Could computers make the difference for literacy?



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New Publications Just Released

Mobiles for Reading: A Landscape Research Review (2014) This landscape review takes the broad domain of new information and communications technologies (ICTs) for education, and focuses on the fast-evolving sub-domain of mobiles for reading, or M4R. The ‘mobiles’ in this review primarily refer to mobile technologies—ICTs that are portable, typically battery powered, and may be connected to cellular networks and/or the Internet. The term ‘reading’ refers to the joint abilities of understanding and producing written language, for children, youth and adults. This review of M4R focuses primarily on the use of mobile ICTs designed to help children learn to read, practice reading (reading to learn), and acquire a broader range of learning skills that support a literate society. 

Mobiles for literacy in developing countries: An effectiveness framework (2014) In recent years, the advent of low-cost digital and mobile devices has led to a strong expansion of social interventions, including those that try to improve student learning and literacy outcomes. Many of these are focused on improving reading in low- income countries, and particularly among the most disadvantaged. Some of these early efforts have been called successful, but little credible evidence exists for those claims. Drawing on a robust sample of projects in the domain of mobiles for literacy, this article introduces a design solution framework that combines intervention purposes with devices, end users, and local contexts. In combination with a suggested set of purpose-driven methods for monitoring and evaluation, this new framework provides useful parameters for measuring effectiveness in the domain of mobiles for literacy.

Gold Standard? The Use of Randomized Controlled Trials for International Educational Policy (2014). Major agencies and specialized evaluation committees are pressuring the field of education development to include such methods as a way to buttress scientific and policy arguments. This review takes a closer look at this evidence-based perspective to identify strengths and limitations for making policy decisions in low-income countries.

 

Learning First: A Research Agenda For Improving Learning in Low-Income Countries (2012) In 2011, the Brookings Institution (Ctr for Universal Education) established a global Research Task Force on Learning (RTFL) in order to develop a research agenda on learning as a specific outcome of the Global Compact on Learning for the Post-2015 MDGs. With Prof. Dan Wagner as Chair, this consisted of a group of experts collaborating on a research agenda for learning for all children and youth in developing countries. The resulting white paper called LEARNING FIRST: A RESEARCH AGENDA FOR IMPROVING LEARNING IN LOW-INCOME COUNTRIES is provided here.

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UNESCO Chair established at Penn GSE

ILI Director and Penn GSE Professor Dan Wagner was recently named the first UNESCO Chair in Learning and Literacy. Read the press release here

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Launch of First Multimedia Learning Platform To Promote Literacy in South Africa

July 2009 - Representing a first for South Africa, The International Literacy Institute, in partnership with Molteno Institute for Language and Literacy in South Africa, and under the sponsorship of the South African Department of Education launched on July 23, 2009, the Bridges to the Future Initiative (BFI-SA), a multimedia education programme for the promotion of literacy and other learning skills in South Africa...

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