We know that effective use of edtech can enable and enhance the work that we do. Through technology, we can increase the scale of our impact and deliver better value for money to our clients and ministries of education.
Technology can also provide more and better opportunities for learning and development for our participants, and gives us new opportunities to include those in marginalised and hard-to-reach communities where in-person training is often impractical and expensive to deliver.
However, we also know that technology does not automatically transform education or reduce inequalities – its effectiveness is highly dependent on how it is used and by whom. Therefore, at EDT, we adopt an ‘education-led, tech-enabled' approach. In all our work, we apply seven edtech principles, which ensure that the way we use technology in the design and delivery of our programmes enhances – rather than diminishes – impact and value for money. These seven principles are based on evidence from global research and informed by our extensive experience in designing and delivering large scale, system-wide education reform programmes in high-, middle- and low-income country contexts.
Our first and overarching principle is that we always adopt an ‘education-led, tech-enabled’ approach. Our starting point in designing effective programmes is the intended impact, and the outcomes we want to deliver. We consider how we can provide each of the components of our respective models in a way that is best for the specific needs of our participants, and ways that technology can support and enhance this provision.
We innovate in order to make a positive difference. Our innovation is not defined by the kind of technology we use, but the way we use it. It may include the use of new technologies or the use of existing or ‘everyday’ technologies in new or more effective ways – but in all cases, we innovate to meet the needs of our beneficiaries and clients, and offer inclusive, impactful and scalable solutions to education problems.
When designing technology-enhanced programmes, we focus on the system as a whole. We work with governments to ensure their education systems have the resources and capacity to lead and sustain use of any technology embedded in our programmes. We build on and grow existing resources, capacity and policies of ministries of education, developing solutions in line iwth the specific experiences, requirements and priorities of an education system . We consider what happens after the funding and the programme have ended and ensure that cost or maintenance requirements are not barriers to ongoing access and use.
Alongside our focus on the system, we also focus on the experience of the individual participant or beneficiary. We use technology to create engaging learning experiences for our participants, applying behaviour change principles and effective digital pedagogies to ensure that this learning is translated into positive change and impact in practice. Throughout the design process, we focus on factors which influence and support the ability and motivation of our beneficiaries to actively participate in the programme – and to increase the likelihood of their continued engagement.
We apply human-centred design principles and insights to ensure our solutions are underpinned by a deep understanding of our participants and their contexts. We do not make assumptions about participants’ digital capability and experience based on stereotypes or high-level data. Instead, we gather insights to understand the lived experiences, needs, and motivations of our participants. Our delivery is also insights-driven: working collaboratively with system leaders, we gather data throughout implementation to monitor take-up and effectiveness, test assumptions, and adapt accordingly.
For each potential edtech solution, we evaluate the extent to which it will deliver impact through increasing access, broadening reach, and achieving positive educational change. We apply technology only when it achieves value for money in the sense of economy (reducing overall costs), efficiency (enabling us to work at scale), effectiveness and equity.
We are committed to equitable and inclusive programmes. We will only use technology where it increases – not decreases – access, engagement and impact for our beneficiaries. We employ a flexible approach if needed, offering range of technologies – both high- and low-tech – to ensure full inclusion, and where necessary, we will deliver a no-tech ‘safety net’ option alongside a technology solution.
Click here to contact us to find out more about how we work with edtech.