ICT-IT harmonised

systematically bridging the digital divide

This is all you need to revolutionise teaching

move from 'chalk and talk' to visual learning

Just plug in and do it now.
Modernise teaching and also to improve teacher capacities
because IT and computer assisted teaching need preparation

Policy advice about introducing IT and ICT 
- harmonised and at manageable cost*
  • Prepare your schools for IT and computer based learning - prioritise computerisation of school administration systems, prepare senior management and (if possible) provide access to the Internet.
  • Only set up computer rooms in carefully prepared primary and secondary schools, and introduce their use in learning programmes as digital reference libraries. Confident teachers can build in lesson time use of these facilities. Teachers able to make competent use of computers can be provided with digital projectors. Be aware that these, installed in classrooms in rich countries, are ignored by most teachers*. Do not expect miracles from IT in your schools to begin with - introducing computers into the classroom at this stage can cause more problems than they solve. (You don’t want to buy developing technology - wait and purchase what performs and lasts).  At this stage, teacher training for the use of IT should be voluntary, begin in the computer room, and should aim to create a school IT team. Supportive development of shared skills is more important than forcing teachers too fast at this stage
  • Maintain a distinction in policies between introducing computer-technology in schools for computer literacy with modernising learning and teaching. Remember that improving students' subject  knowledge and skills is a pedagogical target not a technological one. To be guided by educationalists who are aware of the limitations of computer use for teaching and who recognise the value of proven alternatives. However, when computer labs are up and running - which nationwide might take a decade or more - teachers can soon be guided and schoolbooks be expected to forward pupils to the computer lab for learning tasks which require Internet use or e-sources. And the computer-lab has to be prepared for this with proper software.
  • The Ministry of Education has to be fully ready. Installing reliable and easily maintained computer rooms in schools nationwide is such a huge task that the Ministry the IT Department must be well prepared, with stable e-mail systems, reliable computer networks and an IT staff (trained and well-experienced abroad) up to the task. Every system installed must have the capacity for almost immediate growth. IT operations are doomed to fail when a major initiative is launched requiring simultaneous teacher training alongside setting up computer centres - if this is not fully worked out before on the national and on regional levels to guide this. Avoid poorly planned investment by building up a solid basis for the future using a step-by-step approach which should include the following:
  • Prepare your country's educational digital network systematically. The Internet is central to any step forward and will become even more so as teachers start to use digital equipment in their classrooms.  Ensure that Ministry-run websites for curriculum development and other key educational initiatives are functionally designed as part of one complete information management structure. All portals should use the same non-conflicting protocols to run properly - follow the WC3 guidelines. InfoDev (World Bank) and UNESCO have issued guidelines on appropriate set-up structures for teacher training, regional integration, monitoring and feedback for improvement. If a unified system is not in place before a national launch (and the budget for future expansion is not agreed) then failure is a highly predictable outcome.*
  • Last but not least: prepare your teachers. In rich countries it is clear: IT in the classroom does accelerate or improve learning outcomes unless used by confident and competent teachers. To prepare and improve the work of your teachers now, use low-cost ICT solutions such as school TV and the overhead projector with ready-to-use transparencies. As the technology and didactics of computer-assisted teaching mature, teachers will become better prepared and familiar with promoting effective visualisation with their students. Effective visualisation implies working systematically with teaching goals. In a ‘chalk and talk situations’ this can be easily developed with the overhead projector: unlike making use of computers, the teacher remains in full control.  Invest first of all in your teachers - not in their digital abilities but in their status and professional qualities. The Nationwide Visualisation Project does all this.
* Based on: ‘Information Technology in Education in high - middle and low income countries. 11 snapshots reveal broken promises of computer technology when introduced too fast’ - an extensive source study - Jan Krol VisualTeach, 2009/10 

Achievable ICT to empower teachers in the classroom:
large screen presentations - just plug in now 

 this is the intermediate step needed for real progress in middle and low income countries

This is achievable ICT for raising standards
in middle and low income countries. And there is more.

