Tag Archives: technology

Featured on NextBillion

We recently discussed the opportunities for ed-tech in affordable private schools on NextBillion.

To say that education technology is on the rise is an understatement. With the global education market currently valued at $4.4 trillion and estimates of 23 percent growth by 2017, ed-tech is set to make new entrances into education throughout the world over the next five years. As ed-tech innovators seek new markets for emerging innovations, one place they should look is India’s Affordable Private School (APS) sector.

Read the piece here.

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10 ICT Trends in Schools

In the next few days, we’ll be releasing our report on ed-tech in APS in India. The report discusses barriers to implementation and gaps and opportunities for education technology in India’s low-income schools.

Yesterday, The Hindu published an article by Sitaram Venkat about ten education technology trends that India’s schools should be aware of. The article identified trends such as better content creation, personal learning, and the role of teachers, which we also discuss in our report.

He explains:

“The creation of an interactive experience for students is imperative. Similarly the new-generation teacher must be technologically enabled to meet the demands of the student. Establishing technology as an enabler instead of a disruptive force will create a teacher-led pull for technology adoption. Additionally, uniform access to world-class content is essential. The opportunity is available now to build such an ecosystem.”

Here are the 10 trends he mentions:

1. Personal Computing

2. Better Content Creation

3. Anytime, Anywhere

4. Learning Made Personal

5. Cloud Computing

6. Game-on

7. Teacher Generated Content

8. Smart Portfolio Assessment

9. Teacher’s Role

10. Learning Spaces

Read the full article and about these trends here. And stay tuned for the release of our report!

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Human Centered Design Series: Part 1 – The Hear Phase

This research paper employs a number of Human Centered Design methods in order to understand the APS community and its relationship to technology. IDEO describes Human Centered Design (HCD) as a process that:

helps people hear the needs of the people and communities they’re designing for, create innovative approaches to meet these needs, and deliver solutions that work in specific cultural and economic contexts.

This concept is made actionable with a comprehensive HCD Toolkit that brings researchers through the three stage HCD process. We used a variety of tools in each of the stages and each one brought a different kind of value to the process.

The Hear phase of HCD is about listening to the community. It’s about deciding who we want to talk to and gathering the raw input of conversations, interviews, and observations we make with each stakeholder.  This is where a bulk of our field work was done.

Some elements of this phase were similar to more conventional aspects of  research, like interviewing experts. In the earliest stages of our research, we had in-depth interviews with Madhav Chavan, founder of the  educational organization Pratham, and  Country Director of Gray Matters Capital Pradeep Sharma. Both offered useful perspectives on education, weaknesses in low-income schools, and where technology could fit.

We didn’t stop there. We conducted observations of various classes in order to see first-hand the dynamics that play out between teachers and students, and to observe various pedagogical approaches in all subjects. We conducted group interviews with students in order to understand the boundaries that authority figures set on what they could explore in technology and to discuss amongst each other what they understood the motivations to be. We also conducted group interviews with parents to hear their initial reactions to tablets, their fears about the device, and what they expected from their children.

We conducted one-on-one interviews with school leaders to hear in depth accounts of what motivated them to buy technology, what was lacking in the existing technology solutions in their school, and the broader vision they hold for their students and their school. We also conducted individual interviews with students who represented extremes in the profile of tech users in APS.

Through in-depth conversations with students who were exceptionally adept at technology, and students with little to no exposure, we began to understand the different people and conditions in their environment that affected the level of access to technology they had. One of the most interesting exercises we conducted in the  hear phase was the aspiration exercise.

We presented students with a series of 30 cards (created by IDEO for their HCD toolkit) with a variety of simple pictures on them. Some pictures represented careers, some were pictures of items, and others were more abstract representations of people. Students chose pictures that represented their greatest ambition and their greatest fears. They shared their interpretation of the image and why they chose it, then discussed how technology related to the feeling they articulated.

The responses through this exercise were interesting and dynamic, and lead the children to discuss abstract ideas and feelings more clearly than if they were just asked direct questions.

Check back to see how we used the Create and Design phase of the HCD process to learn more about the APS environment in Part 2 and Part 3.

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Welcome to the Ed-Tech India Blog!

Education technology has the potential to improve learning outcomes for a generation of children in the developing world.

But we’ve worked with affordable private schools (APS) in Hyderabad, India for two years, and we’ve seen the gap between the technology solutions being developed and the needs of the affordable education community.

The Education Technology in India (Ed-Tech India) project aims to bridge that gap through a forthcoming report to be published in early 2013.

Our report aims to maximize technology’s impact in education through understanding the needs, aspirations, and motivations of stakeholders in India’s low-income education system.

Through extensive interviews with stakeholders, implementation of educational tablets in two APS, and secondary research, we’ve sought to better understand the APS community’s relationship with ed-tech, and how those products can be better designed to meet the needs of India’s affordable schools. We’ve uncovered insights into how ed-tech consumption decisions are made, the biggest blocks to success, and trends being observed in the rapidly growing ed-tech phenomenon–the tablet.

Our hope is that these insights inspire richer discussions about ed-tech use in learning environments in developing countries and inform how technology products and services are built and developed for this segment.

This site is a platform to share the findings from our research and serve as a venue for further conversation on issues relating to education technology in affordable education. In the coming weeks, we will publish our final report here.

Learn more about affordable private schools here.

Our biographies can be found here.

For more information about this project, please contact us.

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