UNESCO Calls :
UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report emphasizes the need for appropriate governance and regulation of technology in education. It advocates for a “human-centered vision,” where digital technology enhances the learning experience for students and educators. The report raises concerns about technology being used without considering long-term costs or its impact on students’ well-being and the environment. Policymakers and educational stakeholders are urged to assess whether technology in education is appropriate, equitable, scalable, and sustainable.
Regarding appropriateness, the report by UNESCO acknowledges that some education technology can improve learning in certain contexts, but excessive use or replacing qualified teachers can negate its benefits. The impact of smartphones on learning is flagged, with many countries yet to ban their use in schools.
Regarding equity, the report highlights that during the COVID-19 pandemic, half a billion students, mainly from poorer and rural areas, missed out on education due to lack of meaningful connectivity. Many schools worldwide remain unconnected to the internet.
Regarding scalability, the report finds a lack of robust evidence on the added value of digital technology in education, primarily originating in wealthier countries. Few education technology companies have conducted rigorous trials or used peer-reviewed evidence before adoption.
Regarding sustainability, technology’s rapid development challenges education systems to adapt, emphasizing the importance of digital literacy and critical thinking. Basic literacy is considered crucial for effective digital application.
The report relies on the SDG 4 monitoring framework to track national and international education strategies’ implementation. It was launched in July 2023 at an event attended by 15 education ministers from various countries.