ICT in Education Toolkit
Version 2.0
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ICTs for Education: Resources
1 Background
2 The Potential of ICTs
  Expanding Educational Opportunities & Increasing Efficiency
  Enhancing Quality of Learning
  Enhancing Quality of Teaching
  Faciliating Skill Formulation
  Sustaining Lifelong Learning
  Improving Policy Planning and Management
  Advancing Community Linkages
3 From Potential to Effectiveness

ICTs for Education: A Reference Handbook
1 Decision Makers Essentials
2 Analytical Review
3 Resources
4 PowerPoint Presentation
  2.1 Expanding Educational Opportunities and Increasing Efficiency

Resource 2.1.1 - Broadcast Radio Cases

The Case of Botswana [1]

The use of radio as a medium of instruction for distance education started in the 1970s. The program uses what is known as the three-way teaching method of print, radio, and face-to-face instruction to reach students who study by the distance education method, wherever they are in Botswana. Print is the primary medium, and radio and face-to-face methodologies are supplementary. Radio is used in teaching the following subjects:

  • Bookkeeping and Commerce
  • English
  • History
  • Human and Social Biology
  • Geography
  • Mathematics
  • Setswana

Students are also counseled through the radio.

The following problems have been experienced in teaching by radio:

  • Reception: There are still parts of Botswana where reception is very poor. In such places students do not benefit from the radio lessons.
  • Access: Some students do not have access to radios, even though many households have them. Some of those who have radios often run out of batteries, especially in rural areas.
  • Broadcast schedules: Some students have complained about the broadcast schedules. Botswana has only one central radio station, so not every program has a time slot suitable for its target audience.

The Case of St. Lucia [2]

An entertainment-education radio soap opera, Apwe Plezi, was broadcast and evaluated from February 1996 to September 1998 in St. Lucia. It began a new season in 2000. The program promoted family planning, HIV prevention, and other social development themes. Fifteen-minute episodes were broadcast and rebroadcast most days of the week on Radio St. Lucia.

The characters in the soap opera serve as positive, negative, or transitional behavioral role models, and their fates provide vicarious learning experiences to demonstrate the consequences of alternative behaviors. Positive characters embody positive values and are rewarded, while negative characters embody negative values and are punished.

The program's effects were assessed through analyses of data from nationally representative pretest and posttest surveys, focus-group discussions, and other qualitative and quantitative sources. Among 1,238 respondents to the posttest survey, 35% had listened to Apwe Plezi, with significant effects on several knowledge, attitude, and behavior variables. Apwe Plezi increased listeners' awareness of contraceptives, improved their attitudes toward fidelity and family relations, and caused them to adopt family planning methods.

Resource 2.1.2 - Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI)

The Case of the Dominican Republic [3]

In the Dominican Republic, for example, an IRI project, called RADECO, was created for children who had no schools; it has been broadcast for more than 12 years. In early evaluations, children who had just five hours of integrated instruction a week using IRI and 30 minutes of follow-up activities were compared to students who were in regular formal schools for more than twice the amount of time. Results showed that first graders using the RADECO programs responded correctly 51% of the time on posttests, versus 24% of the time for the control group. Second graders using IRI gave 10% more correct answers than did the control group. Overall, even though these students had enormous obstacles, students in both grades who used IRI for an hour a day had comparable results in reading, writing, and language, compared to the control group, and performed significantly better in math.

Based on the early success of the RADECO project, IRI programs are being developed in other areas that face different types of obstacles, such as the failing schools of Haiti, nonformal early childhood development centers in Bolivia and Nepal, and adult learning centers in Honduras.

