Remote Learning, EdTech & COVID-19

Last updated: 8 เม.ย 2563  | 

PUBLISHED : 8 Apr 2020 - 13:27

Large-scale, national efforts to utilize technology in support of remote learning, distance education and online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic are emerging and evolving quickly.

This page attempts to curate useful resources and publish related documents collected and prepared by the World Bank's edtech team in support of national dialogues with policymakers around the world. Other institutions are welcome to redistribute any of what appears below. Updates are frequently posted on this page.


Guidance Note: Remote Learning & COVID-19 (pdf, last draft 7 April 2020)
A short 3-page guidance note offers principles to maximize countries’ effectiveness in designing and executing remote learning.

Rapid response reference note: Remote Learning and COVID-19 (pdf, last draft 20 March 2020)
A 12-page rapid response reference note prepared to help brief policymakers on some general rules of thumb of potential relevance when very quickly exploring and rolling out the use of remote learning, distance education and online learning at scale.

Remote Learning, Distance Education and Online Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Resource List (pdf, last draft 26 March)
The selection of resources and platforms that you will find here has been curated to facilitate the rapid identification of helpful technological solutions that could be used to support remote learning. The resource list is regularly curated and organized by the World Bank's Edtech team. 


Many partner organizations are rapidly trying to curate and make available related infomation, as well as share guidance and documentation that they themselves are generating, including the EdTech Hub, UNESCO, mEducation Alliance, Learning Keeps Going (U.S. consortium), INEE (Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies), Commonwealth of Learning, and many others.

Relevant past posts from the World Bank EduTech Blog archive

While written prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, many posts from the Bank's EduTech blog explore topics and implementation models of potential relevance. Here are a few of them: 

Education & Technology in an Age of Pandemics (revisited)

The use of educational technologies at scale in response to disease outbreaks pre-dates the current COVID-19 pandemic; recent past experiences occurred as a result of outbreaks related to SARS, H1N1 and Ebola as well.

Zero-rating educational content on the Internet

In some countries, learners can access educational web sites and use educational apps at no cost because the resources are 'zero rated', i.e. data charges don't apply when accessing them.

Universal Service Funds & connecting schools to the Internet around the world
Many countries are tapping so-called 'universal service funds' to quickly pay for expanding connectivity to learners at home. Here's some related background on the use of such funds in education.

The promise and the challenges of virtual schools

As a result of the coronavirus, many schools have quickly become 'virtual'. Much is known about what works, and what doesn't, when it comes to 'virtual schooling'.

Complexities in utilizing free digital learning resources

Many countries are trying to quickly provide access to digital learning content from multiple sources. Some of these are free 'open educational resources', others are provided by publishers, private companies and non-profit groups, while in yet other cases governments are quickly digitizing existing content and putting it online. This posts looks at a three-step process for doing this.

Digital teaching and learning resources: An EduTech reader

A consolidated collection of posts of potential relevance to decisionmakers quickly considering the use of online learning content.

The Matthew Effect in Educational Technology

While the use of educational technologies are often touted for their ability to close the 'digital divide' and to 'open up geater possiblilties for all learners', in practice the opposite often occurs.  Unless care is taken, edtech brings with it often profound challenges related to equity. 

Bad practices in mobile learning

Believing that, in the short term, the best technologies are usually the ones people already have, know how to use, and can afford, many countries are astutely trying to make available learning and learning support materials for use on mobile phones. When doing so, there are a number of things that should be avoided.

Interactive Radio Instruction : A Successful Permanent Pilot Project?

Especially where students don't have other technologies at home, educational radio can be an effective means of reaching leaners at scale when schools are closed. While originally designed to support low capacity or untrained teachers in the classroom, so-called interactive radio instruction can also be helpful when teaching at home is coordinated by parents or other caregivers.

10 principles to consider when introducing ICTs into remote, low-income educational environments

When planning for the use of educational technologies to reach learners in some of the most challenging circumstances, it can be useful to formulate a set of principles to guide related decisions. Here are a few for consideration.

Improving Educational Quality through Interactive Radio Instruction: A Toolkit for Policy Makers and Planners

With schools closed, many countries are turning to an old' technology, one which proved useful in past responses to the Ebola crisis: radio. Here's a toolkit on using radio to teach and learn that may be particularly relevant for many countries today in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (This toolkit was prepared over a dozen years ago, but given the renewed interest in this topic, and the number of downloads it is getting, we are highlighting it here.)