Educational Research and Innovation

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

2076-9679 (online)
2076-9660 (print)
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This series of books from the OECD's Centre for Educational Research and Innovations provides the results of OECD work on innovation in education.

Also available in French
Inspired by Technology, Driven by Pedagogy

Inspired by Technology, Driven by Pedagogy

A Systemic Approach to Technology-Based School Innovations You do not have access to this content

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

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04 Oct 2010
9789264094437 (PDF) ;9789264094789(print)

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This report highlights key issues to facilitate understanding of how a systemic approach to technology-based school innovations can contribute to quality education for all while promoting a more equal and effective education system. It focuses on the novel concept of systemic innovation, as well as presenting the emerging opportunities to generate innovations that stem from Web 2.0 and the important investments and efforts that have gone into the development and promotion of digital resources. It also shows alternative ways to monitor, assess and scale up technology-based innovations. Some country cases, as well as fresh and alternative research frameworks, are presented.

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  • Preface
    Human capital is at the heart of the innovation process, and our educational systems bear the primary responsibility for nurturing and developing the capacities and innovative capabilities of our fellow citizens. Yet, education is costly; for many countries, educational expenditures constitute a large proportion of public spending. In the light of the current recession and consequent budget constraints that every country faces, governments are looking at ways to maximise the returns on their investments in education. This is not a purely economic perspective: human capital and talent are critical for the development of our societies; thus, investing in education and getting returns on it are important for the well being of all.
  • Executive summary
    This book is an attempt to contextualise the issues described above by providing an analytical framework made up of three different sections: the opportunities offered by technology, how technology-based innovations are monitored and assessed, and the role of research in documenting innovations.
  • Introduction
    While access to new digital technology in schools has increased measurably in the past ten years, it has not been adopted as quickly and intensively as expected despite policy efforts to promote and support technology-based school innovations. This chapter explores possible reasons for this response on the part of schools and teachers from the perspective of systemic innovation. Specifically, it addresses the question of how more effective knowledge management at the system level of technology-based school innovations could contribute to educational change.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts A changing landscape

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    • Web 2.0 and the school of the future, today
      The future of schools and schooling constitutes one of the major areas of current education debate, especially in light of the increasing importance of digital technologies in contemporary society. While having undoubted educational potential, these digital technologies mark a significant area of uncertainty, which are encapsulated in current debates over the place of so-called "Web 2.0" technologies in education. This chapter offers a critical perspective on the emergence of Web 2.0 applications and the hype surrounding their uptake in education. It chapter looks at the changes brought about by Web 2.0 in society, the opportunities that schools might benefit from and, sadly, how little use teachers are making of these opportunities. It concludes by arguing for the need to retain a realistic, if not critical, perspective on schools and Web 2.0 – seeking to find ways of using Web 2.0 technologies to work with the schools of today, rather than against them.
    • Can digital learning resources spur innovation?
      This chapter looks at the results of a study carried out in the five Nordic countries[i] that analysed recent developments in the area of digital learning resources (DLR) from the perspective of systemic innovation. Three different types of innovation are examined: government-initiated innovations; innovations initiated by commercial actors; bottom-up innovations (user-generated). The authors point out how technology makes the conditions for DLR innovation different from many other fields of education and present five "embryonic scenarios" illustrating the ways that DLR might be strengthened, promoted, developed and incorporated are presented. The chapter concludes with recommendations directed towards to the production and use of DLR, and to the more general issue of systemic innovation in education.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts How technology-based innovations are monitored, assessed and scaled up

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    • Monitoring and assessing the use of ICT in education
      This chapter documents how Australia has had an increasingly complex perspective on the broad issue of monitoring and assessing the use of technology in education. In particular, the Australian experience documents how to monitor technology use in schools in the context of a complex governance system, as a true recognition of the variance in scope and depth that technology-based innovations have across schools and territories. In addition, the chapter elaborates how Australia is addressing the need for substantial progress in the collection of evidence concerning how young people become equipped with digital literacy skills and, in a broader sense, with 21st century skills.
    • Extending and scaling technology-based innovations through research
      This chapter examines the question of 21st century skills through the prism of a case study on Singapore. Certainly, this case is quite particular in many respects, including its emphasis on the design, implementation and evaluation of national master plans. The support to technology-based innovations, as well as their monitoring and assessment, have been playing an important role in these plans. This contribution discusses the different ways in which practitioners, researchers and policy makers have been involved in the process of documenting successful innovations and planning for scaling up. The authors suggest that careful attention should be paid to the translation process from the initiation of innovation to the implementation of innovation.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Promising avenues for research

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    • The third lever
      The following chapter introduces an important international and comparative research effort to develop and contribute a set of tools to measure educators’ adoption of innovative teaching practices. It looks at the degree to which those practices provide students with learning experiences that promote the skills they will need to live and work in the 21st century. Still in its initial phase, this major research effort represents an important challenge to existing assumptions about the lack of connection between teachers’ innovation practices involving technology and students’ achievements.
    • Design research on technology-based innovations
      The curriculum is, along with assessment, a key driver for education because curricula define goals, content and, in some cases, also the methods of teaching and learning. This chapter suggests that we regard curricula as a roadmap for education. In particular, the author looks at the benefits and limitations of curriculum design research and how its results have the potential to make an important contribution to curriculum policies and development. Rather than attempting to implement elaborate and complete interventions, a process whereby one comes to (successive) prototypes that increasingly meet the innovative aspirations and requirements is suggested. The process is often iterative, cyclic or spiral: analysis, design, evaluation and revision activities are iterated until a satisfying balance between ideals and realisation has been achieved. The author concludes with some specific research characteristics that would strengthen the growth of knowledge through design research.
    • Conclusion
      This final chapter summarises the lessons learnt from the OECD expert meeting held in Florianopolis (Brazil) in November 2009 as well as the policy implications. On the whole, it addresses the issue of how a systemic approach can improve our understanding of how technology-based school innovations work and how local innovations can be scaled up successfully. In times of economic crisis, a systemic approach to technology-based innovation in education is even more urgently needed. Most countries are now facing difficult times, and OECD member states are no exception to this. The immediate programmes that many governments have launched – sometimes in a co-ordinated way, with the aim of facing the financial crisis – have also been coupled in many cases with in-depth reflection about the way in which our economies work and with strategies to promote longer-term development and vision. In the context of this reflection, it becomes apparent that in the medium and long-term, innovation will increasingly be a key factor not only to economic growth but also to social welfare. The efforts to sustain technology-based innovations in education should be no exception to this. In the light of the financial crisis, each educational system should improve its ability to scale up technologybased innovation for improved learning outcome and learning strategies.
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