ICT & learning in Chilean schools: lessons learned

By the early nineties a Chilean network on computers and education for public schools had emerged. There were both high expectancies that technology could revolutionize education as well as divergent voices that doubted the real impact of technology on learning. This paper presents an evaluation of the Enlaces network, a national Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and education initiative designed as part of a series of programs to overcome inequity and quality issues of public education in Chile, by integrating teachers and learners into the knowledge society. Data gathered and the results obtained in four major areas of educational policies – infrastructure, digital literacy, conditions of learning, and the impact on school learning of major national and international tests – are presented and fully analyzed. The strengths and weaknesses of Enlaces as a visible component of the educational system and educational reform are also discussed. Enlaces has provided basic infrastructure tools, connectivity, ICTs, and teacher training to a huge number of schools, but critical results are narrow in terms of classroom learning and no additional competencies have been observed. Data and results are limited by structural bottlenecks in the educational and social system. Finally, the lessons learned after more than 15 years of implementing technology in Chilean schools are presented and fully discussed.

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