The Case of Zambia [4]

In Zambia, interactive radio instruction now shows that IRI also can help to increase education access for children who have no schools or teachers and who are increasingly vulnerable due to the effects of HIV/AIDs and poverty. IRI, which is delivering basic education to out-of-school children, especially orphans and other vulnerable children, in community learning centers, is a collaborative effort among communities, churches, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the Ministry of Education's Educational Broadcast Services (EBS), the Peace Corps, and the Education Development Center (EDC). EBS develops and broadcasts the programs and develops supplementary materials, such as mentor's guides, and the Ministry of Education trains mentors in its District Resource Centers and provides supervision/monitoring at participating learning centers. Communities, churches, schools (both government and community), and NGOs provide the learning center venues, mentor(s) to facilitate the radio broadcasts, radio receivers, a blackboard, and some locally made materials. Communities also mobilize out-of-school children to attend the learning centers each day. EDC has trained EBS writers and producers and assisted EBS to develop a training-of-trainers program for Ministry of Education resource center staff who, in turn, train mentors to run the community-based learning centers.

In 2000 and 2001, EBS produced and aired daily 30-minute lessons for grade 1, following the Zambian curriculum for mathematics and English. Grades 2 and 3 are in the process of lesson development. In addition, each IRI program includes skills in English as a second language, basic mathematical skills, and a five-minute segment covering life skill themes (hygiene, nutrition, social values, etc.) to strengthen the ability of the community to support its children. The programs are designed to be guided by a facilitator rather than a trained teacher, so the content can be delivered easily, and more students can participate. Because the programs promote interactive learning during the broadcast, as do all IRI programs, facilitators are supported in their leadership roles with new content and subject matter.

Resource 2.1.3 -Television

The Case of Telecurso in Brazil [5]

With its large territory and low school attendance, Brazil has been experimenting with radio and television education for more than three decades. Two states in the Northeast (Ceará and Maranhão) created secondary schools through television in the 1970s. A bit later, another player—the  private enterprise Globo Television Network—stepped onto the stage and completely changed the relationship between secondary schools and television. Being the world's fourth largest network, Globo had ample experience in production, excelling in soap operas that found huge markets in all continents. Twenty years ago, the Roberto Marinho Foundation (FRM), the education branch of Globo, created the first Telecurso, adding a number of important innovations, including very expensive production and actors instead of teachers. This program, a major success, aired for more than 15 years.

Telecurso targeted young adults who left primary or secondary schools before graduation. Brazil has always offered open examinations for primary (eight years) and secondary (11 years) certificates (exame supletivo) for young adults who are beyond a certain age. Since these were open examinations, students could prepare for them on their own or enroll in preparatory courses. The Telecurso took the place of these preparatory courses, allowing students to follow the curricula by watching television. A number of institutions received FRM supervision to create classrooms where, with the aid of an improvised or certified teacher, students could watch the programs/classes and use the complementary written materials.

In the early 1990s, with the rapid transformation and globalization of the Brazilian economy, industrialists were having problems with the appallingly low schooling levels of their workers. In many cases, they sponsored their students to take preparatory courses leading to the government examinations. However, the quality of these courses was, at best, mediocre.


The Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo then struck a deal with FRM to prepare a new Telecurso for its workers. In this joint venture, the industrialists contributed US$30 million to produce a new program, and Globo offered to broadcast it without any charges. Globo also donated the equivalent of US$60 million worth of commercial TV time to promote the new program, called Telecurso 2000.

Telecurso 2000, a condensed version of a basic curriculum for distance education, is to be provided through a combination of videotaped classroom sessions and books. Thus, both television sets and videocassette equipment are used. In addition, an optional curriculum is offered that focuses on teaching basic mechanical skills (the vocational course on mechanics).

It is difficult to identify all the users of Telecurso. Suffice it to say, however, that 5.2 million accompanying texts were sold or distributed between 1995 and 1999. Telesalas (classrooms with television sets) have been created in enterprises, and a support system for those working with students has been established. At present, more than 200,000 students attend classes in factories, schools, churches, offices, prisons, ships, and buses. In addition, an unknown—but probably large—number of people watch television and study on their own. But even more surprising, another large and uncounted crowd watches the programs regularly or occasionally, apparently because it is interesting, light, and fun. A further development is the spontaneous use of the programs in regular schools, something that had already started with the old Telecurso. A number of states are now developing explicit programs to incorporate portions of Telecurso into regular secondary schools.

