Take part in the online consultation for the 2023 GEM Report on technology


As recognised in the Incheon Declaration, the achievement of SDG 4 is dependent on opportunities and challenges posed by technology, an emphasis that was deepened by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology appears in six out of the ten targets in the fourth Sustainable Development goal on education. These references are out of recognition that technology affects education through five distinct channels: input, means of delivery, skill, tools for planning, social and cultural context.

Credit: Faith Ojima Oguche/GEM Report/UNESCO

There are often bitter divisions in how the role of technology is viewed, however. These divisions are widening as the world of technology is evolving at breakneck speed.  The new concept note for the 2023 GEM Report, developed with the help of a think-piece by Mary Burns, details how the publication will explore these debates. Join our consultation online to provide feedback on this concept note, suggest relevant evidence for the theme or new areas of research to be explored.

Technology refers to the application of scientific knowledge in any sphere of life. Education is commonly associated with applications of information and communications technology, known as education technology, which will be the main focus of this report. But other technologies – construction, energy and transportation – also have relevant applications in education.

The 2023 GEM Report will examine education challenges to which appropriate use of technology can offer solutions, while recognizing that many of the solutions proposed may also be detrimental.

  • It will examine issues of access, equity and inclusion in education, looking at ways through technology can help reach disadvantaged learners but also ensure more knowledge reaches more learners in more engaging and cheaper formats.
  • It will focus on how quality can be improved, both in terms of teaching and learning basic skills, engaging and motivating learners, and in terms of relevance, ensuring the development of the digital skills needed in daily life.
  • It will address the challenge of technology development, noting the role of technical, vocational and higher education institutions in national strategies for technological development, employment and economic growth. 
  • Finally, it will recognize the role of technology in system management with special reference to assessment and other education management data that can be widely used for planning.

The report will also explore three system-wide conditions that need to be met for any technology in education to reach its full potential:

  • Ensure that all learners have access to technology resources.
  • Protect learners from the risks of technology through appropriate governance and regulation.
  • Support all teachers to teach, use and deal with technology effectively.

Within the framework described above, the 2023 GEM Report will ask the following five questions, the answers to which will provide a comparative evidence base from which to draw recommendations:

  • What do we know about the role of technology in addressing each of the education challenges identified with respect to access, equity and inclusion; quality; technology development; and system management?
  • What do we know about the potential negative impacts of technology on education challenges in each of these areas?
  • How do countries facilitate access to technology to ensure there are no gaps between different learners and schools?
  • How do education systems embed the use of technology through reforming curricula, redesigning learning materials and supporting teachers?
  • How can the negative consequences of the use of technology be addressed in education and in the way they impact education?

New descriptive analysis captured in country profiles on a range of laws and policies related to technology in education will feature in the PEER website and will complement the report.

As per the new concept note, this framework presents the early thinking of the team in preparation for the 2023 GEM Report. Please join the consultation and comment on these thoughts. By commenting on our consultation page, or by sending an email to gemreport@unesco.org, we invite you to:

  • Provide substantive feedback to the proposed lines of research.
  • Recommend evidence-based examples from around the world that illustrate beneficial and harmful impacts of technology, and solutions to challenges found in different education systems.
  • Recommend potential areas of new research drawing on already established or previously unexplored sources of quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Recommend policy areas on technology and education that PEER country profiles could focus on alongside the Report

In the coming days, there will be a call for expressions of interest on background papers for selected areas of the 2023 GEM Report.


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