BridgeIT: Mobiles in the Classroom

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Oct 13, 2009

BridgeIT is a program that uses mobile phones to bring educational videos to rural classrooms - a mobile teaching tool deployed in The Philippines and Tanzania, is changing the way teachers and students interact.

The program develops videos in the subjects of math, science, and life skills, and provides schools with the technology necessary to use the videos in their classroom - everything from the mobile phones that receive the videos to the televisions that play them. Teacher training and lesson plans that promote the integration of the educational videos into regular classroom activities are also provided.

Elimu kwa Teknolojia, the local Tanzanian name for BridgeIT, started two years ago and is finishing its pilot program at the end of this September. “We don’t have our final evaluation yet, but anecdotal evidence, and evidence that we’ve done through focus group discussions and contact with the individual schools, we’ve found that it’s had a really big effect on both the students and the teachers,” says Place. “Some of the things that we’ve seen are, anecdotally, an increase in student attendance, and we’ve seen that they’ve demonstrated a much broader interest in and commitment to math and science in particular.”

The project has been implemented in 150 Tanzanian schools in seven different regions, and is a way for teachers to reach many students, more so than with books - a limited classroom resource in many schools. Although the need for electricity is a restriction that is keeping the program from extending into the most rural areas, at the end of the month BridgeIT will begin a new 15-month phase, becoming absorbed by the Tanzanian Ministry Education and Vocational Training. Under the government, the project with continue to be bring educational videos to students and support to teachers through mobile phones.

You can read the entire case study of BridgeIT in the MobileActive mDirectory.

Comment on BridgeIT: Mobiles in the Classroom

Sounds fantastic. But i want to know the technological part. How can it be possible with a simple mobile device? is it like making documnets in mobile then converting data through data cable to television device? or other options? as its so interesting, i would be really grateful if any1 send me the technological aspects of this project.

BridgeIT tech

Shibly -- here is how it works, briefly: Teachers download video content through Nokia N95 cellular phones via the mobile netwok. The phones are connected to TVs in their classrooms where the students and teachers view the videos. Videos are paired with participatory lesson plans which together enable teachers to actively engage students in the math and science content.  There is a schematic of the process in this fact sheet.


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