Tabadlab Policy Roundtable 07 – Is the COVID-19 Crisis EdTech’s Bat Mitzvah Moment?

Hosted ByMosharraf Zaidi

The Covid-19 crisis has generated a disruption in the education sector unlike any other in memory. Suddenly, every country, every system, and every school has an interest in education technology or edtech. For many technology evangelists working in education, there is hope that this, the crisis and the disruption, may represent the long awaited, bat mitzvah (coming of age) moment of edtech. Traditionalists still have many questions, and experts around the world are concerned about the burden of expectations of the still nascent edtech sector. Around the world people are trying to tackle the Covid-19 generated problems that parents, teachers, schools, school administrators, education policy makers and planners, and startup owners now face. In all this, is there any room for the learner?

Among these questions:

  • Can technology solve pre-existing problems in education, that are NON tech problems?
  • How much of the interest in edtech is driven by profit, rather than by learning outcomes?
  • What is the international experience in edtech, and how can it help or hinder the pathway for a country like Pakistan? * How much of the policy ecosystem for edtech is dependent on changes in other verticals, like banking and finance?
  • How is edtech being used during Covod 19? * How much of the tech is tech and how much is ed?
  • To what extent have we cracked the code of training teachers through “edtech”?

Tabadlab Policy Roundtable 07 features:

  • Zainab Qureshi, the Director of the LEAPS Program at Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at the Harvard Kennedy School. She oversees implementation of the Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) Program in Pakistan.
  • Vikas Pota, a globally respected leader and driving force behind the Global Teacher Prize as the head of the Varkey Foundation. He brings together leaders in education from around the world and connects them to the key issues faced by teachers and learners.
  • Dr. Farrah Arif, the founder and CEO of EDTechWorx and an EDUTECH Commonwealth scholar and a visionary entrepreneur who has helped top national and multinational corporates to drive sustainable growth and profits. She is a professor at LUMS in Lahore, and earned her PhD from the University of Cambridge Judge Business School,
  • Bilal Musharraf, the Vice President for Global Strategy and Business Development at Edmodo, a learning management system with 100M+ users from 194 countries. Previously he was Dean of Translations at Khan Academy. He has experience in both education and finance sectors. Bilal began his career as an actuary. He has an MBA and MA in Education from Stanford University and a BS in Actuarial Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Salma Alam, the CEO of Durbeen, a teacher training firm focused on enabling government school teachers in Pakistan. She has been working in the public education sector of Sindh since 2008, first at the school level and then the government level, while consulting with the World Bank. She holds a Masters in Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and qualified as a primary school teacher from the National Institute of Education in Singapore in 2016.

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