The per-student costs are significantly low because of the large number of participants. Assuming a cost of US$30 million for preparing Telecurso 2000, if the program were to stop today, figures for book sales indicate that several million students participated in Telecurso somewhat seriously. Assuming that three million used the program, this would amount to US$10 per student. This is a very modest per student cost for a set of 1,200 15-minute lectures. Costs per book are around US$4 (the primary school program uses a single book, and the secondary program uses multiple books). Hence, the social cost per student working on his or her own is US$14.

The Case of Telesecundaria in Mexico [6]

Telesecundaria was created over three decades ago in response to the needs of rural Mexican communities where a general secondary school (grades 7–9) was not feasible, because of too few students or an ability to attract teachers. The main characteristics of Telesecundaria have always been:

  • using television to carry most of the teaching load, and
  • having one teacher to cover all subjects, rather than the subject matter specialists used in general secondary schools.

This combination permits effective installation and implementation of these schools in sparsely settled rural areas that are usually inhabited by fewer than 2,500 people and have low primary completion and secondary enrollment rates, since just three classrooms and three teachers can cover the complete curriculum.

Telesecundaria has experienced a very substantial growth rate since its inception in 1968. Its current enrollment is over a million and is equivalent to 16.6% of total enrollment in grades 7–9.

On average, the Telesecundaria schools have three teachers—one for each grade—and 22 students per grade. Students attend school 200 days a year, 30 hours a week. The instructional program, which went through many stages, is now integrated and comprehensive, providing a complete package of distance and in-person support to students and teachers. It puts teachers and students on the screen, brings context and practical uses of the concepts taught, and uses images and available clips extensively to illustrate and help students. It also enables schools to deliver the same secondary school curriculum offered in traditional schools.

At 8 a.m., the teachers in all of the Telesecundaria schools in Mexico turn on the TV. The students watch 15 minutes of television, then the set is turned off, and the book, workbook, and teacher take over, following detailed instructions for the remaining 45 minutes. First, the teacher asks whether students have any questions about the concepts they have just seen. Then, they might read aloud, apply what was taught in practical exercises, and participate in a brief evaluation of what has been learned. Finally, the materials taught are reviewed. At 9 a.m., another subject starts, following the same routine.

Evaluation studies show that Telesecundaria students start significantly behind other students but catch up completely in math and cut the deficit in language in half. It strongly suggests that the "value added" of learning is higher in Telesecundaria than it is in general schools.

In terms of cost, Telesecundaria schools have proven to be slightly more costly (per student) than conventional schools, mainly because of the cost to develop TV programs. However, a more appropriate comparison would be with the cost of setting up a general secondary school in a rural area. In principle, the cost would be prohibitive, since a school with 60 students would require 12 teachers, for a 5:1 student-teacher ratio, as well as a full laboratory and administrative personnel. This would add up to running costs nearly four times those of Telesecundaria. Even after subtracting the unit costs of television programs, schools would still be three times as expensive.

Resource 2.1.4 - Virtual High Schools

Choice 2000 [7]

Choice 2000, one of the original charter schools in California, is a completely online and fully accredited secondary school for grades 7–12.

The instructional platform that Choice uses is interactive. Students attend classes daily at set times, and lessons are presented visually and verbally. Students and teachers are able to interact directly in this virtual environment, hearing and answering questions and participating in discussions of what appears on the screen. Students must provide their own computer. The maximum class size is 20 students per class, with an average of 13 students.

The Alberta Distance Learning Centre [8]

The Alberta Distance Learning Center (ADLC), Canada, provides a distance education program leading to a high school diploma. It uses both asynchronous and synchronous on-line learning methods.

Online students are assigned to in-house Distance Learning Teachers who initiate contact with students to provide regular coaching, monitoring, and tutoring opportunities for each student. Students work from a combination of online and print materials and generally submit their assignments electronically. Expected turnaround time for student work is one to three days. In addition, students receive multiple assessment opportunities beyond regular assignment activities, such as quizzes, a unit test, and possibly a mid-term exam, thereby placing less weight on the final exam and bettering the students' potential for high achievement.

