Educational Technology Landscape Review, Myanmar

Power, Tom; Griffiths, Malcolm and Seal, Timothy (2019). Educational Technology Landscape Review, Myanmar. DFID Myanmar-UK Partnership for Education.



This Educational Technology Landscape Review is concerned with identifying current patterns of educational technology access & use within Education Colleges (ECs) across Myanmar, particularly attending to the use of technology for learning by Teacher Educators (TEs) and Student Teachers (STs). The review draws upon three key data sources: a review of grey literature on general technology landscape in Myanmar; a large-scale survey of 1,600 TEs from all 25 ECs; Focus Group Discussions with principals, TEs and STs from ECs.

Myanmar has amongst the lowest levels of access to fixed telephones, household computers and household internet access in the region. However, the mobile technology landscape has changed dramatically since deregulation in 2013. Costs dropped immediately from ~$2,000 per SIM, to ~$1.5 per SIM by 2014. Mobile subscriptions increased rapidly from 1M in 2011 to 61M in 2018 (or from 2/100 people to 114/100 people). But for the majority, ‘the internet’ means ‘social media apps’. Use of the internet beyond these apps remains limited and digital literacies remain under-developed. The potential of technologies to support improvements in educational quality is recognised in the National Education Strategic Plan 2016-2021. Following a UNICEF review of teacher education, there has been major investment in ICT infrastructure through ‘The ICT for Education Project’ including the appointment of 65 ICTspecialist TEs to support teaching of ICT as a subject in ECs. Colleges now have large numbers of desktop computers and several other devices such as data projectors, printers and laptops, which are mostly allocated to ICT classrooms. They also have free Wi-Fi, though this is typically only available in the ICT classroom and administrative areas and only supports a few users at a time. These digital devices and services are mainly used by the ICT-specialist TEs (supported by other TEs) to teach basic computer skills to Student Teachers. Colleges also use a small number of devices to support administration. Outside of the use of the ICT classroom resources to teach basic ICT skills and of ICT use by administrators, the digital infrastructure of the colleges is not widely used to support the development of professional knowledge and practices, either for TEs or STs: ‘...majority of Teacher Educators rarely use the computer equipment for teaching and would rather use their own devices...’ and ‘...There is no ICT hub/resource for independent use by Student Teachers, only the ICT classroom which is used for teaching’. However, STs and TEs alike commonly report using their own mobile devices to find and share interesting documents or videos that they refer to in lessons or assignments, as well as using their own mobile devices and internet services daily, for a wide range of activities and purposes.

We recommend shifting perceptions and practice away from seeing ICT as being about using computers online to teach ICT skills, and towards using TEs and STs own mobile devices and accessible offline resources, to enhance the core activities of learning, teaching and educational leadership, by each stakeholder group within the colleges.

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