Thursday, July 29, 2004

Research report focusses on teacher education and new technologies in two developing countries

Jenny Leach and her colleagues involved in the Digital Education Enhancement Project (DEEP) have just released a draft final report entitled, DEEP IMPACT: An investigation of the use of information and communication technologies for teacher education in the global south; Researching the Issues (June 2004; 201 pages, ppdf, 6.5M). The project involved 12 schools in Egypt and 12 schools in South Africa, and included 48 participating teachers and over 2000 students. Of particular interest to us are findings concerning teachers and mobile, hand-held communication and information devices—these were reported to increase teachers’ confidence in using new technologies in their own classrooms and facilitated ‘anywhere, anytime professional learning’ (p. viii).

The policy implications drawn from this study are identified by the authors as follows:

  • planning for the development of national systems of teacher education should explicitly recognise the increasingly important role of ICT and its potential for increasing access and improving quality;

  • ICT policy and practice must be closely matched to local contexts and needs, with a particular focus on classroom relevance and learner achievement;

  • the potential of new, mobile technologies needs further investigation in a wider range of contexts and purposes;

  • further evidence is urgently required as to the way in which new forms of technologies, particularly mobile technologies, can impact on the logistics/costs of ICT provision for teacher education (p. ix).

  • In addition to the report, the project leaders have made a range of digital products and video data available online.

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