For the predominantly asynchronous courses, students communicate by such Internet media as e-mail, online chat, threaded discussions, audio conferences, and shared whiteboards as well as by telephone, print, and fax machine. For synchronous courses, live classes are conducted over the Internet. The entire class "meets" at a regular time, and students are able to communicate with each other using microphones, drawing tools, and even sharing computer software

The Open School in British Columbia [9]

The Open School in British Columbia (BC) (Canada)provides asynchronous learning opportunities to high school students in the province. The online courses, using WebCT platform, are developed by a team of teachers, instructional designers, Web developers and education specialists who work together to produce ready-to-use, K–12 courses and resources that meet BC Ministry of Education curriculum guidelines. Unfortunately, however, a review of a sample course shows that it is basically a hyperlinked text. See http://www.openschool.bc.ca/online_login.html.

Virtual School Service in Australia [10]

In Australia, the only full-service virtual school—the Virtual School Service—provides online classes to Queensland's high school students in subject areas that regular high schools have difficulty offering, including economics, mathematics, Japanese, modern history, information processing and technology, and physics. Review sample activities at: http://education.qld.gov.au/virtualschool/html/students/infohub/study_activities.htm.

PBS - High School Equivalency Online Program [11]

The General Educational Development (GED) Testing Service develops and distributes GED tests, which are designed to provide a "reliable vehicle through which adults can certify that they possess the major and lasting outcomes of a traditional high school education." More than 860,000 adults worldwide take the GED tests each year, and more than 95% of U.S. employers consider GED graduates the same as traditional high school graduates in terms of hiring, salary, and opportunity for advancement.

PBS LiteracyLink offers learners a GED Connection package to help individuals prepare for the GED test with:

  • 39 video programs, broadcast by public television stations or available as videotapes
  • student workbooks covering reading/writing, social studies/science, and math
  • interactive online learning modules, with practice tests, online activities and quizzes for each GED lesson.

These integrated multimedia components work together to make studying for the GED easy for busy adults who need to work at their own pace. In addition to the online modules, learners can view the lessons on their local public television stations, record them, and use the videotapes to study at home. Many local adult education programs, community colleges, one-stop career centers, and libraries have GED Connection videos and books available, with classes and teachers to help. Online teachers from several states are also available to coach adult learners in virtual classrooms.

Florida Virtual School [12]

The Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is a statewide, Internet-based, public high school offering a rigorous curriculum online. Enrollment for 2002–03 exceeded 10,000. Courses are free to all Florida students and are available to public, private, and home schooled students, and non-Florida students can enroll in FLVS on a tuition basis. FLVS offered 75 courses during the 2003–04 school year, including honors and 11 Advanced Placement  classes. FLVS course grades are accepted for credit and are transferable.

All FLVS courses are delivered over the Internet. To help assure student success with virtual learning, a variety of Web-based, technology-based, and traditional resources is provided. Teachers communicate with students and parents regularly via telephone, e-mail, online chats, instant messaging, and discussion forums. For a course demonstration, visit: http://www.flvs.net/_global_connections/flash_courses/index.htm.

FLVS is currently working to assemble a "Virtual School Sourcebook" designed to offer readers a resource for developing and managing a virtual school learning enterprise. It will highlight FLVS "lessons learned," along with key issues that should be addressed when undertaking a virtual school initiative. It is also willing to license its courses to other schools and districts

The Babbage Net School [13]

The Babbage Net School is a private virtual high school offering online, interactive courses in English, math, science, social studies, SAT preparation, foreign language, Advanced Placement, music, and art. These courses are taught by certified teachers in a virtual classroom featuring interactive audio, synchronized Web browsing, and a shared whiteboard. The Babbage Net School also offers in-service courses for teachers.

The classes meet in a "classroom" at a specific time, and only registered students are allowed into a class. The virtual class is extremely similar to classes given in a traditional bricks-and-mortar school building. A certified, experienced teacher is in control of the class and guides the students through each lesson. The students have textbooks, the teacher talks to the class, and students can be "given the floor" so they can also talk to the class. Some class material is shown to the students as Web pages using a synchronized Web browser; other material is displayed on a whiteboard that functions as a blackboard does in a traditional classroom. Students can raise their hands to get the teacher's attention, or they can ask questions using text chat. The teacher can have a student answer a question by talking to the class or writing on the whiteboard, making the virtual class fully interactive. Students can also interact asynchronously with the teacher or their classmates by e-mail.

