment in terms of gender parity and also find authentic data on this, because there is a lot of conflicting research on this,” he added.

Susan Nicolai, research director of EdTech Hub, said the technology has the potential to solve the global learning crisis, which is underestimated and is caused by gaps in evidence and gaps in use. proofs. She said 9 out of 10 children in low-income countries are disadvantaged in literacy and numeracy, which has intensified due to school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. She said the routine use of technology for educational purposes is limited by schools and students despite its widespread use and expansion into mobiles. She informed the audience that the edtech sector is expected to reach a value of US$404 billion and that governments around the world, including Pakistan, have shown strong interest in promoting the sector, but no structured plan for the technologies. Favorite edtech has only been designed so far. She further stated that research in five low-income countries revealed gender-based inequality in access to and use of education technology, but female students demonstrated greater usefulness and benefits. raised during access. She added that teachers have found innovative ways to use edtech, but it is most effective when it is aligned with curricula and geared towards the community of learners and those involved in this process. . She focused on creating a culture of evidence-based decision-making to address the global learning crisis.

SDPI researcher Dr. Fareeha Armughan said that community perception of technology needs to be factored into the planning of any edtech program. Referring to the SDPI study, she said that 90% of students have access to television, but only 43% use it for teaching. Parental perception of its usefulness for educational purposes is negligible, she says. She pointed out that the low-income groups interviewed in Punjab for this research are not familiar with the technology.

Dr Rabia Nazir, co-author of the study, said that replacing the current educational approach with teaching at the right level may not solve the learning crisis, but integrating it into the system will be very effective. . She also said that understanding the socio-economic profile of the community is crucial to implementing effective technology choice.

SDPI deputy executive director Dr. Sajid Amin said it would be a useful addition to existing research to have a synthesis of the evidence on the role of edtech. He highlighted the need for a synthesis of evidence on how peer countries as well as our region are using edtech and the practices needed to make research more practical and applicable. He suggested that in order to promote the educational use of technology, mobile network companies should provide concessional data plans for WhatsApp and other applications widely used for educational content to increase accessibility for children. low-income students.

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