Author: Tom Power
Year: 2014
Agency: DFID
Full Citation: Power, T. (2014). Educational technology topic guide. The Health & Education Advice & Resource Team (HEART). UK: Department for International Development (DFID).
Target Population(s): ,
Overview: There is enormous interest and investment in the potential of educational technology (edtech) to improve the quality of teaching and learning in low and lower-middle income countries. The primary aim of this Topic Guide is to contribute to what we know about the relationship between edtech and educational outcomes. Taking evidence from over 80 studies, the guide addresses the overarching question:
  • What is the evidence that the use of edtech, by teachers or students, impacts teaching and learning practices, or learning outcomes?
It also offers recommendations to support advisors to strengthen the design, implementation and evaluation of programmes that use edtech. Edtech is defined as the use of digital or electronic technologies and materials to support teaching and learning. Recognising that technology alone does not enhance learning, evaluations must also consider how programmes are designed and implemented, how teachers are supported, how communities are developed and how outcomes are measured.
Methodology: The research involved three distinct stages:
  • an online literature search identifying 83 studies (45 research documents, 20 literature reviews and 18 grey literature reports) on edtech use in schools in select low and lower-middle income countries
  • an appraisal process, against DFID’s agreed criteria (including transparency, rigour, validity), to identify key findings and rate the quality of the evidence
  • a written analysis addressing the overarching and subsidiary research questions
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