The Virtual High School

The Virtual High School (VHS) is a research-based project administered by a partnership between the Hudson Public School (Massachusetts) and The Concord Consortium. Through the Internet, participating schools can offer new courses without having to increase enrollment to justify the expenses. The project functions as a cooperative; each participating school contributes at least one teacher and a site coordinator to the project, and, in exchange, the school can enroll a preestablished number of students in any VHS courses. A site coordinator helps to recruit the students and teachers, to ensure that the technology is available and functioning, and to provide support to the students. The advantage of the cooperative system is that the major cost of a project—personnel—is shared among all participants.


Before developing the online course, the teacher must complete a graduate-level course on design and development of network-based material. Each online course may take a year to develop and must be approved by the school principal and VHS central staff. More recently, an Evaluation Board has been formed to define standards of quality for the courses. The courses, mostly one semester long, are taken for credits as core subjects or electives. The courses are mostly interdisciplinary and use student-centered, hands-on instructional strategies that emphasize collaborative learning and inquiry. Students can take the course at home or during school time. The VHS coordinator functions as a tutor. The online courses are housed in a LearningSpace educational environment that enables teachers to deliver lectures, moderate student discussions, conduct assessments, and receive students' work. Students can submit work individually or in groups and can participate in discussions with their peers.

The first semester of the project was hampered by a series of technical problems and a lack of participant experience with the process. For instance, because staff underestimated the server capacity needed to support 350 students online, the courses were offline for a few weeks. As time passed, technical difficulties decreased, the teachers learned how to manage the logistics of online teaching, and students improved their understanding of the responsibility and persistence necessary to participate in distance learning. During the 1997–98 school year, the project had 30 participant schools and offered 30 courses to 700 students. In 1999–2000, the number of schools grew to 87, and the project offered 94 courses to more than 2,500 students. It is estimated that the project will serve more than 6,000 children over the five-year grant period.[14]

Resource 2.1.5 -Virtual Universities [15]

Peru's Higher Technological Institute

Peru's Higher Technological Institute (TECSUP) is a dual-mode institution that uses both conventional campuses, in Lima and Arequipa, and a virtual campus that was introduced in 1999. As of 2000, more than 1,600 learners were enrolled in a variety of distance education courses, primarily in technical training. According to Wolff and Garcia, learners can access the TECSUP virtual campus through TECSUP conventional campus locations, their workplace, home, or public Internet kiosks. Courses are generally seven weeks and include online content, self-evaluations, and discussions with the instructor and other students.[16]

For more information, visit http://www.tecsup.edu.pe

The African Virtual University

The African Virtual University (AVU) is a single-mode institution that operates without a conventional campus, but uses the facilities of conventional universities in 22 sub-Saharan African universities in 15 countries to provide learners with facilities to access technology delivery systems.[17]  Established in 1997, the AVU supports learners across the continent through videotaped instruction and/or live broadcast (via satellite or fiber optic connections), with learners participating in the discussion by e-mail, telephone, or fax. Additional reference materials such as books, journals, and course notes are also available for learners. Courses currently offered by the AVU focus primarily on training and certificate programs, with more than 23,000 learners having completed at least one semester-long course. Though current fees per course are still out of reach of many Africans, they generally are much less than those of competitive programs offered by other international universities. For more information, visit http://www.avu.org.

The University of the Highlands and Islands

Serving a dispersed and rural population in Scotland, the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) provides a diverse collage of thematic multidisciplinary learning opportunities for both degree-seeking and nondegree-seeking learners. Like many single-mode institutions, UHI uses local learning centers, 50 in this case, to provide regional support to learners. Using instructional readings, local classroom instruction, informal tutors, videoconferencing, self-paced computerized instruction, and other media, UHI offers courses that, like most professional development training, focus more on "building individual competencies than the transfer of knowledge." [18] Developed in consultation with employers, UHI courses are tailored specifically to the needs of the Highlands and Islands. They cover a range of subjects focusing on the region's principal industries and businesses, including fisheries, land management, forestry, marine ecology, and tourism. For more information, visit http://www.uhi.ac.uk.  