Harmonising IT with ICT policy

click on chart to enlarge

 click on image to enlarge

Computer literacy for students 
In computer rooms, students are able to learn many of the office skills needed by today's employers. They gather information from the web and can have their own e-mail address and storage space on a server. They can follow e-learning programmes directed by their teachers and benefit from animations and audio-visual programmes. They can complete exercises provided by international specialist educational sites - and do this in real time where broadband is available.

For effective computer learning in the computer room Visual Teach offers a package of 4000 animations, unsurpassed in design and learning effects.

A teacher confident with computers can take his or her class to the computer room as a regular lesson and may then become ready for using IT in the classroom.

Do's and Don'ts 
click on summary to enlarge 
click on summary to enlarge

More ICT is applicable in the classroom 
  Consider School-TV and School-radio

because computer based, open and distance education
does not always perform as you expect

See the following report from Jean-Marie Muhirwa in: The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Vol 10, No 4 (2009), ISSN: 1492-3831, September 2009.

Teaching and Learning Against all Odds: A Video-Based Study of Learner-to-Instructor Interaction in International Distance Education  
Distance education and information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been marketed as cost-effective ways to rescue struggling educational institutions in developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This study uses classroom video analysis and follow-up interviews with teachers, students, and local tutors to analyse the interaction at a distance between learners in Mali and Burkina Faso and their French and Canadian instructors. 
Findings reveal multiple obstacles to quality interaction:
• frequent Internet disconnections  • limited student access to computers  • lack of instructor presence  • ill-prepared local tutors
• student unfamiliarity with typing and computer technology
• ineffective technical support  • learner-learner conflict
• learner-instructor conflict  • poor social dynamics
• and student withdrawal and resignation.
In light of the near death of the costly World Bank-initiated African Virtual University (AVU), this paper concludes by re-visiting the educational potential of traditional technologies, such as radio and video, to foster development in poor countries.

Ethiopia already harmonises ICT and IT policy 
to support high school teaching
- an example of the most effective way forward -

School-TV quickly establishes understanding in the short-term memory.
Large projected still images bring understanding to the long-term memory.
How much better can it get in the classroom? Students receive instruction in the most effective way and this adds to the capacity building of teachers.
Plus: students gain experience of relevant e-learning activities in the school computer room. Classroom activities and e-learning are cleverly combined.

Ethiopia is the only African country where the era of chalk and talk in the classroom (in high schools) has ended. Now, at the next stage, the shortcomings of using just School TV are emerging, with efforts to transfer everything that students see and understand but easily forget, to the long-term memory - and to give more autonomy back to the teachers. Our Visual Curriculum Kits with still images which are projected onto a large screen are the most powerful tools to achieve both these goals. 

The VisualTeach Nationwide Visualisation Project can be provided at 6% of the budget for a TV-project, which in Ethiopia for 860 high schools cost US$104,000,000 in the first four years.

With or without School TV: the Visualisation Project will empower teachers, improve learning outcomes and modernise educational practice.

Also School Radio programs can be added. Whilst listening, professionally generated transparencies can be shown on the large screen for students to see what they can hardly imagine.

Plug in. Why to wait any longer?
Invest your budget in achievable ICT
to bring progress in the reality of today.

For more
see:   Testimonials 
see:   Visual teaching 

Teachers need in their classrooms robust and reliable tools.
The Visualisation Project introduces simple to use teaching aids.
Below to teach the basis of the world climate system.

Put on 
first ask: What tries this visual to explain?
next: What happens, when the sun moves north? 
Take off.

One of the 570 large screen presentations for Geography

From 'chalk and talk' (repetitive learning) to visualisation,
interactivity and training of thinking skills for 5 key-subjects:

For more see:  
see also:   Testimonials 
and:   Visual teaching