Course development

Assignment: (from Educational Technology master’s program at the University of Arizona, spring 2015)
Develop a curriculum for a short online course on a topic of your choosing from scratch, and build it in Moodle.

This is the course I created, with links to readings, resources and assignments.


Introduction to ICT4E: Educational Technology for Global Development


This online course will introduce university-level learners to “ICT for Education,” which is part of the global field of “ICT for Development,” or ICT4D. ICT4D refers to the use of Information and Communication Technologies for social and economic development in poor countries.

ICT4D is a growing field of study, with courses and degrees in the topic offered all over the world. It it sometimes called ICT4Dev, or IC4D. The World Bank is a major player in the field, funding ICT initiatives all over the world to encourage social and economic development in poor countries, as well as ICTs for education.

ICT4D is a broad field, but some important topics within it include what are commonly referred to as ICT4E (education), ICT4Ag (agriculture) and ICT4Gov (governance). This course will focus specifically on how ICTs are used in education in developing countries.

This course was created because while there are many resources available for learning about ICT4D in general (including online courses offered by TechChange, the World Bank’s Open Learning Campus for development issues, and Stockholm University’s open course on Understanding ICT4D), there are none that look specifically at ICT4E. This course will provide a grounding in the major issues currently being discussed in ICT4E, as well as provide a wide variety of popular and academic resources to do further research into the topic.

Module 1 – Overview

For an introduction to ICT4E, please access the following links in order, starting with the video. The Intel infographic summarizes the benefits of ICT in education globally (including developing countries), the reading provides a basic overview of the issues, and the video playlist offers brief real-life examples of responses to ICT4E initiatives. When you have looked at all the resources, complete the discussion assignment.

Module 2 – ICT4E in the News

For a basic understanding of what is currently happening with ed tech in developing countries, news articles are a great place to start. Please read the following recent stories and then complete the activity.

Module 3 – One Laptop Per Child

One Laptop Per Child is probably the most well-known ICT4E initiative. There have been over two million laptops and tablets deployed to schoolchildren in low- and middle-income countries. While the public generally supports ideas like OLPC, there have been a wide variety of outcomes from the initiatives, as well as academic research, criticisms and new competitors in the market. It is important to ask about any ICT4E implementation whether the desired outcomes are being measured and achieved, and, if not, what the next steps should be. When you have watched the TED Talk by OLPC’s founder and read the articles, please complete the discussion assignment.

Module 4 – MOOCs for Development

MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, have received a lot of media attention in the last couple of years for their ability to provide university-level courses for free to anyone in the world with an Internet connection. Some people think MOOCs are a good way of educating people in countries with weak school systems, but others think they are not reaching the ones who can really benefit. Please read the following web articles and complete the discussion assignment.

Module 5 – M4E: Mobile for Education

In developing countries, it is often more common for people to own phones than personal computers. This is called “leapfrogging,” when a country “skips” mass adaptation of a technology and moves directly to a more advanced one, rather than following the Western cycle of development. In ICT4E, this can mean adapting instruction to a “mobile first” model, using text messaging or other atypical innovations to reach learners. Please access the following resources to learn more about “Mobile for Education” and then complete the assignment.

    • Discussion: Read pages 1-9 of the GSMA mEducation Operator Toolkit. Then pick one of these four regions to focus on:
      Africa (p.10)
      Latin America (p.21)
      Asia (p.31)
      Middle East (p.41)
      Read about mEducation in your chosen region and summarize the main issues in your own words (no more than a few paragraphs). Then, pick one thing that strikes you from the region report and do further research on the topic. Summarize your findings in a few paragraphs, and provide web links where appropriate. For example:

      Middle East: The Qatar government announced in September 2012 that all the instructional content in public schools would be digital by 2014.
      Has the Qatari government achieved this goal? Have there been any reports on its success or failure?

      Asia: Nokia has been promoting mobile learning in the region since the launch of their Mobiledu product in China in 2007.
      What are some examples of the types of educational content available on Mobiledu?

      If you prefer, you can describe another M4E initiative in a country in the region of your choice.

Module 6 – Research

Now that you have a basic grounding in the issues, please pick a topic in ICT4E that interests you and explore it more deeply in a paper.

Pick a topic of that interests you in the field of ICT4E. For example, it may be the state of education technology in a particular country, a certain type of technology implementation (like 1:1 tablets or educational texting services for mobile phones), a specific initiative (such as Intel Classmate, or Microsoft’s White Spaces) or how ICT4E outcomes are assessed. Research the literature and write a paper (approx. 2000-2500 words) providing an overview of the topic and details about any issues or themes you find. Your purpose is to provide the reader a more in-depth view of the topic and what the research has shown so far. Try to use sources from academic journals and/or white papers from NGOs as much as you can. Include a citations/references page in APA or MLA format. Submit your paper as a PDF or Word document. Some starting places for ideas: