Can Educational Technologies Change Education in Latin America?

Washington DC, USA. TLTL faculty director and Columbia University Associate Professor Paulo Blikstein spoke at the Inter-American Development Bank recently as part of an event examining the role of Technology in Latin American/Caribbean Technical and Vocational Education. Blikstein delivered a talk to the bank’s staff about the myths, challenges and opportunities of digital technologies in teaching and learning, in addition to introducing a framework for understanding the purpose of different types of educational technologies. Blikstein spoke about the radically different types of learning goals served by different types of technologies, such as learning management systems and makerspaces, and thus the need for policymakers to consider factors such as scaling speeds, professional development needs, infrastructure requirements, and changes to school curriculum differently across each technology. Blikstein concluded by talking about the main factors that lead to the “serial failure” of educational technologies in developing countries, and what to do to avoid such pitfalls. 

Related research publication:

Blikstein, P. (2013). Digital fabrication and ’making’ in education: The democratization of invention. In J. Walter-Herrmann & C. Büching (Eds.), FabLabs: Of machines, makers and inventors (pp. 203-221). Bielefeld: Transcript Publishers. [281 citations on Google Scholar] [PDF]

Additional Information:

If you are interested in these topics, consider attending the TLTL’s FabLearn Program upcoming FabLearn Latin America Conference in Montevideo, Uruguay Nov. 8-9, 2019.

Read more about FabLearn, a program of the TLTL, here.