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Education Technology In Practice

UnSoed IT Opening SeminarWelcome to Education Network's Education Technology In Practice Website EducationTechnology.USUni/School

We at Education Network fully support the development of education technology
but we also feel responsible for monitoring technology development and the ways it is being implemented in terms of gains for our students and benefits in terms of realistic and holistic outcomes. For instance are the highly rhetorical claims related to the importance of education technology for improving the quality of learning / teaching appropriate and valid in the Indonesian context? Or in any context?

MAJOR UPDATE COMMENCED
Note: I am still working on the English Versions for many pages at this site (It's a big job! - 20th of August, 2013). The main reason that I am creating English versions of some of my findings and writings here in Indonesia is because I have had some very favourable comments from people in other developing countries that found the little I have written in English helpful. This particular area, Education Technology, is where I have spent most of my 38 years working in the education field, and there are so many (costly) myths that really need to be explored.

Firstly, let's look at the situation here in Indonesia.
Here are some headlines from articles in local newspapers:

Tens of thousands of schools are in very poor condition and many classrooms are collapsing, including 70% of the schools in Jakarta, 30,000 villages are not connected To Electricity, 55 million people in our country do not have "access" to safe water supplies, Corruption Is In All Levels Of Education Implementation, Our National Exam Doesn't Encourage Creativity in Learning, we need to Stop The Curriculum Disadvantaging Our Students, 70% of Our High-School Graduates are Looking For Work Without Skills Training, Teacher Skills Need to Be Improved, Thousands of Children with a Disability are not Being Looked After, Quality Education Is Only For The Rich, and .........

Clearly, if we are going to formulate a program for improving the quality of education in Indonesia we must be certain that the strategies that we adopt address the whole spectum of issues for all students (over 50,000,000 - 50 million) in Indonesia, and the main priority must be the establishment of learning environments that are safe and conducive for learning (including electricity and clean water supplies) in all schools (almost 300,000 schools).

Now we come to the first technology reality issue....

ICT is the most "Inappropriate Technology" for Learning
in the Indonesian Public Education Sector

(Phillip Rekdale)

ICT is the most "Inappropriate Technology" for Quality Public Education and Learning (in Indonesian classrooms). ICT threatens self-expression through increased passive-learning (technology-centred), and creativity and innovation through programmed learning (e-Learning - Behaviorism), and only extends the current problems (with teacher-centred) - memory and behavior-based learning with controlled outcomes (education for robots). It also suffers from extremely limited penetration (ratio of "1 computer for 2,000 students" (1:2,000)), there is very limited infrastructure in our schools (nationally), implementation is expensive and maintenance costs are extremely high, many school budgets are insufficient to maintain the schools themselves, let alone hundreds of computers (tens of millions of computers at the national level)....
Ref: "Appropriate Technology"

"New report confirms decline in student achievement"
Posted on:Thursday, 15th August 2013

"15 August 2013: A comprehensive new analysis from the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) has provided evidence beyond simple international rankings that the achievement levels of Australian students declined in the period 2000 to 2012.

According to the report, Measure for Measure, while this decline was small, there were significant improvements in the achievement levels of students in a number of other countries during the same period.

Releasing the report, ACER chief executive Professor Geoff Masters said, rather than focus on international rankings, there is a need to relate these changes in achievement to developments in policy, practice and context that took place in the immediately preceding years."

What are the implications for ICT in Education, and claims that E-Learning and Technology-Based Interactive Learning Environments (ILEs) improve achievement?

"A Silicon Valley School That Doesnít Compute"
(The New York Times)

LOS ALTOS, Calif. ó The chief technology officer of eBay sends his children to a nine-classroom school here. So do employees of Silicon Valley giants like Google, Apple, Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard.

But the schoolís chief teaching tools are anything but high-tech: pens and paper, knitting needles and, occasionally, mud. Not a computer to be found. No screens at all. They are not allowed in the classroom, and the school even frowns on their use at home. ...computers and schools donít mix.

