One challenge for educational policymakers and planners with oversight of education activities exploring the potential use of informational and communication technologies in remote, low income communities is that most models, expertise, and research related to ICT use in education come from high-income contexts and environments (typically urban, or at least peri-urban).
One consequence is that technology-enabled 'solutions' are imported and 'made to fit' into more challenging environments. When they don't work, this is taken as 'evidence' that ICT use in education in such places is irrelevant -- and possibly irresponsible.
That said, lessons are being learned as a result of emerging practices, both good and bad, in the use of ICTs in education in low resource, poor, rural and isolated communities that may be useful to help guide the planning and implementation of ICT in education initiatives in such environments.
"Promising uses of technology in education in poor, rural and isolated communities around the world" is a short summary of some related approaches and projects, and includes copious links to related posts that have appeared on the World Bank's EduTech blog. General treatments of the topic include:
- Ten principles to consider when introducing ICTs into remote, low-income educational environments
- In search of the ideal educational technology device for developing countries
- The Matthew Effect in Educational Technology
- A different approach to scaling up educational technology initiatives
- Educational technology and innovation at the edges
- A few myths and misconceptions about digital teaching and learning materials in Africa
Some notable EduTech blog posts on individual projects and initiatives:
- Bollywood Karaoke and Same Language Subtitling to Promote Literacy
- Interactive Educational Television in the Amazon
- A model for educational technology development from … Afghanistan?
- Promoting literacy with mobile phones in rural Papua New Guinea
- ICT and rural education in China
- One Mouse per Child
- Checking in with BridgeIT in Tanzania: Using mobile phones to support teachers
- Interactive Radio Instruction : A Successful Permanent Pilot Project?
- Evaluating One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) in Peru
- The Aakash, India's $35 (?) Tablet for Education
- Using ICTs in schools with no electricity
- Stuffing the Internet in a box and shipping it to schools in Africa
- Evaluating the evaluating of the Millennium Villages Project
- Searching for India's Hole in the Wall
- Using video to improve teaching -- and support teachers
Given its increasing availability, indeed near ubiquity, in many rural communities, posts on the use of mobile phones in education may also be of interest, as might posts about the use of e-reading devices.