Photo: Students in Latin America
Putting more computers in schools will do little to improve the quality of education in Latin America and the Caribbean unless countries invest in teacher training and educational software, according to a new study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
In spite of a recent flurry of high-quality research on the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on education, significant uncertainty still remains about the effectiveness of these interventions in improving learning, especially in the case of very visible initiatives, such as providing computers for every child.
The findings are detailed in the book Development Connections: Unveiling the Impact of New Information Technologies, which will be launched next month. The book analyzes to what degree ICTs contributed to the success of 46 development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean in six different areas: finance, health, institutions, education, poverty and the environment. The study is the first in this region to apply strict statistical methods in a systematic way to measure how information technologies affected socio-economic outcomes.