Earlier this week Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin, OECD Senior Analyst and Project Leader, presented an interesting example from Italy. The Italian government had designed a strategy to introduce ICT as part of the daily tools of classroom activities and transform teaching and school organization. Italy wanted to raise their use of technology in schools as it significantly lags other OECD countries (4th lowest of approx 30 industrialized nations).
According to Vincent-Lancrin, the plan was well thought out and might have made a difference. Unfortunately, Italy only devoted limited resources to implement the plan. OECD concluded that at the proposed 30 million Euro investment, Italy would only be getting a slow pace of equipment, insufficient digital resources and professional development. Italy has 1.6 million students, so 30 million Euro doesn’t go very far.
We also heard from Darryl LaGace, former CTO for San Diego USD who described their digital investment strategy. It too was carefully thought out, but it dedicated nearly $500 million US for its 130,000 students over a five year period.
Bottomline: even a great plan that lacks sufficient investment will not scale and have the impact envisioned.
Vincent-Lancin also presented to the delegation several overarching themes that they have found around innovation with ICT in education:
• Technology innovation is often a means to trigger pedagogical change
• Pedagogy is often much more challenging than the mastery of ICT
• Professional development works best as peer learning, so that isolated ICT-enhanced pedagogies are not the most effective from a system perspective