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An ed-tech tragedy? Educational technologies and school closures in the time of COVID-19
Place of publication | Year of publication | Collation: 
Paris | 2023 | 652 p.
Corporate author: 
v© UNESCO 2023

Charting a new course for the transformation of education in a digital age An Ed-Tech Tragedy? is a detailed analysis of what happened when education became largely reliant on connected technology during school closures stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, the largest global disruption to education in history.Many claim that this experience was chiefly one of forced progress and transformations that have, however haltingly, helped propel education into desirable digital futures. Others underline an experience of imperfect salvation – technology saving the day in an emergency and preserving learning continuity for significant numbers of students, even if not all students were helped. But the global evidence reveals a more sombre picture. It exposes the ways unprecedented educational dependence on technology often resulted in unchecked exclusion, staggering inequality, inadvertent harm and the elevation of learning models that place machines and profit before people. This publication examines the promises of educational technologies against the reality of what was delivered during periods of pandemic school closures, which stretched for various durations from early 2020 to the end of 2022. Dedicated sections consider alternate possibilities that had the potential to be more inclusive and equitable.The analysis extracts lessons and recommendations to chart new and more humanistic directions for the development, integration and use of technology in education.

Resource Type: 
Transformative initiatives / Transformative pedagogies
Level of education: 
Distance education
School closures
educational technology