How to Use the Toolkit

What the Toolkit Does

The set of tools contained in the Toolkit assist decision makers, planners and practitioners in collecting and analyzing data, diagnosing situations and issues, formulating scenarios for appropriate ICT interventions, generating implementation plans, evaluating implementability and effectiveness of ICT interventions, and making necessary post-evaluation decisions.

What the Toolkit Does Not Do

The Toolkit does NOT make decisions for users

The Toolkit does NOT automatically generate ICT projects, programs or plans.

The Toolkit is NOT a planning tool. Like any tool, it is am instrument that people engaged in the human process of planning for ICTs in education.

The Toolkit does NOT replace the commitment, brainpower and actions of the user, nor does it make up for deficiencies in these attributes.

It is how the toolkit is used and with what skill that determine the results.

Toolkit Premises and Blueprint

Go to Concept and Blueprint

Orientation and Training of Users

Users of the Toolkit need to be well oriented in the conceptual foundations of the Toolkit and sufficiently trained in the application of the tools and the utilization of their outputs. It is, therefore, recommended that before the Toolkit is applied, potential users, undergo a hands-on orientation and training program.

The Toolkit Management can provide such training of users. Alternatively training may be provided to the Facilitator, who in turn will train the other users.

Levels of Users

The application of the Toolkit requires inputs from and interaction among different decision makers, planners and specialists. It involves four levels of users:

1. Facilitation/Steering Team

The application of the Toolkit involves going through an intricate and systematic process of policy analysis, decision making, planning, implementation and evaluation. For this process to succeed, it needs to be facilitated by a highly motivated and well trained team. This Facilitation Team has to be well placed within the decision-making and planning hierarchy to ensure that its work is taken seriously and is plugged into the overall decision-making and planning process.

The Facilitation Team should include a mix of people who have among them the skills of strategic thinking, policy analysis, integration of ICTs into education, innovation and change management, and program processing.

The Facilitation Team has the following functions:

  • Planning for Toolkit application,
  • Identifying other Toolkit users and ensuring their orientation and training
  • Applying some of the tools and supervising the application of the other tools
  • Ensuring that decisions emanating from the application of the Toolkit are communicated to and made at the appropriate levels
  • Monitoring implementation and evaluation of ICT policy interventions and recommending follow-up actions

As part of the Facilitation Team, a facilitator is a professional conceived to be the fulltime executive of the facilitation/steering team. This person should be well experienced in the use of ICTs for education and in the process of planning. The Facilitator has the following functions:

  • Managing the application process of the Toolkit
  • Preparing data and materials for the Team
  • Preparing materials resulting from Team deliberations
  • Liaising with specialist teams needed for the application of the Toolkit
  • Communicating with the Toolkit central manager
All Facilitation Team members have access to all Tools and Files, and can add, edit, or delete information. For this reason, it is recommended that one individual be responsible for data entry to esure that files are not accidently edited or deleted by mistake.

All Facilitation Team members can also create new users, including specialist and survey users. (more below)

2. Outside Specialists (Teams or Individuals)

The Facilitation Team will need assistance from specialists and experts, as individuals or teams, to apply certain tools or parts of tools. These situations are specified in the respective tools.

The specialists have access to the Toolkit but can only use the tools that they are authorized to use. The members of the Facilitation Team can add new specialists and select which tools they have permission to edit, through the "Manage Users" page.

3. Occasional Users (Survey Users)

The Facilitation Team may seek information or input from specific experts – individuals or institutions – in specific subjects, by asking them to complete designated forms, questionnaires or surveys. The Facilitation Team will view the results and incorporate them, as it sees fit, into its deliberations and analysis.

The occasional users have access only to the respective forms, questionnaires or surveys they are requested to complete. The Toolkit will email a URL to these individuals that will direct them to the survey they are asked to complete.

Toolkit Management and Login

Everyone needs a user name and password to access the Toolkit. The three levels of users are able to perform the following within the toolkit.

  • Master User: Are allowed to read all reports, edit/clear forms, upload word documents to the Filing Cabinet or to the Team Bookshelf, and create new users.
  • Outside Experts: Are allowed to read and edit specific tools.
  • Survey Participants: Are allowed to complete a single survey sent to them via email.

The Toolkit Managers will provide each Country Facilitator with a Master Username and password. The Facilitator can create new master users, Outside Experts and Survey Users by going to the “Manage User” section of the Toolkit.

The Toolkit Managers will provide each Country Facilitator with a Master username and password. The Facilitator can then create new Master Users, Outside Experts and Survey Users by going to the Manage Users section of the Toolkit. (The Manage Users button is located on the top bar of the Toolkit).