Again... Back In Indonesia... - "Tens of thousands of schools are in poor repair and many are collapsing including 70% schools in DKI Jakarta - In Jakarta alone, 179 Schools are not Fit for Use! - Almost 80% of School Buildings in Pesawaran Need Serious Repairs, etc-etc-etc","The total number of (Primary and Junior Secondary School) classrooms that need urgent repairs has risen from 640,660 (2000-2004) to 739,741 (2004-2008) by 15,5 percent." (ICW) - The situation is becoming worse, not improving! Ref: "5 Steps To Quality Education"

Why should we place our faith in the rhetoric associated with high technology in education? Usually the technologies that are most effective for stimulating "discovery learning" and the development of analytical and problem solving skills, that are based upon learner creativity are basic appropriate technologies. Often the more simple the technology, the more the learners are forced to use their own imagination and creativity, and they also participate more actively in the learning process..

One significant concern is that even Overseas AID Agencies are now being influenced by the Rhetorical Nonsense from ICT Consultants. Students need to learn ICT Skills for Vocational and Academic Purposes (Give Them Computers), However, Utilizing E-Learning, besides being Impracticable in Indonesia also Threatens The Quality of Education (kills self-expression, creativity, etc.). We certainly do not need E-Learning to achive the Highest Quality Learning Standards.

As our previous Deputy Minister for Education stated recently at the Faculty of Teacher Education and Education Science, Indonesia Catholic University Atma Jaya (relating to Teacher-Centred Learning):

"Students are not given the freedom to express their own individual ideas and opinions so creativity is being killed." -- Fasli Jalal Ref: Education Indonesia Network

Clearly the situation is much worse with Technology-Centered Learning where technology is not even capable of accepting or understanding "opinions". Technology is only concerned with the "correct" answer.

"Our Students Are Not Using The Internet In A Positive Way"
(Prof. DR. Nurtain, 2010)

"PADANG--MI: A local authority on education from the Padang State University (UNP), Prof. DR. Nurtain stated that many school and university students are not utilizing information communication technology (ICT) developments, specifically the Internet in a positive way and in fact they are only wasting time on activities that are non-productive."

Prof. DR. Nurtain - Salute!
It does appear that we have started to learn something about the short-falls and implications of many of these new technologies! Internet Goes To School!

Hopefully now we can start to use more of our education budget for more important issues like teacher training related to the more effective use of Appropriate Technology


(Reality-Based Education Technology)

"Inequity Of Education Has Often Enough Been Discussed"
(Solution? hm... tell me how sir?)


"1 Computer For Each Student (1:1), Or What Is The Best Ratio?"
(Is This Just An Academic Question?)

When Will We Have 1 Computer For Each Student"?


"World-Class Learning"
(AT & Active-Learning)


"We Have To Keep-Up With Global Developments, Don't We?"
(Web-Based Learning)


"Skype In The English Language Class?"
(Skype & Learning)


"Programmed learning, Creativity, Innovation, and E-Learning"
(E-Learning Can Kill Creativity!)


"Mobile E-Learning Will Go Away" : M-Learning?
(Role Of M-Learning : Analysis Roger Schank)


"Is The Role Of High-Tech In Learning Significant?"
(Enquiry from our Facebook group)


"E-Books Are Often Regarded As An Educational Alternative"
(Really?)


"Free Educational Video For All Teachers In Indonesia!"
(Ahhh - Television In Tha Classroom Again!)


"Study At University With Widya Telewicara"
(Teleconferencing : Ahhh - More Technology!)


"Do The New ICT In Schools Policies Threaten Education Development?"
(Wooo..... This Is Dangerous!)


"Appropriate Technology For Sustainable National Education Development"
(Concepts For A Workshop In Indonesia)


"Learning and the Changing Needs of The 21st Century"
(North Central Regional Education Laboratory)


"Education Technology For The Present & For The Future"
(Professionalism)


"The Education World and Entrepreneurialism"

Discuss Education Technology Issues On Our Facebook

Now let's take a look at the quality of education in countries that already employ very high levels of sophisticated education technology. For instance Australia and the U.S.A.

"Much of the recent media attention on higher education has focused on allegations about the declining quality of the educational experience, including claims of ‘soft-marking’, declining academic standards and the ‘dumbing down’ of courses" (Department of Education, Australia).

"Australia needs nothing less than a revolution in education - a substantial and sustained increase in the quantity of our investment, and the quality of our education," Mr Rudd says in the paper. "This is required at every level of education from early childhood to mature age." (The Australian, January 23, 2007).

