Appropriate policy development is an important aspect of successful integration of technology into teaching and learning at all levels of education. While Commonwealth countries recognise the potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs), they face significant challenges in transforming the promise of technology into improved access to and quality of education. Cost is one of the obvious challenges, but others include a lack of policy guidelines, insufficient capacity to adopt appropriate technology and poor connectivity. Rapid change and innovations in the field of ICT also make it difficult for countries to adapt quickly and implement change.
Recognising that policy development and implementation help drive improvements in the quality of teaching and learning, COL assists Commonwealth countries to review existing policies and develop appropriate policies for ICT in education that integrate the provision of open educational resources.
COL undertakes a systematic approach when formulating a policy on ICT in education, covering a set of variables such as the national education system and trends, objectives, the availability of technologies and content, and teacher capacities. Normally, the first step is to conduct a baseline study, which is followed by a national consultation to prepare a draft policy. Once the draft policy is accepted by the government, COL assists with the implementation of the policy through projects and capacity building. COL also monitors the effective implementation of the policy in the context of COL’s six year plan and outcomes.
In countries that have recently adopted an ICT in education policy, and are not interested in reviewing it, COL assists in the process of developing a national OER policy through the same systematic process. COL also provides assistance to educational institutions in the development of institutional OER policies.