Toolkit Features

Each user country is assigned a Filing Cabinet. The outputs from the applications of the tools will be stored and organized in the Filing Cabinet by Tool. Files may be downloaded, saved, edited, and uploaded. The Filing Cabinet may be accessed by clicking on the corresponding button. Individual tools contain references to the use of the Filing Cabinet.

A country’s filing cabinet cannot be accessed by users in other countries.

Each country team is assigned a Team Bookshelf to store in it relevant documents. The Bookshelf can be accessed anytime after login by clicking the corresponding button. Individual tools contain references to the use of the Team Bookshelf.

The Toolkit contains a reference handbook which summarizes worldwide knowledge, research and experience, regarding the potential and conditions of effective use of ICTs for education and learning. The handbook may be searched by keyword or phrase.

The handbook is also accessible from anywhere in the toolkit.

The Library contains references and documents placed by the Toolkit Central managers– not users. The Library may be accessed by any user account holders in any country.

User account holders may post messages to other users and receive messages

Working with Forms and Filing Cabinet Reports

Editing/clearing form
When proceeding through the toolkit, users will fill in and submit forms. Once a form is submitted (even if the data is not completed), a checkmark ( ) appears next to the form title in the Filing Cabinet. To view a report of the data filled in, users go either to the output page for that tool or to the Filing Cabinet and click on the name of the report.

At the bottom of most reports, there is an edit button:

By clicking on the edit button, users can edit the data in the form.

If the user later decides to clear the data in the form, s/he presses the “Clear Data” button:
This will remove all data from the form and CANNOT BE UNDONE.

By then closing the window without hitting submit: the form is “unchecked” in the filing cabinet to indicate that the form is again empty.

Some reports in the output pages or the Filing Cabinet are composites of multiple forms. Users will NOT see an edit button at the bottom of these forms. To edit the data in these reports, users must return to the tool where the data was first entered, find the step in the process they wish to edit, and edit the data there. The information will be updated on the composite report automatically.

Words of caution:
In some case, when users are editing data that has been supplied in earlier forms, they have the opportunity to save over older data or delete the item entirely. Remember, when the user saves over data or deletes the item, ALL instances of that item are changed or saved over, including versions from earlier in the process. This is one reason why it is recommended that the data entry component of the tool be delegated to one individual.

Also remember, when the Faciliation team creates “Geographic Areas and Institutions” (Tool 2.2, Section 7) to be used in Planning for Implementation, users will be asked to enter in data on specific needs (such as radio hardware, tv hardware or connectivity) by area or institution. IF YOU DELETE A GEOGRAPHIC AREA AFTER ADDING IN THIS INFORMATION, THIS DATA WILL BE LOST.

Where to Start

The Toolkit is designed to follow a certain sequence that corresponds to specific steps in the process of preparation for and formulation of ICT policy interventions, planning for implementation of these policies, and evaluation of the effects of these policies.

Whether to apply all the tools and in the prescribed sequence depends on the particular situation under which the Toolkit is to be applied.

Situation 1 – Considering ICT Interventions to enhance educational objectives

Start with Toolbox 1 and go through the whole Toolkit

Situation 2 – A decision about an ICT-in-education intervention program has already been made, but implementation has not been planned or commenced

Go through Toolbox 1 and Toolbox 2, to validate the decision
Go through Toolboxes 3, 4 and 5 to plan implementation
Use Toolbox 6 for evaluation, adjustments and follow-up

Situation 3 – ICT hardware is in place but no decisions have been made on contentware

Go through Toolbox 1 and Toolbox 2 to establish the educational framework for the utilization of the hardware
Go through Toolboxes 3 to validate the decisions regarding hardware.
Go through Toolbox 4 and Toolbox 5 to plan for the other components that go with the hardware.
Use Toolbox 6 for evaluation, adjustments and follow-up

Situation 4- ICT Project is under implementation

Go through Toolbox 1 and Toolbox 2 – to validate the educational foundations of the Project
Go through Toolboxes 3, 4 and 5, to validate the decisions already made regarding implementation plans, and to establish a framework against which implementation is monitored and evaluated
Use Toolbox 6 for evaluation, adjustments and follow-up

Situation 5 – An ICT Project has been implemented and next steps are being considered

Go to Tool 6.1 to devise mechanisms for the evaluation of the implementation, effectiveness and impact of the ICT project.
Go to Tool 6.2 to be assisted with decisions regarding subsequent actions to be taken in light of evaluation.