New Report Examines Role Of ICT In Education

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Nov. 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
  * Secondary schools in East Africa were the host sites for a one-year study to    understand how Information and Communications Technology (ICT)    infrastructure and training support could improve education  * In one year, teachers reported significant increase in skill and comfort    with using ICT for educational purposes  * Study makes recommendations in key intervention areas for successful,    sustainable integration of ICT in schools for the purposes of improved    learning outcomes A collaborative action research (CAR) study funded by Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC),and managed independently by a team of multidisciplinary experts from the EarthInstitute at Columbia University, Columbia University Teachers College,University of Nairobi in Kenya, and Kampala University in Uganda, findssignificant potential for improved teaching and learning with ICT tools.Specifically, the findings are only such when the tools are appropriatelydesigned and adequately supported with infrastructure and ongoing professionaldevelopment for teachers.Investigators worked for one year to understand the effects, opportunities andchallenges of integrating ICT into schools and teaching routines. To do that,university faculty and teachers worked in close collaboration at four ruralschools in Kenya and Uganda.Interviews, training workshops, surveys and observations conducted indicatesignificant improvements in teaching and learning when ICT tools and resourcesare well-designed with the school infrastructure and environment in mind, andwhen teachers are provided with on-going training and professional developmentin how to optimize these resources in their classrooms.Research findings show that over the course of the study, guided use, trainingand professional development workshops offered essential support for teachersfocusing on using ICT in their classrooms. There were significant increases bothin teachers' reported skill and comfort with using ICT for educational purposes,as well as in the observed use of ICT in their classrooms. For example, whereonly 21% of teachers considered themselves to be "advanced" users of ICT at thebeginning of the project; by the end, 45% of teachers were reporting themselvesto be advanced users. There was also an 18% increase in reported use of ICT inthe classroom over the course of the project.Researchers compiled recommendations in several categories, including:  * Physical infrastructure, calling for policies for open access to hardware,    electrical outlets throughout all classrooms and security;  * ICT infrastructure, where Wi-Fi networks, adequate airtime, and computers    and projectors are basic needs;  * Teacher pedagogical skills and knowledge development along with basic ICT    training, where professional development should be facilitated in    partnership with local universities or Non-Governmental Organizations, among    other steps;  * Open source teaching and learning resources, including use of Connect To    Learn's  online resource library and expanding the availability of locally    relevant online resources;  * Student ICT participation and knowledge, which encourages teachers to assign    online research and computer-based projects; and  * Public-private partnership implementation, urging each site to hire local    facilitators to provide ongoing support to administrators and teachers, and    forging partnerships with local decision-makers and telecommunications    industry leaders to institutionalize the integration of ICT at all levels of    education.Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia Universityand Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, said: "Education is at the verycore of economic development and a key to ending poverty. In the world economytoday, every nation's success depends on the education of its people, ICT willincreasingly be at the center of the education process. ICT offers new andcreative ways to combine classroom experience, home learning, global outreach,and connectivity of students and teachers to the burgeoning network of onlinelearning now accessible throughout the world. Classrooms everywhere, fromprimary schools to higher education, will be dramatically transformed inexciting and enriching ways."Effectively integrating technology into teaching practices in resource-poorsettings requires bringing many key elements together to enable ICT to fulfillits great potential for improving student learning outcomes," continued Sachs."Reliable connectivity, a consistent energy supply, and teacher training areamong the key elements for getting started. Designing new curricula that combineonline and classroom learning is another high priority. Through broad-basedinvestment and dynamic partnerships with the telecommunications leaders of theworld, there is a huge and thrilling opportunity at hand."Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, Vice President, Sustainability and CorporateResponsibility, Ericsson, said: "A world where all girls and boys have access tosecondary schooling and all teachers and students are connected to qualitylearning resources through internet access is the vision on which Connect ToLearn was founded. In the 21(st) century, mobile broadband means that access toquality education should no longer be an obstacle - it is increasingly possibleto deliver this fundamental human right."The ICT in Education Study was designed, commissioned and managed by the ConnectTo Learn team, based at the Earth Institute at Columbia University andMillennium Promise. The study was conducted with funding and technical supportfrom Ericsson.NOTES TO EDITORSLink to full ICT in Education StudyVideo about the ICT in Education StudyMore about Connect To LearnDownload high-resolution photos and broadcast-quality video atwww.ericsson.com/pressEricsson is a world-leading provider of communications technology and services.We are enabling the Networked Society with efficient real-time solutions thatallow us all to study, work and live our lives more freely, in sustainablesocieties around the world.Our offering comprises services, software and infrastructure within Informationand Communications Technology for telecom operators and other industries. Today40 percent of the world's mobile traffic goes through Ericsson networks and wesupport customers' networks servicing more than 2.5 billion subscriptions.We are more than 110,000 people working with customers in more than 180countries. Founded in 1876, Ericsson is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. In2012 the company's net sales were SEK 227.8 billion (USD 33.8 billion). Ericssonis listed on NASDAQ OMX, Stockholm and NASDAQ, New York stock exchanges.www.ericsson.comwww.ericsson.com/newswww.twitter.com/ericssonpresswww.twitter.com/ericssonsustainwww.facebook.com/ericssonwww.facebook.com/technologyforgoodwww.youtube.com/ericssonFOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACTEricsson Corporate CommunicationsPhone: +46 10 719 69 92E-mail: media.relations@ericsson.comEricsson Investor RelationsPhone: +46 10 719 00 00E-mail: investor.relations@ericsson.comNew report examines role of ICT in education: http://hugin.info/1061/R/1743764/586652.pdf[HUG#1743764]

More from Press Releases

NFL Pushes for Regulation Following Supreme Court's Sports Gambling Ruling

NFL Pushes for Regulation Following Supreme Court's Sports Gambling Ruling

21st Century Fox Scoops Up Local News Stations

21st Century Fox Scoops Up Local News Stations

Walmart CEO: 'We Are Transforming Globally' With Flipkart

Walmart CEO: 'We Are Transforming Globally' With Flipkart

Three-Part FREE Webinar Series

Three-Part FREE Webinar Series

March 24 Full-Day Course Offering: Professional Approach to Trading SPX

March 24 Full-Day Course Offering: Professional Approach to Trading SPX