November 2017
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Mobile Technology is Empowering Teachers

ICT-educationICTpost Media Action Bureau

Thanks to the rise of in-classroom technology, the focus in education tends to be on student engagement and how to improve learning. It becomes easy to forget the importance of great teachers. Startups, entrepreneurs, businesses (and the rest) need to remember that technology doesn’t have to put teachers in jeopardy; it can help them lead the education evolution, even if their traditional role in the classroom becomes obsolete.

Bridge IT India        

Bridge IT India was started in March 2011 as a 3-year partnership between NOKIA, The Pearson Foundation, and EZ Vidya. The objectives of Bridge It India was to integrate the mobile platform into teaching and evaluate its effectiveness through teachers experience of using it in the classroom. Bridge It India uses mobile phone to improve the quality of teaching. The project is a partnership between Indian schools, NOKIA, The Pearson Foundation, and EZ Vidya. Teachers receive a TV-out cable and C7 mobile phone pre-loaded with NOKIA Education Delivery (NED). Teachers get training, suggested lesson plans, classroom visits and remote support. The school provides a TV or LCD projector. The teacher uses NED and the TV-out cable to display content in class. The results are astounding: post-tests from show a sharp increase in learning compared with control. Teachers have changed the way they teach, away from lecture style and towards more student-centred, hands-on methods. 57% of lessons were “High” quality post-NED vs. 24% pre-, using objective criteria.

NOKIA developed NED in 2005 and piloted it with the Pearson Foundation in the Philippines. Teachers have changed the way they teach, away from lecture style and towards more student-centred, hands-on methods. 85% of baseline lessons were direct instruction (lecture style) down to 75% post-NED. EZ Vidya observed 40% more indicators of good teaching in NED classes. Children who had dropped out of school have been drawn back to school on hearing about NED from friends. Students are demanding that NED be used for other subjects apart from English in classroom teaching (quoted by Joint Commissioner of Education, Chennai Corporation).

Impact is twofold: Students attendance and engagement is up. This translates into better learning. Teachers at Chennai Corporation are requesting NED deploy to other schools, as it will increase the admissions! Students are asking teachers for more variety and interesting activities. Teachers are trying out different teaching strategies. But the powerful result is that students are telling their friends who have stopped coming to school. At a number of Chennai Corporation schools, migrant labourer children and gypsy kids who had been out of school for weeks at a stretch attended this programme.

This intervention is creating change through three mechanisms: 1. Improve the ability of teachers to teach shift classroom transactions from predominantly reading the textbook aloud and telling students answers to basic comprehension questions to teaching comprehension strategies. 2.        Provide students with more and richer opportunities  engaging content, beyond the textbook, at different entry levels. 3.   Make links between letters, words, and meaning with audio-visual representations.  editor@ictpost.com 

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