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 Thursday, October 11, 2012

A new ITU-T Technology Watch Report entitled “Standards for Technology-enabled Learning” investigates the technologies and services quickly emerging as viable tools to breed more dynamic, more affordable and far more inclusive approaches to education and training.

With the potential to overcome challenges posed by distance or levels of economic and infrastructural development, information and communication technologies (ICTs) role in education policy in both developed and developing nations is sure to strengthen.

The report distinguishes between purpose-built learning devices and all-purpose ICTs, and notes a trend in the shift from specialized educational devices towards developing educational apps running on existing all-purpose devices; contributing to the increasing scalability and sustainability of “ICT-in-education” initiatives. The report also explores the content of educational resources as well as the strategies through which they are distributed; highlighting, for example, the Open Educational Resource (OER) movement gaining support from a number of the world’s most prestigious academic institutions, and some of the many “classroom-management” tools today available to teachers and their students.

By identifying emerging innovations in the tech-learning field, the report aims to highlight the characteristics common to the most successful “ICT-in-education” models. Noting no shortage of research, development or examples of successful implementations, the report concludes that standards will have a key role to play in addressing the current disparity between the development and implementation of tech-learning products and services. In this regard, the report provides an overview of the standardization work already underway in this field, and additionally recommends the coupling of technical standards with supplementary best-practice guidelines on the rollout and maintenance of tech-rich education systems.

The report and additional resources are available at http://itu.int/en/ITU-T/techwatch/Pages/learning-standards.aspx.

Experts from industry or academic and research institutes are invited to submit topic proposals and abstracts for future reports in the ITU-T Technology Watch series. Interested experts are encouraged to contact the TechWatch team at tsbtechwatch@itu.int.

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