teacher training

mLearning:A Platform for Educational Opportunities at the Base of the Pyramid

Posted by MarkWeingarten on Jan 19, 2011
mLearning:A Platform for Educational Opportunities at the Base of the Pyramid data sheet 1412 Views
GSMA Development Fund
Publication Date: 
Nov 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

This report summarises our findings on past developments and the current landscape of mLearning in the developing world through research and interviews with MNOs, technology vendors, foundations and the academic community. It is not intended to be an exhaustive evaluation of the global mLearning market, but rather a summary of activity so far and,more importantly, some guidance and ideas for future development.

The research found that there are many mLearning projects currently taking place globally, although the vast majority are on a small scale and it is assumed an even greater number are not documented. It was observed that activity is more widespread in the developed world, especially the US and the UK,where mobile technology is more prevalent and advanced, and where funding does not present as great a barrier. However, with 98% of the world’s illiterate or semiliterate population residing in developing countries, where access to schools and resource materials is at a minimum, such regions present the greatest areas of need. These markets therefore represent the greatest opportunities for mLearning programmes and products.

The past year has seen a substantial increase in mLearning initiatives and certainly there is escalating talk of its potential. But is the potential of mLearning hype or reality? Despite the many successes mLearning is experiencing, more research is needed to understand how this ubiquitous technology can be used to provide educational resources to those most in need, along with the development of a sustainable and robust business case.

Learning Communities Enabled by Mobile Tech: Case Study of School-Based, In-Service Secondary Teacher Training Rural Bangladesh

Posted by MohiniBhavsar on Oct 01, 2010
Learning Communities Enabled by Mobile Tech: Case Study of School-Based, In-Service Secondary Teacher Training Rural Bangladesh data sheet 2181 Views
Sarah Lucas Pouezevara and Rubina Khan
Publication Date: 
Dec 2007
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Adapted from Executive Summary: With the aim of providing developing member countries (DMCs) with better guidance to use information and communication technology (ICT) effectively in education, the Asian
Development Bank (ADB) funded a 21-month regional technical assistance (RETA) in Bangladesh, Nepal, Mongolia, and Samoa. The RETA researched approaches to using ICT in education in ways that succeed in improving teaching and learning and also are sustainable given the region’s development challenges.

The study in Bangladesh, part of the e-Teacher Training component, complements the existing ADB-funded Teaching Quality Improvement in Secondary Education Project (TQI-SEP;2005–2011), which has as one of its objectives, to provide in-service professional development to all serving teachers working in secondary schools recognized by the Ministry of Education (MoE) at least once during the project period. 

The study equipped two subject trainers, a training coordinator, and a cluster of 10 schools with “smartphones”2 (with video, speakerphone, and three-way calling capabilities), for use by 20 Bangla and math teachers in 10 schools of the Barisal region in southern Bangladesh. The existing training curriculum was revised from a 2-week, face-to-face workshop to a 6-week distance-mode training based on printed materials and practical application of training content with peers. The phones were intended primarily to enhance communication, motivation, and multimedia delivery.

The objective of the study was to develop a case study on the use of mobile connectivity in support of distance education and to determine whether:

• it is an effective mode for teacher training and improvement in classroom practice
• it is a suitable mode to reach rural and remote teachers, including women and disadvantaged groups
• it presents other benefits in terms of education administration (including student assessment and costs) and pedagogy.

The study also sought to determine the costs of this model, and the features of the smartphones that would be most useful as a support to distance learning.


Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Sep 25, 2009
BridgeIT data sheet 7624 Views

BridgeIT, a mobile teaching tool deploying in Tanzania, is changing the way students and teachers interact in the classroom. The program, launched in 2007, allows teachers to download educational videos (focusing on math, science, and life skills) onto mobile phones. The phones are then connected to classroom televisions which display the videos. Students watch the videos, which usually run four to seven minutes, and then teachers use BridgeIT-designed lesson plans to build on the ideas set forth in the videos.

The short educational videos are transmitted to teachers in 150 schools in seven regions of Tanzania (Lindi, Mtwara, Pwani, Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Dodoma and Kilimanjaro). In a country in which classrooms are often overcrowded (the program originally aimed to reach 10,000 students; due to crowded classrooms and teachers teaching multiple classes through the day, BridgeIT lesson plans have so far been taught to more than 40,000 students) and the demand for books greatly exceeds the supply, lessons via video are an effective way to reach a large number of students.

Basic Information
Organization involved in the project?: 
Project goals: 

BridgeIT has two main goals; 1) to use mobile phone and digital technology to increase achievement among primary school boys and girls in math, science, and life skills, and 2) to increase the quality of teacher instruction in Tanzanian primary schools.

Brief description of the project: 

BridgeIT creates four-to-seven minute videos in subjects such as math, science, and life skills and distributes those videos via mobile phone to classrooms across Tanzania. BridgeIT-trained teachers then incorporate the videos into lesson plans.

Target audience: 

The target audience is primary students in rural Tanzania, and their teachers. 

Detailed Information
Length of Project (in months) : 
What worked well? : 

The project worked closely with the Forum for African Women Educationalists to create female-centric roles (portraying women in the videos in professional settings such as scientists, doctors, and leaders). The project originally aimed to reach 10,000 students, but greatly exceeded that number due to more teachers being trained in BridgeIT technology. Preliminary results show that student attendance and class participation (especially for female students) have risen in BridgeIT classrooms.

What did not work? What were the challenges?: 

The lack of reliable Internet access forced the project to embrace a mobile-centric plan, so the deployment in Tanzania became a true pilot program rather than just a reworking of the Philippine Text2Teach program (on which BridgeIT was based). Schools must have electricity in order to use the program, leaving some of the most rural and in-need populations out.