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January 9th, 2013
Other countries facing common ed-tech struggles
Challenges are often the same, including tight budgets, equity issues
U.S. educators spend much time touting the benefits of taking a global look at classroom technology, but many countries struggle with the same ed-tech challenges facing the U.S., including dwindling funds, accessibility issues, and adequate teacher support.
“This is a challenging time today in education technology,” said Robert Martellacci, president and publisher of MindShare Learning, a Canadian ed-tech consulting, news, and events firm. “We sometimes refer to it as the Wild West. We realized there is a pent-up demand to understand what’s really working in the classroom.”
There are 15,500 K-12 schools and 5.1 million K-12 students across Canada, with 85 to 90 percent of the country’s population living within 100 miles of the U.S border. There is no national department of education, but control is segmented among 10 provinces and three territories. On average, the country maintains a one-to-five computer-to-student ratio, and Martellacci said mobile computing and BYOD initiatives are “gaining serious traction” as they are in the U.S. Also similar to U.S. schools is a strain on financial systems.
(Next page: What a Canadian survey revealed about classroom technology)