Educational Technology (EdTech) has the power and capacity to significantly enhance teaching and learning for students in all parts of the world. Online, and digitally-enhanced, learning provides a new dimension that offers potentially unlimited opportunities; but, as we learnt during the COVID pandemic, these opportunities are unevenly spread. As a result of school closures, coupled with poor infrastructure, we know that many children in middle-income countries suffered almost two years without access to any form of tuition.
The Technology-Enabled Innovation in Education in South-East Asia (TIESEA) is a two-year multi-country program funded by the Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific through the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and implemented by a joint venture between IBF International Consulting and Learning Possibilities. Aimed at piloting EdTech devices both in school and at home for students and teachers at secondary school level in order to assess the extent to which EdTech devices can be used to improve the learning and teaching quality among target students and teachers in the pilot school and community.
The TIESEA project, therefore, has an overriding ambition of proposing EdTech solutions in the four partner countries that are relevant, realistic, scalable, and sustainable; and which serve to bridge rather than deepen the digital divide. A common feature across all the country profiles is weak, unreliable, and uneven access to internet connectivity, especially in non-urban locations, and poor availability of EdTech devices for students.
Accordingly, in most interventions, at least part of the proposed solution is through providing rich and comprehensive learning resources through content-rich “internet in a box” with local distribution networks for universal access, where there is poor internet access. In most proposed cases the student devices are low-cost and durable tablets and cellphone handsets.
Through trialing the proposals in some of the most challenging environments, the hope of the project team is that there will good demonstrations of how technology-enhanced learning can be promoted and experienced by learners in all conditions. In this way, the TA team aims to show how scalability can be achieved through innovative technology applications and sustainable funding mechanisms that involve the private sector.
The country-level eReadiness assessments already conducted by the in-country experts of the TIESEA Technical Assistance (TA) team have identified the following national needs:
• In Cambodia, a need to use EdTech effectively to promote STEM and resource-based, student-centered education.
• In Indonesia, a need to find a mechanism through which schools in areas with limited Internet connectivity can join the rest of the country in adopting Kurikulum Merdeka (the recently launched, Freedom to Learn curriculum).
• In the Philippines, a need to find a mechanism through which vocational education can be extended to underserved areas of the country supporting youth in those areas to become skilled and work-ready.
• In Viet Nam, a need to equip students to be able to communicate effectively in English in an increasingly global society.
Read the full intervention here