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Insight 18/06/2024

Supporting government-led education technology (edtech) interventions

Education technology (edtech) is a huge and multifaceted area, and it has the potential to contribute to every aspect of school life and approach to education reform. Edtech can support learning and behaviour change, enable greater engagement across the education sector, and provide opportunities for better inclusion of marginalised and hard-to-reach communities.

In this think piece, we recognise that not all edtech solutions are helpful, and we consider the best ways to maximise the value of edtech’s potential contribution. At EDT, we take an education-led, tech-enabled approach, to ensure that edtech solutions are effective and in support of good educational practice. 

We explain why, when supporting a government-led intervention, it is essential to: clearly identify its intended educational impact; consider the capacity and conditions of the education system as a whole; develop a deep understanding of the context; maximise access and inclusion; and ensure the intervention’s long-term sustainability. 

We examine the principles of best practice in the context of three case studies: 

  • Strengthening the education system in Ethiopia with data-driven insights 
  • Developing an adaptive online training and development programme for early years practitioners in England 
  • Combining high- and low-tech solutions to support learning recovery in Jordan after the Covid-19 pandemic. 

We then present four key recommendations for governments and systems leaders, to ensure an education-led, tech-enabled approach to edtech programmes and partnerships.


How can we best support government-led education technology (edtech) interventions?

Investment in technology does not automatically transform education or reduce inequalities. The edtech track record for impact is mixed, and highly dependent on context: how and when it is used, and by whom. As the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated, while technology can increase access to quality education for some, without careful thought, it can exclude others, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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