The crosscutting characteristic of information and communication technologies (ICT) has meant that, like other services derived from infrastructures such as electricity, they have become a sine qua non element of society as a whole and of the economic apparatus. .
One of the most favored sectors and with the greatest potential for adoption is education. Thus, the symbiosis of education and ICT has become essential for the teaching work of the little more than two million educators in Mexico (INEGI) with whom we will soon celebrate on #Teacher’s Day 2022.
With a more than biennial pandemic and the looming threat of resuming greater confinement, it is urgent that the right to education consigned in our Constitutional Article 3 accentuate its contemporary character, of digital education.
Among the links in this digital educational chain, there must clearly be universal access to devices, tools and platforms, broadband coverage, content, as well as the full development of digital skills so that both students and teachers can maximize the maximum use of the learning process.
Today, when practically all students are smartphone users, a window of educational-technological opportunity opens there, a kind of Pocket Classroom (https://bit.ly/328wrGB).
The pandemic crisis has resulted in a kind of ‘digital push’, acceleration or intensification in the appropriation and use of ICT for education. However, insufficient access and ignorance of the use of these continues to be a cause for school dropout and interruption of studies, among other pernicious effects.
ICTs, Education and Covid-19. The INEGI “Survey for the Measurement of the Covid-19 Impact on Education” (ECOVID-ED) counted 32.9 million students between 3 and 29 years old enrolled in the 2020-2021 school year; Of them, 91.9% had a smartphone at home, 64.8% had a fixed internet connection, 36.5% had a laptop, 20.5% had a desktop computer, and 21.2% had a tablet.
The democratizing nature of contemporary technologies has been closing the gaps in access to connectivity.
However, 35.2% of the students enrolled lacked fixed internet at home, mainly due to their limited economic resources (74.1%), due to lack of infrastructure in their locality (10.8%) and lack of interest or ignorance of its use/utility ( 9.2%).
Precisely, the lack of a computer, other device or internet connection caused the non-completion of the 2019-2020 school year for 17.7% of the 265 thousand students enrolled but who did not complete their studies. While this was the reason that 21.9% of the 3.3 million students did not continue to be enrolled in the 2020-2021 school year.
ICTs for Learning. The ECOVID-ED also reports that during the 2020-2021 school year, smartphones (64.3% of total enrolled students), laptops (18.0%) and desktop computers (6.5%) were mainly used for school activities or the distance learning. Only a third (33.3%) had a device for exclusive use, 61.6% shared it with other people in their household and 2.8% had to borrow or rent it for use for academic purposes.
Education is cause and consequence of the integral development of a society. On this #Teacher’s Day 2022, it is time to recognize the merit of educators’ dedication to teaching, as well as their ability to adapt pedagogical skills to technological ones.
Managing Director of The Competitive Intelligence Unit