"The Declining Quality of Mathematics Education in the US" (Jedidiah Jan 26 08 2007) "Mathematics education seems to be very subject to passing trends - surprisingly more so than many other subjects. The most notorious are, of course, the rise of New Math in the 60s and 70s, and the corresponding backlash against it in the late 70s and 80s. It turns out that mathematics education, at least in the US, is now subject to a new trend, and it doesn't appear to be a good one."

"A study released Thursday (December 16, 2005) by the U.S. Department of Education shows that only 25% of college graduates were “proficiently literate,” that is, “using printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential.” The results show a dramatic decline from 1992, the last year surveyed prior to this study. “This seems like another piece of hard evidence, a fairly clear indication, that the ‘value added’ that higher education gave to students didn’t improve, and maybe declined, over this period,” said Charles Miller, the former University of Texas regent who is heading the U.S. education secretary’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education." (Fighting Stupidity)

If the quality of education in developed countries can decline despite increasingly high utilization of education technology, why should we in Indonesia believe that education technology is the answer to our education problems? Is it logical to believe that education technology is the answer?

Technology is just a tool, and like other tools sometimes they are helpful, but for most of the time we don't need them. However, technology can be useful, but will only be effective when the role and basic principles for the utilization of technology in education are understood by our education management authorities and teachers. Escape from the hype!.

A few basic issues:

  • How did the brilliant minds who created the technologies learn?
  • Who are the real driving forces behind education technology?
  • Education Technology is Big Business! How significant should the roles of Marketers and Technologists be in Learning Institution decision making?
  • What would be the future of Education Technology Departments in universities if we decided tomorrow that the contribution from education technology was not significant?
  • Where can we find unbiased information?
  • Are students really learning more effectively? Evidence?
  • Every time we teach we need to ask do we need education technology?
An Effective Schools Perspective

If you are hoping that e-Learning is the solution for improving education quality in Indonesia at the current time - it's best if you think again!

There is a ratio of 1 computer to 2,000 students (1:2,000) and 182,500 out of 200,000 primary and secondary schools do not have an Internet connection.

Achieving quality teaching in our schools is the main solution!
- Some issues

The implementation of teknologi in the field of education requires careful integration into a balanced master development plan that addresses all aspects of education development (not a project approach). Often public announcements that appear in our media related to technology in the education arena appear to fail to consider curent research and experience in the general world of education. Specific cases of technology in education seem to be taken as general solutions to education issues.

Of course we must search for creative solutions, however we must also learn from the general pool of world experiences so that we don't replicate the failures experienced in other countries.

We really need some quality research.

Internet Cafe

Is the fact that increasing numbers of students are spending time in Internet cafes rather than spending the time at home reviewing their school work or doing their homework one of the reasons for decreasing performance in their National Exams (UN)?
We need to know!


With all Technologies, for instance; the Electronic Whiteboard, OHP, Video, Television, e-Learning, Internet, etc., the quality and therefore the usefulness relies 100% upon the quality of the content and the teaching process deployed. Technology itself is just a medium. Whether it succeeds or fails depends 100% upon the content and process, not the technology.

A very important issue here in Indonesia is that the government must focus upon addressing the myriad of issues within the schools, and not get caught up in the 'hype' about technology. There are so many issues at the school level that need to be addressed if we are going to improve the real quality of education here.

Teacher-based education where the welfare and abilities of the teachers are satisfactory, and the schools are in good condition, with a curriculum that meets the needs of the students, and is 'well balanced' (includes many forms of skills training including technology), that is implemented using contextual learning is the solution for preparing our children for the challenges of the future.

Dear Minister of Education, let's work together to address all education issues so that we acheive true quality education in Indonesia for all...

Education Budget 20% - Clean!!! Without Corruption and Price Mark-Ups ... Please give your attention to the real issues in the field!

"We Must Find A Medicine For Corruption Virus" - Virus?
Not A Pack Of Thieves That Needs Arresting?

Please read!

"Bambang Sudibyo (our Minister of Education) added that, with ICT facilities we will be capable of addressing access to quality education, that till now is difficult to access by those in isolated areas." (ANTARA News).

Excuse me Sir, what do you mean by "access to quality education" what quality education, where is it?
Please let us know Sir!


We are currently looking for sources of learning and teaching mateials on the Internet for students and teachers. Please send links to our DataBase sections: "Learning Materials Sites" or "Teaching Materials Sites"

Webmaster .

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Created 3 September, 2008
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