Evaluating the impact of digital tools to teach math and science in Chile
Latin American and Caribbean countries fare poorly in international comparisons of learning assessments. Weak performance on these tests has been clearly linked to poor economic performance as students become workers. Consequently, many countries in the region have been actively seeking innovative solutions that can improve students’ learning. As such, they have invested substantial resources to increase students’ access to computers and connectivity at school. Emerging evidence suggests that while programs that focus only on expanding access to technology produce limited gains, programs that provide clear guidance on how to use technological resources can generate significant effects on student learning.
This project, implemented by the University of Chile, will evaluate an innovative digital education program called "Conecta Ideas" ("Connect Ideas") to generate rigorous evidence on how to improve the quality of education using technology. This program, which teaches mathematics in 11 Chilean schools attended by students with low socio-economic status, has been implemented for the past five years. Preliminary results indicate that the model has a significant effect on student learning. This project will assess these effects in depth, estimate costs, determine key factors for success, and provide clear protocols to ensure effective implementation and scale-up of the program. The project will also advocate for its adoption for low-income students in Latin America and the Caribbean. Results of the project are expected to inform education policies across the region, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.