Technology and Teacher Professional Development (TPD): the Process and Content of Microlearning in a School-Based Integrated In-Service Teacher Education (INSET) Project

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

Continuing teacher professional development for all teachers across the entire school system poses a challenge in many contexts, especially in developing countries. Teachers from schools located in remote rural areas usually have fewer professional development opportunities due to the lack of accessibility either to their schools or to professional development resources. On-site school-based professional development is a viable option if innovative design is adapted to generate microlearning resources that teachers can easily access and share. This paper reports on a technology enabled school-based integrated INSET project coordinated by the Freetown Teachers College (FTC) in 12 junior secondary schools (JSS) in Sierra Leone under the COL’s Teacher Futures Programme. The project represents an innovation in TPD and is different from the general type of face-to-face and exclusively paper-based in-service teacher training programme common in Sierra Leone. Under the new project a multimodal approach is used where the FTC mentors and the communities of learners (JSS teachers) are presented with both print and microlearning resources and also provided access to an eLearning platform and the use of mobile phones as the main vehicles of delivery. Microlearning is an emergent learning strategy known for its quick response in bridging skills and knowledge gaps. In the context of the INSET Project, it involves a weekly dose of pedagogical content knowledge and skills, including modelling of classroom best practices which teachers can adapt and use. The project design and methods are briefly described, but the main focus of the paper is on the microlearning component of this project and discusses the use of mobile technology in the delivery and implementation of TPD in the 12 project schools. The emphasis is on the methodological and management challenges that arise in creating and nurturing communities of practice (CoPs) in a school-based setting and how these are addressed by the various schools involved. // Paper ID 287

Teacher Education,Professional Development,Commonwealth of Learning (COL)