Skip to content

back to events listing

EdTech and COVID-19: Deepening the digital and learning divide?


Education webinar 20 aug

When: 20th August 2020; 14:00 – 15:00 (IST)

Registration:  Register in Advance Here Registration Closes midnight 19th August.

The global lockdown precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a massive increase in the use of technology for educational purposes (EdTech). With school and university closures implemented in 191 countries, teaching and learning has largely transferred online, meaning platform and communications service providers have become ubiquitous. This has seemingly been a benefit to an already large industry. Even before the onset of the pandemic, the EdTech industry was experiencing rapid growth, with global investments of $18.6 billion in 2019. It is likely, therefore, that the EdTech industry will grow even more rapidly.

Countries in the ‘Global South’ are not unknown to EdTech and vice versa. Social enterprises, companies, donors, and development organisations have been implementing EdTech projects and introducing EdTech products for years. The most well-known is perhaps the One Laptop per Child initiative. However, there are fears that EdTech solutions are not reaching the most educationally in need. At the same time, according to the 2018 World Development Report, the world is experiencing a ‘learning crisis’, which brings about fears for the most marginalised being doubly left behind. Is this increased uptake of EdTech during the pandemic likely to increase the digital and learning divide by benefitting learners who already have access to technology and the internet? Will it usher in a ‘new normal’ that will further deepen the learning crisis for the world’s most marginalised learners? What should we, as development practitioners and academics, do about it? This webinar will explore these issues.

Hosted by the DSAI Education Working Group.


  • Dr Jessica Chu (National Foundation for Educational Research);
  • Dr Conor Galvin (University College Dublin);
  • Mr Gilbert Munyemana (Plan International Rwanda)


Back to top