The World Bank, T4 Education and 11,000 teachers request EdTech equality

April 15, 2022

The Teacher Tech Summit hosted by T4 Education, The World Bank, and Owl Ventures discussed the need for greater EdTech equality.  

The World Bank, T4 Education and 11,000 teachers request greater EdTech equality

During the Teacher Tech summit 11,000 teachers and members of the EdTech community supported a request to promote greater EdTech equality in terms of device availability and internet access.

A communiqué, issued after the Teacher Tech Summit 2022, also called for EdTech to be designed in collaboration with teachers and harnessed to reduce educational inequalities. It has been signed by leading organisations including Scholastic, Cambridge Partnership for Education, the Lemann Foundation, Save the Children, Owl Ventures, and over 10,000 teachers from around the world including award-winning UK teacher Andria Zafirakou.

The Teacher Tech Summit Communiqué recognises that EdTech has the tremendous ability to close the global learning gaps that have been widened by the COVID-19 pandemic and contribute significantly to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” But its signatories believe that unless governments, the international community, tech companies, innovators, and educators reduce disparities in access, roll out comprehensive EdTech strategies, involve teachers throughout EdTech design processes, train teachers to use technology effectively to ensure EdTech works to improve learning outcomes and break down barriers for girls using EdTech, then we risk seeing those inequalities grow.

Jaime Saavedra, Global Director for Education at the World Bank, said:

“Global education stands at a crucial juncture as the world looks to rebuild from COVID-19. If we are to prevent the learning gaps that were widened by the pandemic from becoming entrenched, then technology – with its ability to offer personalized learning to remove barriers to education – will be a key part of this. For this to succeed we must close the digital divide, and that means governments and tech companies coming together to provide the integrated package of support on connectivity, hardware, software and digital human capabilities in all schools.  

“Only then technology could be an effective support to the work of teachers, who are the main pillar of our efforts to save this generation.  It is teachers who have the responsibility of providing effective instruction and emotional support to children who have been denied an education for months and years, and they need efficient support from ministries and from society as a whole.” 

Vikas Pota, Founder of T4 Education and the Teacher Tech Summit, said:

“We convened the Teacher Tech Summit to link teachers up with technologists because if we are going to find tech solutions to the greatest challenges in global education, it is absolutely essential those creating these tools benefit from the experience of those at the coalface of education who are working every day to improve learning.

“For EdTech to achieve its full potential, teachers must also be fully trained to use it effectively, it should be guided by comprehensive evidence-based national strategies to ensure technology improves teaching and learning outcomes, and we must break down the barriers faced by girls and young women in using EdTech. Get this right, and EdTech will be an invaluable tool in ensuring every child everywhere receives a good education.”

Camila Pereira, Director of Education at the Lemann Foundation, said:

“EdTech is an invaluable tool to us in our work to ensure all students in Brazil have rich learning experiences and can fulfil their potential. It can help teachers provide more personalized learning paths for kids who have had very different experiences during schools’ closure. But for EdTech to succeed, especially in remote, rural parts of the world –  often where the need is greatest – we need to ensure all schools are able to utilise it and that means boosting connectivity.”

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