The World Bank Group (WBG) works in partnership with governments and organizations worldwide to support innovative projects, timely research and knowledge sharing activities about the effective and appropriate use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education systems to strengthen learning and contribute to poverty reduction around the world, as part of its larger work related to education.
World Bank support for the use of ICTs in education includes: assistance for equipment and facilities; policy development; teacher training and support; capacity building; educational content; distance learning; digital literacy and skills development; monitoring and evaluation; and research and development (R&D) activities.
The use of ICT in education can play a crucial role in providing new and innovative forms of support to teachers, students, and the learning process more broadly. With globalization, the information revolution, and increasing demands for a highly skilled workforce, nations are increasingly prioritizing education. Determining the best tools to support learning, and to increase the efficiency of education systems, is critical to that effort.
The potential and promise of ICT use in education is clear: When implemented correctly, software in the classroom, for example, can allow students to learn at their own pace and tablets can help children develop important digital skills and computer know-how that they’ll need to succeed in our knowledge-based economy. That said, many potential related challenges, such as high costs, increased burdens on teachers, and implementation difficulties, are well known and documented. Many high-profile ICT-related education initiatives have had little measurable impact on student reading or math ability—despite the best of intentions. Indeed, more evidence is needed to better understand the impact of ICT use on teaching and learning and the ways in which a variety of hardware and software tools -- as well as faster, more widespread and reliable Internet access -- can accelerate learning across the developing world, helping children develop the foundational skills they need for success.