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Worst practice in ICT use in education


Here’s a list of some of what I consider to be the preeminent ‘worst practices’ related to the large scale use of ICTs in education in developing countries, based on first hand observation over the past dozen or so years.  I have omitted names (please feel free to fill them in yourself).  The criterion I used for selection was simple: The given worst practice was easily observable in multiple prominent initiatives, with (one fears) a high likelihood of re-occurrence, in the same or other places.  In no particular order:

1. Dump hardware in schools, hope for magic to happen
2. Design for OECD learning environments, implement elsewhere
3. Think about educational content only after you have rolled out your hardware
4. Assume you can just import content from somewhere else
5. Don’t monitor, don’t evaluate6. Make a big bet on an unproven technology (especially one based on a  closed/proprietary standard) or single vendor, don’t plan for how to avoid ‘lock-in
7. Don’t think about (or acknowledge) total cost of ownership/operation issues or calculations
8. Assume away equity issues
9. Don’t train your teachers (nor your school headmasters, for that matter)
10. ___
[I thought I would leave #10 blank as an acknowledgement that there are many additional worst practices that merit mention, but I have run out of space. Do feel free to submit your candidates below.]



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