May 6, 2004

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Vol. 23, Issue 35
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Singaporean educators are finding that technology is useful in fostering more self-directed learning, a shift away from the traditional “learn and drill” culture of that Asian nation’s schools. A cultural affinity for digital technologies in Iceland—spurred largely by a historical need to overcome geographic isolation—has filtered down to the schools in the North Atlantic island nation. Meanwhile, in Canada, some schools have scaled back aggressive technological approaches to make more time for basic academic teaching.
As the United States turns its attention to measuring technology’s impact, other nations address different needs.
A K-8 school that forged an international reputation for digital innovation has deliberately pared back its technology focus.
The divide between the digital haves and have-nots is as wide as the region itself.
Experts say this tiny Asian nation is far ahead of its regional neighbors in using technology to improve student learning.
Many schools have seen an infusion of technology; the challenge is learning how to use it more effectively.
Icelanders’ passion to see beyond their island has put technology front and center in the nation’s schools.
Chile is seen as the leader in technology use in schools, while larger nations, such as Brazil, struggle to catch up.
Lack of basic infrastructure, such as electricity, is a major obstacle to the use of technology in African schools.
Schools have made strides in using technology, but the commitment varies widely.
In a time of tight state budgets, funding for educational technology is often first on the chopping block. And that has surely been the case in recent years.
FOUNDATION SUPPORT: Coverage of specific topics in Education Week is supported in part by grants from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the CME Group Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the Noyce Foundation, the Raikes Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. The newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of the articles that are underwritten by the foundations. Additional grants in support of Editorial Projects in Education’s data journalism and video capacity come from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Schott Foundation for Public Education. (Updated 1/1/2017)

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