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Technology as an Enabler in Teacher Professional Development? Mobile Gurukul - A Teachers Aide Mujahidul Islam Radha Ganesan Educational Technology & Design.

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Presentation on theme: "Technology as an Enabler in Teacher Professional Development? Mobile Gurukul - A Teachers Aide Mujahidul Islam Radha Ganesan Educational Technology & Design."— Presentation transcript:

1 Technology as an Enabler in Teacher Professional Development? Mobile Gurukul - A Teachers Aide Mujahidul Islam Radha Ganesan Educational Technology & Design (ETD) - URC July 4, 2012

2 Technology based intervention in education Typical challenges with computer-based intervention –Hardware (in)accessibility –Lack of training and insufficient operational skills –Infrastructure bottlenecks –Questionable sustainability How could we creatively utilize existing technologies to aid education and educators?

3 Technology access in India

4 Schools with ICTs in India (DISE, )

5 Mobile phones - widely used access device

6 Mobile in Majority World No need of permanent electricity Easy maintenance Easy to use audio and text interface Affordability Accessibility

7 Mobile Gurukul What is it? A distance mentoring system for school teachers over mobile phones Features of Mobile Gurukul Blends the individuality of phones to preserve anonymity Utilizes web technology for back-end support and archiving What it is not –A replacement mechanism for systematic and ongoing professional development

8 A Background Initiated at IIIT, Bangalore in The idea was initially conceptualized by Prof. Michal Yerushalamy, University of Haifa, Israel. Focus was on creating a successful Technological Infrastructure Tested the concept at one school and with 5 organizations working in the education sector

9 Concept Design Internet Teacher asks questions through Mobile Phone Teacher receives the answer on her Mobile Phone in the form of an audio or a text. Mentor sees the question on the Mobile Gurukul Webpage Mentor sends the answer through the internet either by recording their audio or entering text Teacher can respond back to the answer and continue the discussion Txtweb Teachers can use their mobile phones to use txtweb apps which will help them more on their queries. Teachers can also access previously answered questions. TOI Portal Teachers will be suggested to visit the portal for relevant resources to deepen understanding

10 Roles Teachers –Pose question and receives the answer (mobile phone) Mentors (current or ex-teachers, Univ faculty, SMEs ) –Respond to the questions asked –Document/classify the questions after answering Admin –Manages the questions and answers –Ensures all the questions are being answered within the given time Vendors –Build the tech infrastructure (Response channel: IVR and Web Application)

11 Research Method Duration: Pilot phase for 8 weeks Location: APF schools Number of teachers: 65 Site A: Sirohi and Udhamsinghnagar. Max Inputs: Active encouragement to utilize the service Teachers will be encouraged to ask at least one question everyday. A daily reminder to ask questions. Site A: Sirohi and Udhamsinghnagar. Max Inputs: Active encouragement to utilize the service Teachers will be encouraged to ask at least one question everyday. A daily reminder to ask questions. Site B: Tonk and Uttarkashi Medium Inputs: Announcement + How to use demonstration. A weekly reminder to ask questions will be sent via SMS Site B: Tonk and Uttarkashi Medium Inputs: Announcement + How to use demonstration. A weekly reminder to ask questions will be sent via SMS Control Group Site C: Dhamtari Minimal Inputs: A simple announcement about the service will be made. No demonstration and no reminders to ask questions Control Group Site C: Dhamtari Minimal Inputs: A simple announcement about the service will be made. No demonstration and no reminders to ask questions

12 Process Teachers pose queries/receive responses by calling or texting Queries will be organized and displayed through the Mobile Gurukul website Mentors can view the questions and record their answers Mentors will answer the queries through Recorded voice answers sent as a recorded message Text message sent as an SMS Directly calling the phone number Archive of answered questions for all and sundry

13 We assume that: Teachers are comfortable using mobile phones to call and send SMS Teachers want to have periodic access to professional assistance Teachers reluctance to use (i.e., cost concerns) can be overcome Mentors will provide relevant and useful responses Asynchronous method using Short voice clips and SMS can help answer the queries of the teachers (If successful) project can be scaled

14 Follow-up & Anticipated Outcomes Post-pilot survey of teachers to assess Did the teachers use it? Do the teachers find the service useful and effective? Are the teachers likely to use it again? Probable bottlenecks in using the service (e.g., cost of a call) Assessment at the back-end Ease of use (i.e., from a workflow standpoint) What kind of problems and responses are most effective Technological limitations (e.g., too many abandoned calls?) Is it scalable?

15 Anticipated Outcomes Teachers use this system (when needed) to get their questions resolved by mentors A mobile based virtual community of teachers where they share, collaborate and construct knowledge Teachers who start here by asking questions, eventually start answering others queries Question Bank which informs the policy makers, textbook writers, teacher educators about the needs of so many teachers who use this service

16 Is this an idea worth pursuing? Send an SMS Yes/No to

17 Would you like to follow this project? Would you like to participate as a mentor? Send us an -

18 Specific Questions What motivates teachers to participate in voluntary professional development services/programs? Will teachers use virtual systems and services to overcome feelings/experiences of isolation? What type of knowledge are teachers seeking and what knowledge do they value? Is there a difference in the knowledge sought by primary and secondary school teachers across subject areas? What role does the distance-mentoring system offered by Mobile Gurukul is used by the teachers who are already motivated to teach effectively in their teaching and learning spaces? How many and what types of questions are asked frequently? What types of answers are easy to comprehend and understand through a mobile based mentoring system? Are the responses understandable and do they make sense to the teachers?

19 Do the mentors prove to be helpful to them in their search for the answer? How do we ensure deeper engagement or follow-up questions to be asked in relation to the answer? One answer or multiple aspects of the possible answers?(Answer by multiple mentors) What questions lend well for clear cut/focused/short response? How do we ensure continuous engagement with content area? Asynchronous answering of the questions – what is the best way to reach the teacher? How can they be delivered by using short voice clips or text messages? How do we facilitate direct interactions between the teacher and the mentor? Do teachers prefer sending/receiving text or voice messages? Is there a need to bring any technical or workflow changes based on the feedback of the users (Teachers and Mentors)? Etc.


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