Author: Wagner, Emma
Year: 2017
Full Citation: Wagner, E. (2017). Refugee education: Is technology the solution? (Case study). Promising Practice in Refugee Education.
Overview:
While there are multiple challenges in providing quality education to the world’s refugee children, the need for innovative, cost-effective and scalable educational solutions has never been more urgent. This paper highlights some promising practices in using technology to bridge the gaps, and asks if technology is the solution to providing refugees with quality education? Promising practices featured in this case study:
  • Read to Kids, Jordan – Worldreader
  • Eneza SMS Study Tool, Kenya – Xavier Project
  • TIGER Girls, Jordan - Open Learning Exchange
  • Every Child Learning, Jordan - Pearson & Save the Children
See also the separate full case studies which feature technology from Teachers for Teachers, Libraries Without Borders, The Vodafone Foundation and UNRWA.
Findings:
  • Technology can play an important role in providing increased access to learning opportunities, as it can complement existing education systems and help to change behaviour towards learning. There are a number of promising practices included in this initiative, which highlight how existing technology used by refugee populations can boost refugee children’s learning.
  • However, there is a lack of robust evidence on the impact of certain technology on learning outcomes, and its testing in refugee contexts is even more limited as the total number of interventions are recent and research funding in humanitarian contexts is even more limited.
  • For technology to be effective in the learning environment, clarity over its purpose towards increasing positive learning outcomes is vital. Technology must be used holistically with other interventions, use local content and have trained facilitators in order to support, facilitate and enable good teaching and quality learning.
  • Stronger partnerships need to be created between refugee education experts and technology companies to ensure quality content is developed, which compliments the existing national curriculum and accreditation system.
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