The Virtual University of the Technological Institute of Monterrey

The Virtual University of the Technological Institute of Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico, is the primary provider of distance education in Mexico and many other areas of Latin America. ITESM is a dual-mode institution that offers mainly master's degree-level programs through its virtual campus. [19] Using primarily satellite technology, ITESM provides courses to more than 1,300 reception sites throughout Mexico and Latin America. In addition, ITESM offers a franchised [20] master's program in educational technology with the University of British Columbia. For more information, visit http://www.itesm.mx.

The University of Phoenix

One of the few private, for-profit universities to offer distance education internationally, the University of Phoenix (UP) operates a variety of small-campus facilities throughout the United States and an online virtual campus. For the majority of learners, the online campus provides a variety of resources to support their classroom sessions. [21] 

In addition, the UP offers courses conducted completely through the virtual campus as well as nonfranchised international programs to learners around the world through online courses. Currently enrolling more than 80,000 working adult students, the UP's completion rate averages approximately 60% across all programs. For more information, visit http://www.phoenix.edu.

The Open University of Hong Kong

Previously known as the Open Learning Institute of Hong Kong, the Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) offers a variety of degree and certificate programs in the arts and social sciences, business and administration, education and languages, and science and technology. [22] 

Currently the university teaches over 100 postgraduate, degree, and subdegree programs to more than 25,000 enrolled learners. The OUHK uses a flexible credit system under which learners earn credits for each course, which accumulate toward a degree. Similar to other open universities—specifically, the United Kingdom Open University—the OUHK provides course-related materials to distance learners through a variety of instructional media, including text, videotape, and some broadcast television. Additionally, learners are required to attend tutoring sessions at local study centers periodically during each course. For more information, visit http://www.ouhk.edu.hk 

Nova Southeastern University

Like the University of Phoenix, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) offers international programs to learners around the world. NSU is private, not-for-profit university that has students at its conventional campus and learners taking courses offered at a distance. NSU currently enrolls more than 18,000 learners, and many of its programs provide dual-mode educational opportunities to students who meet in person and online. Providing online programs all the way to the doctorate level, NSU's virtual campus supports online learners with an extensive virtual library. For more information, visit http://www.nova.edu 

The Center for Open Distance Education for Civil Society

The Center for Open Distance Education for Civil Society (CODECS) now offers educational opportunities to learners throughout Romania. [23]  In cooperation with the United Kingdom Open University (UKOU), CODECS operates 12 regional centers offering tutorial support for learners using UKOU instructional materials (including videotapes, instructional texts, course software, etc.). Certificates, diplomas, and degrees attained through CODECS-offered courses are recognized internationally through the UKOU. The CODECS model for institutional structure is a primary example of franchised international distance education. For more information, visit http://www.open.ac.uk/collaborate/romania.htm.

1 Excerpted from: http://www1.worldbank.org/disted/Technology/broadcast/rad-02.html
2 Excerpted from: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2614800.html
3 Excerpted from: Andrea Bosch. March/April 2001. "Interactive Radio Instruction for Mathematics: Applications and Adaptations from Around the World." TechKnowLogia. Available at: www.TechKnowLogia.org
4 Excerpted from: Andrea Bosch et al. 2002. "Interactive Radio Instruction: An Update from the Field." In Wadi D. Haddad and Alexandra Draxler (Eds.) Technologies for Education: Potential, Parameters, and Prospects. Paris: UNESCO, and Washington, DC: Academy for Educational Development.
5 Excerpted from: Claudio de Moura Castro. November/December 1999. "Brazil's Telecurso 2000: The Flexible Solution for Secondary School Equivalency." TechKnowLogia. Available at: www.TechKnowLogia.org


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