What the World Can Teach the US About Education Technology

Some of the conclusions may not come as a surprise in the Omidyar Network’s report on what works in scaling education technology in different regions worldwide. Governments, educators, advocacy groups and companies large and small need to work better together. Long-term planning and investment in infrastructure for widespread and improved access to the internet and mobile devices is critical.But what may surprise some readers of the report, released Monday, is what the United States can learn from developing nations when it comes to bringing together all parties interested in edtech. Take Chile, for instance. By many measures, the country’s education technology ecosystem is small. Chile has “little private capital for new business ventures,” according to the report, and an edtech market valued less than a percent of the $9 billion U.S. market. And yet, Chilean education expenditure as a percent of GDP (5.35 percent) still bests the U.S. (4.99 percent) and China (4.10 percent). Chile has more mobile cellular subscriptions (127 per 100 people) than the U.S. (122) and China (105), plus a higher percent of internet users (82 percent) compared to the U.S. (75) and China (54).

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