Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

effective implementation Related Abstracts

2 Exploring the Use of Mobile Technologies in Schools in Oman; Opportunities and Challenges

Authors: Muna Al-Siyabi

Abstract:

When students bring mobile devices into the classrooms, they are frequently viewed as distractions from their daily educational practices rather than developing the twenty-first century skills. Such skills may involve sorting and extracting information, solving problems and evaluating results. Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, have great potential for learning. Currently, schools and universities are embracing these devices with the aim of enhancing education. In Oman, mobile technologies have been introduced in the last ten years in two private schools to keep pace with the technological advancement. The researcher set out to examine the benefits and challenges of employing mobile learning in these two schools with the aim to inform the implementation of mobile technologies in more schools in Oman. The total of 16 teachers and 237 students responded to questionnaires, and 7 teachers and three student focus groups (of 13 students) were involved in interviews to explore how mobile technologies are used in these two schools. The questionnaires indicated that 87.5% of the sample teachers considered mobile learning helpful for learning and teaching. The teachers believed that mobile learning could promote learning, help teaching, offer vast resources, motivate students and save lesson time. Moreover, interviews with the teachers showed that mobile learning could offer several benefits like immediacy, saving lesson time, supporting differentiation, opportunities to learn anywhere, showing understanding, and offering vast resources. Most of the sample were also facing technical and classroom management challenges when employing mobile technologies in their lessons. In the interviews, most teachers complained of the difficulty to control their classes when they had mobile devices, which distracted their attention and understanding. They reported that their students were distracted by games and they needed to be trained to use mobile technologies for educational purposes. Most teachers recommended that certain parameters or restrictions should be established in any mobile learning project that restrict the usage of mobile technologies to educational purposes. In addition, teachers also emphasised that students needed to be trained on the advantages and limitations of mobile technologies. Teachers were also recommending that pedagogical training for using mobile technologies should be considered when implementing mobile learning in schools. These findings reveal that although of the challenges of managing their classes, teachers believe that mobile learning has great potential for learning. These results imply that mobile learning can be effectively implemented in school in Oman if certain factors and restrictions are considered.

Keywords: Mobile Learning, Challenges, Opportunities, effective implementation

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1 A Paradigm Shift into the Primary Teacher Education Program in Bangladesh

Authors: Happy Kumar Das, Md. Shahriar Shafiq

Abstract:

This paper portrays an assumed change in the primary teacher education program in Bangladesh. An initiative has been taken with a vision to ensure an integrated approach to developing trainee teachers’ knowledge and understanding about learning at a deeper level, and with that aim, the Diploma in Primary Education (DPEd) program replaces the Certificate-in-Education (C-in-Ed) program in Bangladeshi context for primary teachers. The stated professional values of the existing program such as ‘learner-centered’, ‘reflective’ approach to pedagogy tend to contradict the practice exemplified through the delivery mechanism. To address the challenges, through the main two components (i) Training Institute-based learning and (ii) School-based learning, the new program tends to cover knowledge and value that underpin the actual practice of teaching. These two components are given approximately equal weighting within the program in terms of both time, content and assessment as the integration seeks to combine theoretical knowledge with practical knowledge and vice versa. The curriculum emphasizes a balance between the taught modules and the components of the practicum. For example, the theories of formative and summative assessment techniques are elaborated through focused reflection on case studies as well as observation and teaching practice in the classroom. The key ideology that is reflected through this newly developed program is teacher’s belief in ‘holistic education’ that can lead to creating opportunities for skills development in all three (Cognitive, Social and Affective) domains simultaneously. The proposed teacher education program aims to address these areas of generic skill development alongside subject-specific learning outcomes. An exploratory study has been designed in this regard where 7 Primary Teachers’ Training Institutes (PTIs) in 7 divisions of Bangladesh was used for experimenting DPEd program. The analysis was done based on document analysis, periodical monitoring report and empirical data gathered from the experimental PTIs. The findings of the study revealed that the intervention brought positive change in teachers’ professional beliefs, attitude and skills along with improvement of school environment. Teachers in training schools work together for collective professional development where they support each other through lesson study, action research, reflective journals, group sharing and so on. Although the DPEd program addresses the above mentioned factors, one of the challenges of the proposed program is the issue of existing capacity and capabilities of the PTIs towards its effective implementation.

Keywords: Bangladesh, effective implementation, primary teacher education, reflective approach

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