ISSUES IN EdTech

The educational technological divide is today pervasive. I would in this short article highlight some of the issues I find poignant, looking at both Global South and Global North. Global South and Global North are vocabularies used to refer to the Developed World and the Developing World.

The first divide I find is pedagogical. While in the most well-off countries technological tools are welcomed and found as pedagogical tools to learn and grow up socially and scientifically, in the most of developing world including my country, Rwanda; technological tools, phones, tablets are decisively excluded for the early learners. They are viewed as a distraction and a source of intellectual failures! I think this issue need to be addressed by thorough research, to attest whether EdTech tools for young learners is a help or a hindrance for their intellectual development.

The second divide is economical. Effective educational tools are mostly owned by the well-off. A teacher in Rwanda would hardly own a smartphone or a tablet which cost 200 $ U.S when he or she is paid 50 $ U.S! Their high prices are hardly afforded by the low-income families. While they may by some limited tools, providing a regular and permanent internet required for education is not guaranteed. Governments need to supply schools with a stable internet, and hopefully to cooperate with private sector to distribute internet settlements and apartment.

The third divide is social. Parents may buy for their kids EdTech devices, and kids could get them at home whereas they hardly or cannot get them in their schools. Or another the way round: kids accessing digital devices in schools when they are not available at home. This divide is complication for learners, who find a prosperous environment in one end and miss it at another end.

The fourth divide is educational. In many places, especially in the Global South, EdTech systems are available when there are few or not at all informed teachers to use them and integrate in their learning systems. The issue could be addressed by educating and training teachers at different levels, as to how to use the new technologies in education.

The fifth divide is about social justice. EdTech seem to be conceived for people of good health. It tends to downplay people with disabilities. Need is to also to conceive more apps which considers people with disabilities.

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