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Are Most Investments in Technology for Schools Wasted? – a live Educational Technology Debate

By Wayan Vota on April 16, 2010

The Educational Technology Debate – an initiative of World Bank and Unesco to explore the impact of low-cost ICT devices on educational systems in the developing world is is coming to India with a live debate to be webcast around the world:

Are most investments in technology for schools wasted?
Wednesday April 21, 14;00 – 16:00
Hosted by the World Bank office Delhi, India

The live Educational Technology Debate will employ the classic Oxford-style debate process to engage noted experts in the field on the following motion:

Most investments in technology for schools are wasted: Discuss
There is a general consensus that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) such as radio, TV, computers, the Internet, and mobile phones can increase educational experiences and improve education.
But is this opportunity being overhyped?

The debate will be moderated by Dr Tim Kelly, Lead ICT Policy Specialist, infoDev/World Bank. He will introduce the topic and our discussants, who will respond with concise arguments, initially restricted to five minutes each, using only the power of their arguments to sway the audience. This will be followed by a discussion, initially among the panelist and then extended to the audience. To conclude, panelists will be given a further three minutes to summarise their arguments.

The goal of the panelists will be to persuade the audience to reach one of two conclusions:

  1. FOR the motion: Most current investment is being wasted and needs a fundamental rethink
  2. AGAINST the motion: Existing schemes are already bearing fruit and need only ongoing support

The audience will hold the last word. Participants will be invited to vote FOR, AGAINST or UNDECIDED on the motion both before and after the debate. The side that swings the most votes during the course of the debate will be declared the winner.


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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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