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Title: Mobile learning facilitated ICT teacher development : innovation report
Author: Mlambo-Ngcuka, Phumzile
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This Innovation Report reports on best practice in ICT teacher development (ICTTD) based on a literature study and an empirical action research study. The study was conducted with the assistance of a mobile-learning tutoring programme in four resource-constrained schools in South Africa. All the participating teachers had little or no ICT skills. It is predicated on the assumption that quality education helps in the reduction of poverty and inequality. It argues that the performance of an education system reflects the quality of its teachers, which is enhanced by in-service training, especially access to ICT-enriched lifelong learning (LLL) and continuing professional development (CPD). This requires teachers to acquire ICT skills and for their ICT learning styles to be considered. The main research question was concerned with how teachers acquire and improve ICT skills. The response to the main question identified the following important ICTTD enablers and best practice: collaborative learning, integration of pedagogy and subject knowledge with technology, leadership and use of practical ICTTD. The study took advantage of the ubiquity of mobile phones in South Africa, which as the most rapidly adopted technology in history, enabled learners to participate in the study. The participating tutoring teachers (TTs) were Life Orientation and Life Skills (LOLS) teachers who were asked to conduct online Life Orientation and Life Skills tutorials. They were chosen because they were least likely to be ICT competent. The participation in synchronous online tutorials gave the teachers a practical ICT user experience. They made use of the limited numbers of computers, and the learners used the more widely available mobile phones. The tutoring teachers (TTs) were supported by suitably qualified volunteer tutors (VTs) whose participation in the study improved both the tutor: learner ratio and the technology-enhanced learning TEL experience for the teachers and learners. The VTs and TTs were called Dr LOLS tutors. The interactions between the mobile learners and teachers were enabled by the social network MXit and the Chat Call Centre online (C3TO) platform, which is created by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria. All the teachers acquired new ICT skills during the study. Key findings of the study include: -- The importance of enabling the VTs to ‘teach from anywhere’ and at a time agreed with learners, compared to the notion of ‘learning from anywhere anytime’, given that most learners did not own, but shared the mobile phones they used. -- Mobile-learning can be a gateway to a ‘device agnostic’ technology-enhanced learning (TEL) experience. -- The lack of mainstreamed TEL policy in poor schools limits the contribution TEL can make to poverty and inequality reduction. Implications for educational policy include; making integrated ICTTD mandatory at pre-service training, a TEL policy that integrates mobile-learning and repositions TEL as part of poverty reduction imperative.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Eng.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB Theory and practice of education ; TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)