The digital divide is much more than a technol access divide without the skills

The digital divide is much more than a technol access

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goals” (UNESCO 2008a). The digital divide is much more than a “technology access” divide; without the skills to use the technologies, an even greater divide emerges––the information literacy divide. This divide is not a “north–south, developed–developing” issue; it applies to all countries and is more a reflection of the extent to which education systems are––or are not—keeping up in the development of knowledge societies (UNESCO 2008a). It is increasingly clear that a principal factor in stimulating economic growth is improvement in cognitive competencies and skills (ADB 2008b).
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Good Practice in Information and Communication Technology for Education ± To date, many initiatives in ICT for education in developing countries have been limited to increasing information access for educational institutions in general and specifically for teacher training, aimed at using ICT-based resources and tools in the classroom. Evidence that the use of ICT leads to higher student achievement or other positive effects is limited to pilots that have yet to be implemented on a larger scale in developing countries. However, ICTs enable access to and use of information that may not be commonly available in certain contexts, thus providing teachers with content they would not have had otherwise to engage their students. In addition, teacher training in ICT for education parallels training in teaching methodology that supports student- centered learning. Hence, investments in ICT for education are likely to lead developing countries toward educational reforms that are necessary for fostering an information-literate citizenry, which is the key to competing in the global economy. Investments in ICT for education at the basic and secondary levels support information literacy as a foundation for subsequent learning, as well as supporting teacher training in student-centered methodologies that foster critical and analytical thinking during the early years of the education cycle. ICTs have the potential to improve the teaching and learning process by enabling students to access information and engage in interactive learning experiences that would not otherwise be available to them. Such ICT-enhanced classroom experiences have the potential for encouraging student-centered learning, allowing students to be active learners who construct knowledge rather than passively receiving information. As a further pedagogical development, ICT can support evolution from the student-centered approach and the use of interactive technology to team-centered pedagogy and the use of collaborative technology. In this context, the focus is evolving from ensuring appropriate learning styles to ensuring an appropriate learning environment. Investments in ICT for education at the higher educational level support the development of a skilled, “ICT-capable” labor force that may attract direct foreign investment, as well as research and development activities and university–private sector links that are important drivers of innovation and growth in advanced economies (ADB 2008b). ICT capability involves technical
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  • Spring '19
  • ADB, education sector, Information and Communication Technology for Education

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