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 International Journal of Education and Development using ICT > Vol. 8, No. 2 (2012) open journal systems 


Pre-service teacher training in Malawi: Findings and recommendations of a pilot on use of media players for teacher development

Carol Anne Carrier, University of Minnesota, USA
Matthew Mark Finholt-Daniel, Seward Inc., USA
Gregory Colin Sales, Seward Inc., USA


Abstract
As part of the USAID funded Malawi Teacher Professional Development Support project, a sub-task was the piloting of an alternative technology that could be used for improving the quality and consistency of teacher continued professional development (CPD). The pilot, which included 26 open and distance learning (ODL) student/teachers, was launched in the spring of 2011 using a low-cost portable MP3 multimedia player. A short course on numeracy, containing 5 weekly lessons, was piloted. Each lesson consisted of one or two readings, two videos, and an assignment that directed the learner to complete tasks and document their completion using the camera and audio recorder features of the media player. The viability of using the media player for CPD was evaluated on the effectiveness of instruction, ease of use, and potential for long-term scalability. The evaluation results demonstrated that the device can effectively deliver instruction and that, with a small amount if initial training, they were easy to use. Scalability, however, is critical to the long-term success of an initiative based on these or similar devices. An analysis suggests that an affordable option worth considering is the systematic, shared use of media player devices within schools. This approach could dramatically reduce the cost of using this alternative technology for ODL training to pennies per lesson.


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International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. ISSN: 1814-0556