The purpose of this study is to identify gaps and challenges in the use of education technology (ed tech) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu during COVID-19. Specifically, we investigated how use of ed tech differed by type of school (government or private), household socioeconomic status, and student gender—and how it changed during the COVID-19 school closures. Ultimately, we wanted to know how the use of ed tech may exacerbate or mitigate the unequal impact of school closures on student learning.
Through phone surveys of 201 households and a total of 271 primary-school-aged children in February of 2021, we sought to understand households’ educational practices in Chennai pre-COVID-19 and during the school closures. Our survey data showed that access to ed tech in schools and households before the pandemic was extremely limited and differed by household socioeconomic background and the type of school (government or private) children attended. Thus, we also explored educational activities from non-ed-tech sources that may have taken place.
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